I loved the living room of my new house as soon as we saw it. The play room. That’s what it would be. I imagined the toys neatly stacked and organized. The easel in the corner. The book shelf filled with his favorite stories. The perfect way to keep my house organized in the face of a toddler who often fancies himself the Tasmanian Devil. Chaos would surely happen, but relegated to the confines of his play room.
My son’s toys are everywhere. In the play room sure, but also filling up our family room and scattered through the kitchen. It’s not that he has a lot of toys. Compared to other kids, he’s understocked, but puzzle pieces, legos and the like have a lot of pieces and these tiny pieces scatter. We clean up daily but by mid-afternoon you’d think a mini-cyclone passed through these parts scattering toys [and pots. and pans] in its wake.
I’m slowly realizing that keeping a house in good ‘oh just drop by in five minutes no chaos here nosirreebob‘ order is easier said than done.
Take mopping. Our entire ground floor, save the family room, is hardwood floors. Pretty to look at but a pain to manage. The house was built in 1988, a time when some hardwoods were finished and some unfinished and for the life of me I can’t figure out what type of floors these are which is important since each type has starkly different ways to be kept clean. Regardless of hardwood finish, water can’t touch hardwoods which is fine and dandy but how do you manage this when the hardwoods are in the kitchen and breakfast area? Between spilled glasses, washing dishes, cooking meals— water happens people! I keep a towel handy and do my best to immediately dry out wet spots [though I don’t always succeed] but despite doing this and weekly moppings, sprinkly water marks happen. How does anyone with hardwoods and a toddler keep them looking sparkly and water mark free?
More than all of this, when you add in daily cooking and basic upkeep— keeping a home dusted, vacuumed, mopped with scrubbed toilets and bath and organized filing systems takes time and energy and effort. And while some days when the mood really strikes me I can find myself spending nearly the entire day working away— I’m usually left exhausted and not as fully capable of playing hide and seek, catch the penguin, and building and tearing down lego structures with the little guy I love. While I do believe as the parent staying at home, the bulk of home upkeep falls on me, I’m not staying home to be a cleaning lady. I’m home to spend time with my son. As it stands, its nearly impossible to do both perfectly.
Miss Suzy Homemaker I am not. But I do want to keep the tide of chaos a step away. With a toddler, this often feels like something that is just never going to happen. A mom I met recently joked that the worst thing one mother can do to another is clean up before a play date. This makes me think that maybe? I’m not alone.
|Look mama! All the pots you could possibly need for tonight’s meal!|
If you’re reading this do you have any advice or tips that worked for you in keeping the house clean and/or organized? Or, are you like me, constantly pushing back an impending avalanche? I know this time is temporary and I am truly enjoying every drop of it but when it comes to house-keeping with a toddler in tow, I would love to get some perspective!