This is especially hard for me. I feel like if I don’t clean the house, my “work space,” I can’t focus on my kids because I’m constantly thinking about how messy the family room is, or that load of laundry rotting in the washer, or those dishes stinking up the kitchen, or those shoes dripping mud all over the floor so I become a mad woman cleaning and scrubbing and organizing until pretty soon it’s 3 p.m. and my kids, while pretty darn good at entertaining themselves, have had hardly any one-on-one mommy time.
And that’s when the guilt seeps in.
I read a hilarious post on Facebook the other day (while fervently trying not to compare) as I browsed through the posts from one of my friends in my neighborhood:
“Clean house. Sleep. Raise kids. You get to pick two. I lied. You only get to pick one.”
I laughed at first, but realized the wisdom in what she was trying to say: everything else honestly can wait. The dishes can stay stinking in the sink for a few more minutes while I read “Ghosts Hour, Spooks Hour” for the 20th time. That load of laundry can be rewashed. Again. And those shoes can swim contentedly in their dirty little puddle.
I love Hilary Weeks’ song “If I Only Had Today.” She sings:
I’d let the dishes sit in the sink
I’d tell you I love you over and over
For once I’d just let the phone ring
If I only had today.
I’ve found that my children will only ask, “Mommy, will you read to me?” so many times before they find something else to do. And pretty soon, they stop asking. I want my house to be clean and filled with delicious food. But more than that, I want a home full of laughter, learning, and lots and lots of love.
I guess that means those blasted cinnamon buns will have to be purchased at Cinnabon for the time being
(The missing period in that last sentence still bugs me though .)
Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former "American Idol" contestant who writes about entertainment and family for the Deseret News.
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