Sunday, January 3, 2010

The neverending quest for the clean house

Before motherhood, I understood that there were forces out of my control, however, there were so many things within my control, I was comfortable enough. Take a drive, go to the store, work hard, barely work... all choices. Now, I am on 24 hours a day, no choice, no break. Whether or not I am physically moving, I am constantly monitoring making sure they are safe, hoping for them to be content long enough to accomplish something, but knowing that no matter how hard I work the list of "things to do" never gets any shorter. For as I am crossing the items off, they are being added on at equal pace. While I clean, I can see the hurricane approaching... feel the tailwinds tickle my back, laughing at me. I scrub the floor then, spill the milk... I do not cry, but now, I just added to the laundry. The laundry that never ends that piles up and never goes away.

At first, I tried to make the forces succumb to my will. I screamed and yelled and would frustrate myself thinking that I could succeed. I would look around and every mother seemed to have a cleaner house... other mothers seemed to have it under control. Why didn't I? I live in the shame that some one might see the way I live and wonder what I do all day. My friends would say... I feel the same, but did they really?

The more I cleaned the house, the more guilt I harbored. I was not only a failed housekeeper, but an inattentive mother since I spent more time trying to keep them busy then, enjoying their precious moments. I get frustrated when they want to be held because I can't get as much done with one arm. I hope they fall asleep so, I can accomplish something just to say, "look what I did today," but then I missed out on time with the girls. They will never be this little ever again. I realize I need to accept that what clean will mean right now HAS to be different than what clean meant to me before. That I am a good mother even if I am not my child's perpetual play mate. But, where is the balance inside me? Where will I sit comfortably? Is there a perfect individual balance? Will I ever find it?

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