I've been thinking about this a lot lately.
I like to keep an orderly house. Granted I have my days when the dishes pile up, the laundry goes undone, the toilet starts looking monstrous, and I've been in my pj's all day (or for a few...whatever!)
|The floor was flooded by 2-3 gallons of lemonade the Twodles dumped everywhere!|
Generally though, my house stays pretty clean even for having a toddler running around all day.
There are a few reasons for this...
First, growing up my house was not the most tidy. My mom inherited the I-can't-get-rid-of-it-what-if-I-need-it-someday attitude from her mother. They were the type to keep the plastic silverware from the take-out dinner, just in case! Coming from that background, I have grown to be the exact opposite. I throw away things I shouldn't. If I haven't used it or looked at it in a while, I chuck it. I'm pretty sure my children will wonder if I did anything worthwhile in my life. I continually cleanse my memory box when things won't fit in the one box anymore. I know I have had the occasional thought "I shouldn't have thrown that away" but because I couldn't even tell you now what I thought that about, it can't be missed too bad right? Maybe its a bit overboard, I know!
Second, I feel so much better with a clean house. I just can't rest unless things are in their place. I find myself picking up toys and movies at least 2-3 times a day. Once the littles are napping I do a quick 10 minute pick up before I allow myself to eat lunch, veg in front of the TV, read a book, work on a project...whatever. I try to follow this verse of scripture:
"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;"Having said that, I have had people stop in randomly and make a comment like "your house is cleaner than mine and I don't even have kids" or "how do you do it all?" I don't repeat these things to brag at all. It has just caused me to think about how I make other people feel. Is my cleanliness causing someone else to feel inadequate? Am I setting unrealistic expectations of a housewife?
|Lets blame June Cleaver for the unrealistic expectation, okay!|
So I keep wondering, do I let my own standards slack just to make someone else feel better about themselves? If I were to let go, I wouldn't be fulfilling what I know I can do, so I'd be letting myself down. Is it worth it?
Really what my house looks like doesn't matter, and what yours looks like doesn't either. We all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses. Some are just more visible than others. I really like this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland, an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:
"We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those."I can imagine it would be a more enjoyable life if we simply measured our successes and failures with the Lord. He will help us know when we can improve and when we are doing our very best. Without that envy and guilt we will be happier people and can spend more energy doing productive worthwhile things.
So here's to you! Do YOUR very best and let go of the rest!