Honestly, I could just title this 3 reasons cleaning makes my house messier and just list my kids’ names, but clearly that wouldn’t be as interesting.
Being a stay-at-home mom, you’d think I’d have enough time to keep my house in order, but with kids in the house, cleaning only makes things messier. So, when my partner gets home from work and sees me just sitting amongst the mess, here are the 5 reasons I’ll give him for why I have given up on cleaning:
1. Kids get bored and tear things apart when you aren’t giving them attention.
Or at least this is what I like to tell myself because the mere thought of the idea that they are taking advantage of my busy hands enrages me.
Without fail, every time I start picking up the mess they left they start getting into every single thing on my “do not touch” list and creating a worse disaster. I’ve tried explaining to them that I will have less time for all the things they want me to do for and with them if they make messes and then refuse to clean them, but they don’t seem to care. They think my time, patience, and energy is endless.
2. The kids have more energy and are much faster than I am.
Let’s face it: I’m old. I get worn down much faster than a toddler. By noon I’m ready to fall over, while my 2-year-old is just starting to bounce off the walls. And because I am worn down, I never can seem to catch her until she lets me. She’ll run all through the house, grabbing every single thing off every single surface and throw it all on the floor, all while I’m trailing behind her yelling “STOP!” and “NO!” to no avail.
By the time I catch her, all surfaces are clean, but I can’t see the floor.
3. It’s just easier to mess things up than it is to clean them.
Dumping five different toy containers on the floor only takes a few seconds. Reorganizing them and putting them away takes at least 5 minutes. Absent-mindedly leaving a plate on the table takes no effort at all, unlike scrubbing off the caked-on grossness after it’s been sitting for half a day.
For every mess they leave while I’m busy cleaning, I’m putting in at least 10 times as much effort cleaning it back up.
4. They outnumber me.
Between them they have 6 hands. I only have two last I counted. Even if it was just as easy to clean as it was to mess things up, they’d still be winning due to this advantage.
And it seems like they understand this advantage. Every time I start cleaning they all start making a mess. They all could be perfectly glued to their screens, but the second I take the vacuum out, they all find something messy to do. One’s heading to the kitchen for a snack. One’s starting an art project. And the other is a toddler so no one really knows what she is doing, but it’s the messiest activity of all.
5. They’re more creative.
It takes a special kind of mind to put cheese product in the toaster. It also takes quite a bit of creativity to figure out how to get it out. When nearly 50% of my time is spent Googling how to clean messes I never even thought would be made—like “how to wash grape jelly out of everything in my dresser”–I really don’t feel like I’m going to get very far.
I’d rather just watch the kids and prevent as much mess as possible until the weekend when at least I’ll have an extra pair of eyes and hands to help me.