Thursday, 12 June 2008

Confessions of a Neat Freak

At the end of each day, as the little ones finally drift off to dreamland, I’m usually feeling pretty fizzled out. The last thing I feel like doing is housework! Alas, with two active and energetic little boys in the house, it’s no surprise that our main living space looks like a hurricane hit it. The thought of greeting the day to this disastrous scene is not appealing to me. It seems to set me off on the wrong foot in the morning when I’m already struggling with the mind numbing effects of inadequate sleep!

I usually take the 15 to 20 minutes each evening to pick up and organize the kids’ toys. Most often my pick up routine happens while Daddy scrubs the boys in the tub. I’ve got it down to a fairly quick and easy system as everything has a place. Chi-Chi and Muffy have come to know this. When they descend on the living room each morning, the scene is bright, fresh, cheerful and yes, organized! They always know where to find their belongings and I’ve discovered they are better able to organize themselves and their play activities. The puzzle pieces are all in place instead of hiding under the couch. The blocks are ready and waiting for a construction project. My storage system makes use of attractive shelving and baskets as opposed to a traditional toy box. This allows the wee ones to quickly find what they are searching for, and also displays their items in a fun and appealing manner.

In my ideal world, Chi-Chi and Muffy would perform the clean up routine at the end of each day. I do try to engage them in the process. At 3, Chi-Chi’s efforts are improving. At 20 months, Muffy still has a way to go. He’s much more interested in dumping then loading it seems.

Am I a neat freak? It’s arguable. There are evenings I simply can’t muster the energy to lift a finger. I certainly don’t tidy, scrub and clean to perfection. It’s most often a very quick job. I will admit that at the age of 8 I vacuumed my bedroom every day before school. On the other hand, my housekeeping efforts during my university days were virtually non-existent. My dorm room was a disgrace of dirty dishes, crumpled clothes and scattered papers.

I guess these days I’m somewhere in the middle, looking for a balance. I do believe my children thrive in a setting that is beautiful, engaging and orderly. There is certainly no denying that Mommy thrives in a state of order and unravels in a state of chaos! Regardless, I do remind myself often that these are precious times with the little ones. The dirty dishes and laundry can certainly wait when there is a story to be read, a boo-boo to be kissed and a bum to wipe!!


Gypsy said...

Oh I really really get this. I struggle so much with mess, with allowing mess to just be a part of my house - and not always be tidying up! That said I try to get the house really spick and span, so like you, I dont' wake up and want to go straight back to bed. I adore the pictures of your house - it is incredible - I LOVE the playstands! Very envious :)

jenny-junebug said...

Yes, it is definitely hard to find a balance. The truth is I could be tidying up all day long. It's never ending!

The play stands were a huge surprise from Santa (my husband). Of course they are for the kids but I felt like they were a gift for me. I love them too! Turns out he was listening to me all along (:

Alicia said...

You sound a lot like me :)