On Having A Clean House

It was a peaceful spring morning. And then it wasn’t.

I don’t remember what I was doing at the time, or why I wasn’t minding my kids on the other end of the house. The shock of it all probably blocked that out. What I do remember is the moment I walked into the kitchen.

And all I could see was cocoa powder.

It. Was. Awful.

The 3-year-old had poured it down the cabinets. The 18-month-old tried to eat it (read: wipe it over every inch of his head). I think there were even paw prints from when the cat walked in to find his bounty.

I wanted to fall on my knees with my arms in the air for a slow motion (say it with me) Nooooo! I wanted to swear off baking forever just to be spiteful. I wanted to hose my kids down in the front yard and then start vacuuming immediately. I wanted to run away with all my belongings tied into a bandana and jump the first train I could find.

Moms, I’m sure you all have a story like this one. The memory is probably already dancing around in your head and making you twitch. If you don’t have a story like this, you’re either super mom (teach me please!) or your kid is currently plotting. Stop reading this and go find him stat.

Keeping your house clean is such a DOOZY in the mom world, isn’t it? Get this – before I had kids, I would clean the house, and it would stay clean. For DAYS.

The thing is, our instinct in response to this is often to try harder. Work smarter. Learn how to get the house cleaned faster. Buck up. But a valuable lesson I learned in motherhood is to give myself heavy doses of grace.


It’s ok to let some things go.

Perfection is not worth the stress.

♪ Let it Be ♪

This too shall pass. In other phases of life, you may be better equipped to keep your house perfectly clean. But now is not the time. And that’s okay.

The blogger in me wants to make a list on how to make cleaning easier, but that’s not the point. I don’t need to help us fix our houses or our cleaning systems or our efficiency. None of that matters without inner peace and family balance.

In this post, I just want to send out good vibes.

You’re doing a great job, mama, regardless of how your house looks right now.

Balance trumps perfection.

A squeaky-clean house is not as good as a lived-in one.

And overall, our focus is best served creating peaceful places for our kids (and ourselves!). This comes from the heart, not from the mop bucket.

So, will you be a bit easier on yourself? There may be crummies on your kitchen counter, crusties on your kids, and crud in your bathtub. But is your house at peace? Consider that a job well done.

Share this post