This is what my house looked like the other day, after I’d organized
chaos all the toys and vacuumed:
The Life of a Neat Freak
That’s what I wish my house looked like all of the time. I am a neat freak mom. When I was growing up, my room was always spotless—a place for everything and everything in its place. In fact, when we built my desk, it was designed for specific books and writing supplies that I wanted neatly organized.
At every job I worked, I got comments about how clean my desk was. My office space was never cluttered with piles of paper like everyone else’s was. Maybe it was because I was just the lowly summer student or the newest editor on the team so I had spare time when the others were logging overtime hours, but it was more that I just don’t like clutter. I like neat spaces, and lots of space, so I kept my desk empty and organized, just as I kept my room and my truck.
That was five years and two kids ago. Now, my living room is more likely to look like this:
I could spend two hours trying to get Sunshine to clean up her toys (even going outside to play with her friends is seldom enough motivation to put all the dolls in the strollers), or I could do it myself in twenty minutes (give or take, by the time I put all the Little People in their house, return the magnets to the fridge, fold the blankets they were hiding under, stack the dollies in the stroller, return the blocks to the bag, pile the purses by the armchair, hide the small toys in the end of the couch, carry the broom back to the toy kitchen…).
And as soon as I’ve put anything away, Lily decides that’s exactly what she wants to play with.
Being a mom appears to mean living in a constant state of organized chaos. I’d love it if I could always see every inch of my living room floor, if the books were always stacked on the bookshelf, and if every toy had a perfect spot (and would magically retreat there when I waved a wand or said the right words). That isn’t reality, though.
If the toys are scattered all over the floor, then I know that the girls had fun together… that Sunshine built a block tower by herself (a recent accomplishment) or that they pretended they were mommies taking care of babies or that they went for quite a few walks (with frequent “bye byes”) with their purses, pretending to be just like me.
So while I could wish for a personal Mrs. Doubtfire, I try to look at the toys and remind myself that someday, I’ll miss this mess. Someday, I’ll have a perfect house once again; until then, I have two happy, amusing daughters who keep me on my toes and remind me that life is about more than a clean house.