We’re having an utterly crazy weekend, and as a result my house is suffering. I almost dread coming home from all the activities we have planned, because I know I am walking into a tremendous wreck of a house, and I don’t really feel like tackling it. It is big, it is ostentatious, it is overwhelming. And frankly, I’m sore from snow shoveling, so I feel a little entitled to some rest. But, I also feel entitled to a clean house.
So how do I motivate myself? I am resisting the urge to call my mother and ask for her help. If there is anything I’ve learned this maternity leave, its that I CAN do it by myself, and I DON’T need someone else to step in when it comes to my housecleaning. I used to think for some odd reason, that if I could get from rough patch to rough patch in the housecleaning battle, those times when I feel completely overwhelmed by the ever growing mess, and I could JUST get SOMEBODY to help me! I could do it! But this is not the case. I can do it! I can keep my house clean no matter how overwhelming or never ending it seems. And it does seem never ending! I clean, and minutes later, my house is covered in barbies, trucks, trains, and plastic food. Laundry piles grow, dishes breed, and my house is a mess again!
I just need to take this like anything else that takes perseverance. One step, one task, one day at a time. Commit, clean, repeat. Commit, clean, repeat. There are so many things in our lives that are overwhelming, never ending, constant drains on our energy, emotion, and ability. It takes the will to keep trudging on. Nobody said doing our duty is rewarding, fun, easy, comfortable. It is there, it needs to be done, and its NOT going away! As a parent, is it not my responsibility to model this for my children? It never hurt anybody to keep up with the housework, no matter how much drudgery it is. It HAS hurt people to neglect it. If there is anything I’d like to teach my children, it is that hard work, perseverance, and reliability is its own reward, no matter what others tell us. I’ve never been glad I let my housework go, but I’ve always been glad I accomplished something that made my life a little brighter, a little better, a little cleaner.
As with anything like this, I hate the difficulty in cleaning, the hard work it takes, the exhaustion that follows, but I love looking around at the clean smelling home, the bright beauty of clean. How many times do we try to avoid doing the right thing? Its hard to follow the rules, obey God’s laws, think of others first, maintain a code of behavior that values others, do the things we hate to do to be what we know is right. It was hard to be a mother so young, but if I’ve learned anything about life, and what God has planned for me, its that obedience is its own blessing. When I do what he has planned for me, follow his laws, no matter how hard, and I look around at the clean sparkling life that ensues, it is worth it. I could have followed my heart, taken the easy way out, let somebody clean up my teenage motherhood, but I didn’t. I am so so glad that I didn’t. For all the hard work, it is worth it to hug my beautiful children daily, enjoy their bright clean smiles, and love with all my heart. Hard work is just that, hard. But it ends up in achievement that is all the sweeter for all the blood sweat and tears that built it.