Before Annie arrived 3 years ago, I would spend a lot of my day, every day, cleaning. My mom used to tell me that I cleaned my toilets too often. People would say “When you have children, that will all change.” I just grinned and thought in my mind “Heck no…I like having a tidy bowl.” What did those people know anyway?
Now that Annie is 3 and Andy is here, and I look back at the past three years I realize that I’ve been in maintenance mode. I never really dusted, but now I dust a LOT less…like maybe a few times a year if we’re lucky. I don’t clean my ceiling fans like the normal person. My method is now: Make sure we don’t live in a dump hole. That about sums it up. Here’s my list:
- Get food on the table
- Keep the people clean
- Wash clothes
- Clean when you have a minute or two here and there…
I’ve come to realize there are a lot of strategies that we as moms use…but we’re afraid to talk about them. It’s like we can’t share with another mom that we don’t really clean in our corners. We live in the dirty closet…well, I’m coming out! Today I’m exposing those dirty little tricks that we busy moms of newborns and toddlers use – don’t be afraid any longer. Now you have a support group.
Maintenance Cleaners Anonymous – Sign up today!
1. We sweep it under the rug. Oh come on. Don’t tell me you haven’t done this. Company is coming over in 5 minutes. The floor looks like the house threw up on it. You put things away but don’t really have time to sweep thoroughly. Brush the big pieces of dust up under the rug. You’ll come back later and fix it. Maybe a few years later, but you ARE coming back to fix it.
2. Cover it up with a rug. Oh my lanta…what IS that in the floor? Did Annie color a mural in the middle of the living room?! What on earth did Dottie drag in…did it rain today? Please tell me that’s only dirt. Voila! Pull that extra rug out of the closet and slap it on top. I promise your pastor will never know he’s standing on top of something the cat drug in. You’ll come back and fix it later….
3. Corners are dirty with cobwebs and dust bunnies…just slide the chair over. Okay, so maybe it’s been a few
months weeks since you got around to sweeping the living room…but when company comes, they usually visit in there. Just scoot the chair over and cover up those bunnies. Make sure to dim the lights. Set the mood. You’ll come back and fix it later….
4. Shove it all in the dishwasher. Ring, ring! “Hey good buddy, I’m coming over to visit – I’m in your driveway.” AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! There is about 2 days worth of dishes on the counter and some of them look a little like they’re forming fossils. Just shove all those pesky dishes in the dishwasher. That’s what’s it for anyway, right? It doesn’t even have to look pretty because you get to shut the door. You can add some detergent later and wash them. Hope you didn’t put your pretty salt and pepper shakers in there – they’re not dishwasher safe. You’ll come back and wash them later….
5. Shove it in the closet. People, closets have doors for a reason – so you can cover them up. Do you really expect people to come over and start pilfering through your closets? And if you do, then maybe you should tell these people you’re not at home – if they start knocking, HIDE in the closet. Don’t sneeze.
6. Pull the shades. I will admit cleaning windows is not my strong suit. Barry is much better than me. I leave streaks…so even when I HAVE cleaned my windows, it looks like I haven’t. Plus, Annie and Dottie like to leave their mark on any window that’s in touching radius. There might be smears of peanut butter all over mine – or milk splatters. It says from the road “HEY! A kid lives here!” If your windows look like that, just pull the shades and turn on the lamps. It sets the mood. No one can tell they are dirty if they’re covered up. You’ll come back and clean them later….
Unfortunately “later” eventually arrives. It does become time to clean those windows and dishes. *Sigh* When it’s that time for me, I whip up some all purpose cleaner and set to work. It’s quick and easy to make my own cleaners…it means I don’t have to leave the house if I need something that I’m out of, like Windex. It also means that I don’t have to read the warning label and see this: Warning – known to cause sleeplessness, dehydration, mental lapses, birth defects, gambling problems, and crazy driving.
For me, as usual, I’ll just keep it simple with my cleaning.