The joy of a clean house and why we need a second wife

January 9, 2010

    Sam just took Bella to the park and to the local coffee shop to give me a break for a while. My husband rocks. 🙂 In the meantime, I plan on cleaning my house like a madwoman. Here’s the thing – everyone likes a clean home. I’ve yet to meet a mom who says, “You know, I enjoy a mess. Dirty dishes, a filthy floor, piles of laundry – it just really makes my day.” So of course we all like things clean.

    I, however, am borderline OCD about my house being clean. And not really clean as in “you could eat off her floor” – more like uncluttered. Almost nothing gives me more joy than to fill 2-3 enormous bags full of crap we no longer use/need/look at and haul it to the consignment store. It’s almost a high.

    When Bella was born, she slept a lot the first 2 weeks. Naturally I tricked myself into believing this was simply how all babies were until about 6 months old. LOL. So while I should have been sleeping and recovering, I went around the house as she slept and cleaned and picked up and organized. I couldn’t bear the thought of waking up in a messy home, everything had to be put in it’s place and all baby things had to be stored in her room. Poor Sam, who was also home for 2 weeks, almost went insane. He cooked, I went behind him and cleaned. He took a nap, I cleaned. He went out, I stayed in and cleaned. Guests came, I cleaned.

    After 2 weeks of this, I was exhausted. I finally realized I had to let some things go for a while in order to relax and enjoy my baby. I think part of it was that I was SO overwhelmed by this little being that needed me, I turned to something I could control (a clean house) in order to feel like I could still manage. But in letting some things go, I found myself obsessing over them as I tried to relax, and I really and truly feel unhappy when things are a mess.

    However, once I found a bit of a routine with her, I started in again. Sam’s back at work, she (for the most part) takes a long afternoon nap, and during that time I clean, cook, do laundry, and organize things. I have to admit that I enjoy taking care of my home. I love to go on an errand and walk in the door to a house that is kept up. I clean before we go on trips just so we can come home and not have to wonder, “What on earth is that smell?” 

    So I’m off to tidy things up before they get home. My husband hasn’t quite achieved my level of cleaning craziness and so while he’s gone I try to put everything away that he could make a mess with. Sometimes when he jokingly suggests a second wife, I think to myself, “A partner in cleaning, someone who could understand why the socks on the floor make me insane. It might work…” Until then, I remind myself to keep my mouth shut as he tries his very best to help out.


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