I have a love-hate relationship with cleaning.
I actually do enjoy the process of cleaning (especially when ticked off or stressed) and the accomplishment of making something filthy, clean and sparkly. I love vacuum lines in my carpet and shiny wood floors.
When Swiffer started selling their Swiffer-Vac, I immediately purchased one and found great satisfaction from collecting dust and sucking up the dirt! Admission: I actually took the small machine along on a play date to demo for my friends and assured them they all needed one.
Cleaning became even more effective the day my husband agreed to an impromptu purchase of the Shark Steam Mop Pro. A steam mop that sanitizes tile, porcelain, and wood and heats up in 30 seconds? That’s a no brainer!
Thanks to Pinterest I have a “miracle cleaner” made of blue Dawn and hydrogen peroxide that takes the toughest stains out of anything. (You can find the recipe by clicking here.) And soaking your faucets and shower heads overnight in vinegar will remove all the hard- water build-up? Say what?
Now, about the hatred in my relationship with cleaning…
I hate that immediately after I make something clean and sparkly, someone else (namely one of my children or husband) comes along and makes it dirty and dingy again.
I hate that within minutes of putting vacuum lines in my carpet, you can’t see them because they are buried under a pile of Mr. Potato Head body parts and Legos. I hate that my shiny wood floors are instantaneously covered in spilled milk, smashed peas, and lost macaroni that first flew through the air and landed somewhere behind the buffet. I told my husband I was dreaming of a floor, built in layers. Imagine, trash the floor and at the end of the day just peel that layer off and start new in the morning. Genius, I know.
My miracle cleaner works great, but honestly sometimes I think I should just move into the laundry room because I spend most of the day there anyway. The faucets might be free of hard water, but every morning and night, the sinks are covered in Cinderella bubblegum flavored toothpaste. By the end of the week, the ring around the tub is so dark it matches the circles under my eyes.
Mom tells me that if she had it to do over, she would have spent less time fussing on an orderly house and more time focusing on her three children. I get this neurotic need for order, cleanliness, and perfection from her. It’s exhausting.
Daily, I make a conscious effort to implement my mom’s late-life wisdom. Some days I succeed. Other days I fail miserably. Ideally, I am a fun, engaging, playful mother who maintains a clean home.
Maybe I can find an investor, make millions on this peel-away floor idea, and hire a maid. A woman can dream right?
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs here on momaha.
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