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THE NEVER ENDING CLEANING STORY - Melissa Swart
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THE NEVER ENDING CLEANING STORY

I don’t have a nanny or a full time domestic, so most of the house work and everything else falls in my lap. Sometimes I look at the house and the state it is in and think “oh well, guess we’ll have to move now, cause I ain’t cleaning this”. BUT I have a mild case of ocd (not joking) so the crazy comes out if the house is chaos. It seems as though my internal can’t relax if my external looks like tornado with sticky hands just wrecked a path through the house. I’ve tried to just ‘let it be’, but I become so agitated that I feel my patience fade. So I have learned to manage the house chores in a way that works for me. I know there are so many moms that have perfected the art of ‘just letting it go’ and to a certain extent I admire them. I often wonder if these moms are less stressed than I am, because, let me not kid myself, it is stressful to be the way I am.
There was one point where I was so busy cleaning, doing dishes and washing that i realized I’m missing moments with the kids.
There was one point where I was so busy cleaning, doing dishes and doing washing that i realized I’m missing out on special moments with the kids. It was all about finding the balance. I wanted to have a measure of order in the house, spend time with the kids, allow them to be kids, teach them to be good stewards and not lose my mind. At first it seemed like a tall order, but I soon realized it wasn’t that hard, I just needed to put certain things in place to help me manage.

Firstly , I started teaching my eldest to clean up before nap time or bath time, so we made up a song and she now packs away her toys when she is done. Don’t get me wrong she often gives me a very determined ‘NO!’ and those days are no walk in the park (I’m talking tears, war of wills, stomping of feet, counting to 10… a glorious s**t show) but sticking to the principle instilled, in her, a sense of responsibility. I am no longer packing things away after every round of lets-see-how-many-toys-we-can-play-with-at-once.

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Secondly, I started doing a load of washing every night. Now this seems insane, but doing each days’ washing at the end of said day, made it less of a major chore and more just part of the evening routine. Who knew 2 extra tiny humans made this much washing, like seriously, HAVE YOU EVER! Doing it this way was the only way I wouldn’t suffer ‘death by drowning in pukey babygrows and cheesy smelling socks’. I draw a bath for the kids and put in a load and by the time they go to bed I take it out and hang it up. BOOM, done! Hanging most of the washing on hangers means the ironing isn’t that much either.

Thirdly, a little here and there means there won’t be a lot later. I do dished as I go, that way I don’t get overwhelmed when I have two full basins at the end of a day. It’s obviously not always do-able, but I try and the rest of the fandamily helps. Small things like the hubby putting water in his porridge bowl when he’s done, means I can just rinse it later.

Now I’m not saying these will work for others, because not everyone lives with my level of crazy, but I’m grateful that I have found and settled in my rhythm. I want a home that is a safe space, a home that is a joy to live in, a home that is a place where one can breath and most of all I want my kids to grow up with a sense of pride for their environment. I want them to see, first hand, what it is to be a good steward and to take care of the things that you have, no matter how little it is. I hope that through the tantrums that often unfold,  because they don’t want to clean, they will grow an appreciation for the principles they’ve learned.
There will always be something to clean, pack away, or wash, that’s simply how it is in this season of my life, but I am trying not to make a big deal about it anymore.

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