The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


A Mama's Voice Says "Clean": Her Other Voice Says, "Ah, No."

Lately I am noticing a sharp decline in the quality of my evening house clean-up. I’m slipping.

My mental and emotional state is intimately linked to my environment. The amount of mess, number of items stacked in little piles, the general stickiness rating of most toddler-height surfaces, increases my agitation as they increase throughout the day or week.

A bottle of 409, a paring knife and a Magic Eraser duly applied after the family is asleep has often returned me to homeostasis and feelings of peace before I move onto writing, reading, consuming celebrity gossip, or e-mailing my friends.

I accepted somewhere in my third year of marriage that my lovable, dependable husband’s tragic flaw, being a premier level slob, was probably never going to change. The house would be as clean as I care to keep it. I was free to choose whether to work with that or make myself miserable. I chose shalom in the home for all our sakes.

And I was successful. . . as long as we only had one child.

Then came my second daughter. As the workload increased, my motivation has slowed. Increasingly, over the past months, I fall onto the couch with a novel, or e-mail my friends and discuss adult and big questions. Often, the dishwasher isn’t running, clothes and food is strewn about, and I go to bed without cleaning any of it.

Frankly, my house is sometimes pretty grubby when I wake up.

I am starting to hear from my own imperfect voice in this matter. I want that “room of one’s own” after the family circus of the day, where I can be alone with my yet unthought ideas and scrambled feelings.

I need more interior room and have started to buy it with the price of organization and cleanliness. My voice is lurching out, messy and unfocused, but worth it. My imaginary weaving together of a tidy, inviting home and a growing space in my own mind is slipping away. My resolve to beat back the forces of entropy is failing, but feels shameful rather than freeing.

Messy, this sorting out a mother’s priorities, hoping to be able to do more than is possible.

By Avvy Mar

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Hear! Hear! I completely relate. But the messiness in mind and in the house is worth it because it's all good stuff. Nice job. Laura-Lynne
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