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.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Why I Don't Clean

There is something I do not understand, but have long admired – neatness.

When I go to someone’s home and nothing is out of place, I become a bit uneasy. It’s admirable and efficient.

Still, I don’t get it.

I simply can’t understand when a friend tells me she has spent three hours cleaning her house. I go there and it is spotless. There is no exaggeration. She really did clean for that length of time.

Then the kids come home, play and within minutes – there’s a mess that will take hours to clean.

Which she does again and again and again.

I just can’t imagine putting the time in to do that because it’s just not that important to me, though I understand its importance to her.

I consider myself fortunate because we do have someone who comes twice a month to clean. And it’s a good thing. While I’m big on dusting the kitchen and bathrooms, and always make the kids’ and my beds daily -- that’s about the extent of cleaning and keeping my home neat.

Good friends know me and don’t judge my lack of talent in these areas. But you just don’t know how others think so I usually shove things in bags before my daughter, Mimi, has a play date. Especially when I know the child’s parent will be picking her up.

I love it when a new mother says, “Your house is just immaculate.”

“Oh, no,” I’ll protest with a wave of my hand and a look of feigned embarrassment on my face (feigned because I know that I am such a liar).

I don’t care about my son’s friends. For them, untidiness rules. He’s a teenager and his friends usually run to the corner and yell out, “Guitar! Cool!” Then they walk over to the refrigerator. Things generally become quite messy from there.

Less you think I am totally talentless in the cleaning department I want to share that I do sweep the upstairs floors because there is something meditative about it. But I ONLY do this when my husband is around so he can see how hard I am working. I sometimes even dramatically wipe my brow, stop and sigh.

Shameless, I know.

Pointless, too, since I don’t think he even notices. What I observe is that he’s usually laser focused on finding food so he can have something to eat while he watches sports downstairs.

My guess is that my cleaning aversion is due to how I was raised. My home was immaculate. My mother spent hours cleaning. Baseboards were of utmost importance to her.

“Dust!” she would yell and quickly wipe it away with a disinfected cloth, as if she were saving us from spore-laden disease.

Every Saturday she would make her four children wake up early and stand in line as she handed out cleaning sprays, vacuums, cloths, and brooms.

Saturdays were meant for sleeping in, we would protest. No, my mother would insist. Saturday mornings were made for cleaning.

My daughter believes Saturday mornings, say six-thirty to seven, are when you are supposed to get Mommy up.

Better to awaken to love than to Lysol.

By Dawn Yun

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I enjoyed reading your post...
I liked the final line the best.

I totally agree!!
So true! I only clean for company-so when my husband suggests having friends over I know he means it's time to clean.
I am so there. I wait until the piles start to fall over before attempting to tackle them. I keep thinking, all I need to do is do 20 minutes a day, but when those 20 minutes are at the end of a long day, all I want to do is sit.

Thanks for the post, I liked it a lot!
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