I’m counting on you here, ladies. I’m hoping to not air my dirty laundry all over the interwebs and stand here alone in shame. No really…there’s a picture of my actual dirty laundry here. Scroll down. (sorry husband!)
And if you come in close, I’ll whisper the truth to you: I am not nearly as organized as I want everyone to think I am.
Most of the time? My kitchen counter looks like THIS:
When we moved in, I called that space The Command Centre. There’s even a binder there on who’s spine I have emblazoned the words: Higgison Command Central……..2011. Fail. Complete and utter failure. The only thing that space on the counter commands is a full-out anxiety attack and the beginning of many a disagreement between husband and wife on who is to blame for the most junk left there. We both agree it’s the kids. Hah.
I have high hopes. I want to come home from work and hang my purse neatly on a designated oil-rubbed-bronze hook, drop my keys into a crystal bowl and drape my scarf over the banister. Flip through my bills and place them neatly in a leather mail organizer alongside some pens, a new Sharpie and some paperclips. I want the girls to have their school agendas and permission slips tucked neatly into a folder corresponding to their name. I want to have my coupons always clipped with scissors, our pay stubs chronologically filed and our to-do folder blissfully empty by week’s end.
None of this happens.
Because life happens.
When we get home from work, there are at least 16 other things I’d rather be doing than organizing a counter top. It would be so much easier to keep on top of initialing Bella’s agenda if we could find it under the stacks of Annika’s artwork and last month’s Hockey News. I cringe when I sit down to write and happen to glance over and see the pile that still lives there when I should have cleaned it hours ago. And it’s much easier to keep up with laundry when we actually put it away. (Yes, Ryan! I’m painfully aware that this is my own shortcoming and not yours. All hail Laundry Dad and his folding prowess. All hail.)
But this is all so much…work. And I’ll admit, sometimes the last thing I want to do after a day of work is more work. So I let it slide. I’ll put the leftover dinner in a container in the fridge, and leave the pan in the sink “to soak” overnight. I will throw discarded toys into the bin in the living room, and sigh while I close the door to the messy playroom. It’s a give and take. We ask the girls to please clean up their art supplies from the kitchen table before we eat dinner, and I want them to see me doing the same. Cleaning up, tidying, putting away the day. Because it’s frustrating to see all the stuff from yesterday when I wake up in the morning. I makes me anxious and makes it hard for my mind to calm down.
I’ve tried a system, I’ve tried the calendar, I’ve tried the charts, I’ve tried pure iron will…nothing seems to give me the push to do that one extra thing.
And to be honest? Completely honest? I don’t care that much. I’d love for it to be done. It would make me feel so much better to have a clean counter every morning. But on a day-to-day basis, I’d rather expend my extra energy painting Annika’s nails or running around the staircase with Mae. It’s important to me to have a clean house. It does wonders for my mood when it’s tidy. But tidy is really the best it can be with three kids and a two-parent-working household. Because we live here. We really live here. So while I may get bug-eyed and temporarily furious at that stack of manila papers beside the sink? Annika painted those and is so proud of them that I can’t bare to put them away and I have no more space on my fridge to hang them. And I know my bathroom counter is so small that everything should be tidied and placed neatly away, but I’m just gonna use that dang straightening iron again tomorrow, so why even bother?
Trust me, I’m miles away from an episode of Hoarders. But some of our more tidy types are probably a little astonished right now. Go sit beside my slightly-OCD husband and wait your turn with the dust mop. I’m gonna go play with my kids.