Which means almost every single day for the past four and a half years, I've looked around my house and silently WTF-ed.
Does it shock you? Disgust you? Make you wonder what the hell I do all day? (That'd be a "yes" for me.) Maybe you just feel relief that you're not the only one who can't see your floor. (I see you and send you a virtual hug, fellow parent.)
This is life. Every single day. MESS. For me, it's one of the hardest parts of parenting (the other three, in case you're wondering, are not knowing what the hell I'm doing, not being able to protect my kids from pain, and Legos. MOTHER FURCKING LEGOS.) I pick up twice a day, deep clean at least once a week, and "mini-clean" every two or three days. If anything, I clean too much when I should be spending time with my kids and family or doing something I enjoy ... or bathing. #guilt
But no matter what I do (or don't do), IT DOESN'T EVEN MATTER. In the space of an hour dirt, germs, Hot Wheels, Barbie shoes, half eaten bagels, paper giblets, crayons, discarded clothing, mother furcking Legos, puzzle pieces, odd gooey blobs and various suspicious brown stains magically appear. All. Over. The. House.
Because kids? FREAKING MESSY.
Are there ways to deal with it? Sure. And they mostly suck.
For instance, I could police my kids every second and scream PUT IT AWAY a thousand times ... and completely stifle their imagination. (Done this.)
I could follow them around picking up their messes like a fucking cleaning fairy and make them think fucking cleaning fairies do indeed exist. (Also done this.)
I could plant their butts in front of the TV for ten hours at a time. (Maybe not a full ten hours, but this has happened, too.)
I could get overwhelmed, sink into my depression cloud and live in utter filth. (One of my favorite non-coping mechanisms.)
Or I could find a balance. Of course that would require figuring out how to temper my own virulent reaction to messes and what other people think of those messes.
I could not base my sense of self worth on the relative sparkliness of my windows ... because seriously, how sad is that?
I could accept that my carpet is stained and my walls are dirty and my heart is full and my hands are busy doing the important work of raising good people.
I can and will keep doing everything humanly possible to keep us afloat in a sea of Fisher Price crap, but it's going to be messy again in approximately two minutes.
So, if you happen to come over and you can't see the floor (because that would mean I duct taped the children to the wall and that's like, illegal or something), don't be scared! Grab a cup of coffee (and maybe a shovel) and join in the joyful chaos of our lives.
(And please pry the Windex bottle from my cold clean freak fingers.)