Monday, December 01, 2008

Taking it to a New Level

It's interesting how our threshold for things changes with time and circumstances. There are things that I encounter nowadays as a mother that would have made me totally afraid, squeamish, shy, or nervous years ago. When the heat is on, somehow you find the strength.

My threshold for cleanliness has also adjusted over the years. I grew up in a household with an extremely neat and organized mother. I've mentioned before that the entire dusting-windex-declutter-etc. routine are typically finished before 6:30 a.m. for my mother. Vacuuming and mopping are daily routines. Dust is afraid to settle on the furniture; it knows that it doesn't stand a chance.

My cleaning personality is by far more relaxed, and yet, with time, I notice that things I hardly noticed before now demand my attention. A little dust and some clutter typically don't get to me. Real dirtiness does, and I never allowed it to get to that point. Plus, more kids simply means more Cheerios in the carpet, ickiness in the bathroom, etc. But it also means that there are a few extra hands to quickly pick up toys from the rug when the vacuum rolls out (2 or 3 times a week around here, not every day!)

A sink left with dishes overnight has never been something I can tolerate, but now I need to finish off by wiping up around and inside the sink. I'm semi-embarassed to admit that for the first 2 years or so that RaggedyDad and I were married, I never made the beds (!) unless company was coming. Now there are several beds to make, and it's one of those tasks that's always done by 8 a.m.

These things became important to me at some point, and I'm not sure why. I do like a neater home, and it's what I'm used to from my own childhood. But RaggedyDad is wary of attempts to get closer to the "obsessive cleaning" mode I grew up with. Not to worry, RD. Our place still has a VERY lived-in feel. Nobody's thinking they stepped into a museum here, unless they were looking for a children's museum-anthropology of the family museum-hybrid.

I do think that my kids will enjoy growing up in a home where they feel a collective responsibility with regards to cleaning up, and also feel calmer knowing that things are being taken care of and not left to hefker-status. That orderliness comes from a neat, clean home, good meals, a gentle routine, security, and love.

Now, excuse me, I see some stubborn fingerprints on a cabinet door.


Ezzie said...

As you... might! have noticed, we're not sticklers here for being neat. (Though anything dirty/gross really gets to me, and Serach will spray bleach anytime she thinks something hit the floor.)

But part of that comes from hating to do partial jobs. If I'm going to clean, I'm going to CLEAN. About every 6 months to a year I'll rearrange and clean out huge chunks of if not the entire apartment.

Anyway, the point was that if you're bored, you're more than welcome to come here and clean things. :P

pobody's nerfect. said...

i beg to differ, fleezer boy.

that george foreman has been DIRTY and GROSS for years now with no hope in sight.

Erachet said...

and Serach will spray bleach anytime she thinks something hit the floor

Is that like..."put some Windex?" (My Big Fat Greek Wedding)

Ezzie said...

Foremans are SUPPOSED to be dirty. It adds flavor. :)

RaggedyMom said...

Ezzie - Big-time cleanup jobs can be kind of fun - but they depend on being in the mood to go through all that stuff, or just sick enough of clutter! I also feel like my super-big-cleaning internal clock chimes about twice a year. The challenge is always the upkeep in between!

PN - You'll see - it doesn't take long for stuff to sort of accumulate. But hopefully not on the cooking implements!

Erachet - My mom is sort of like that about Windex! Which is why my parents laugh for about 10 minutes any time someone mentions MBFGW!

Ezzie - A pre-seasoned Foreman? Hmmm, not so much. What about those scraper things it comes with? And then wet paper towels.

Jack said...

The influence of children on us is quite strong. There are things that I do now strictly for the kids because I want them to grow up in a certain way.