Wow, I just fully understood the title for the Kardashians' show... ew.
ANYway, today has been one of those days. I realized while getting ready quickly (Ben asleep in swing for 15 minutes!) that I didn't fully rinse out my conditioner and my hair looks greasy. I discovered flecks of baby poop all over the wipe warmer (and finally cleaned them off), the cat pooped downstairs in a corner. The fan is in the way of me quickly putting away TV trays and I keep forgetting to recycle the coke can that I just rediscovered sitting on a side table as I write this. I did the dishes and wiped down some of the kitchen, but the house still looks like a wreck for some reason. I finally cleaned the toilet in the downstairs bathroom (just squirted some cleaner around the bowl and came back later to flush it down- I almost did it with a baby on one arm, but thought better of it with all the bleachy fumes.) But forget enjoying that effect, as there is a dirty diaper cover sitting on the counter waiting to be washed. Lovely.
I am musing over all of this because I might have some girlfriends come over. Fellow mommies, thank God, who will totally understand my situation, but they both have beautiful homes, that are always clean when I visit them. I love home decorating and design, and I love seeing what other people do with their furniture and spaces. That being said, I don't spend a lot of money or take really any time to sit down and decorate my house. It drives my BF Kelly crazy, as she knows I have had the time in the past, and her home is spectacular. She really enjoys actually doing it- the construction, the painting, the detailing. I just like to buy things, pick out colors and pay other people to do the rest. Which of course costs more. And I am privy to her price tag for that kind of gorgeous shiny perfection and I definitely cannot afford it. I limit my creativity (for now) to scrapbooking. I buy a piece of furniture every couple of years. Finally all my wood furniture is the same color! (after 5 years). I plan on keeping our couches for much longer than they will be pretty for. I like my stuff, and I am happy in my home. But it would incredible if I could sit down and pay the money to design and execute a room from start to finish. And that would be a blast! (If I could pay someone to do the painting and hauling).
I was trying to remind myself of what my reasons are for having a mediocre decorating scheme. And not cleaning more. What is important to me? Why don't I invest the time and money? Well I don't invest the time and money because I don't want to yell at my kids (and especially not someone else's kids) when they inevitably spill red juice on it. I don't want to cringe and hear the cha-ching sound echo in my head when the cats scratch it. When it gets flecks of baby poop on it and the paint comes off when I clean it. In other words, we are entering into a break everything, spill everything, stand on everything phase of life and I think its worth it to slow my roll when it comes to bringing nice stuff into the house. Now, that being said, Kelly and my other friends do a great job of making their houses durable, comfortable and inviting. But I would rather spend the money on the extras when the kids hit high school. I want to do it in a house more permanent, where I know we will be for a good decade plus. I want to get deep in it, and enjoy it. Set aside money and make it really what I want, and enjoy it for years and years.
What is important to me? Well, I've decided that more than I want to be a stylish family, more than I want to be a family with a clean, shiny and organized house... I want to be the kind of family that has fun. I want to take that time and play. I want to go places, take pictures, make memories. I want to laugh it off when stuff breaks, use our flatware as toys, turn our living room into a fort and eat pickles and chicken nuggets when I forget to go grocery shopping. I want to become a good cook! Not a fancy cook, but make healthy, basic meals that taste good, and make them over and over again. I want to have all my time to focus on holidays, birthdays, homework, back to school night and playdates. I want to have enough energy to say "yes" when my kids ask me to drive them to a friend's house, or take them to the local pool. I want to stop and hear my kids, instead of being stressed out about completing my to-do list and trying to give them just a quick fix. Maybe someday I will be skilled at doing all these things and keeping the house clean and beautiful, but I want these things to come first. I want to be it all, have it all, do it all. Isn't that what we are told is possible? What we are told we "should" be doing? I can't clean my house, spend time with my family and be cooking an elaborate meal all at the same time. I have to remind myself often that what I label a "good use" of my time is my decision, and only mine. If it starts to be about what I think other people might think, I will become only a stress case, and not good at anything that I want to do.
This is me reminding myself. I hope you all are taking time to play, too!