Sometimes people think I have a perfect home, all the time. And while that would be fantastic, it’s not my reality. My family lives here. My husband and I have kids. We make messes – and we don’t always clean them up right away.
Organization is lovely. Having a clean, inviting home is wonderful. But sometimes embracing a little mess is good for the soul, too.
In fact, some days I don’t clean at all. Yesterday was one of those days. I worked while my daughters were in a class yesterday morning. Then we came home and had lunch together and I laid down for a bit while they played.
Then we attended a holiday dinner last night and instead of cleaning before we left, I primped. I styled my hair. I braided my girls’ hair. I took my time.
No rush. No stress. We had a lovely time at dinner and it was nice to feel unrushed and feminine for a change, instead of just thrown together. I was surprised at what curls and a few bobby pins did for my frame of mind.
When we got home, I told my husband, “I’m going to clean tomorrow. Today I needed to refresh.” He used to not believe me, because most of the time my intentions were good but my follow-through was poor.
This time, Nathan hugged me then played a round of Donkey Kong Country with our kids before heading to bed.
He knows. He knows the girls and I tidied our home two days ago. He knows that what’s messy to me today would have been a rare level of clean a few years ago. He understands that sometimes when I spend an hour or two taking care of myself instead of our home, it’s better for everyone.
He also knows that I will clean it up, and soon. He trusts me now. I’ve worked hard to earn that trust.
If your spouse doesn’t trust you to clean or to catch up, try not to feel discouraged or frustrated. See it as an opportunity to grow and to earn trust.
Many times there has to be a heart change before the difference is seen outwardly. I spent a solid six months working on my own heart and home before my husband noticed the outward difference.
Sometimes we need to put caring for ourselves over caring for our homes. But, many times, caring for our homes is one way to care for ourselves.
It takes time. There are setbacks. It’s okay. Just keep trying. Slow progress is still progress!
“As you declutter, keep this really important thing in mind: You are never behind in this challenge. Your house will only get clean if you work at it. And only you will know whether you legitimately don’t have time to clean some days or whether you’re just making excuses. But even if you slacked off last week and didn’t clean a thing, today is a fresh day and a new start. So is tomorrow. So just pick up where you left off and do your best.” – Davonne Parks, Chaos to Clutter-Free
I also absolutely love Myquillyn Smith’s article about being hospitable to ourselves.
What do you think a good balance is between self and home?