Sunday, November 1, 2009
cleaning when the kids are home is like shoveling when it's still snowing.
I am a bundle of nerves today. Cleaning the house with my entire family home is just not something I am handling very well. I know that it would probably be the best thing for all concerned if I just took a break from it and, after doing my daily maintenance stuff, just spent time with my family until tomorrow, when I'm alone and the kids are in school. But I just couldn't do that. The entire last month was a dearth of productivity around here, and now that I've got the time and my drive back, I feel an almost manic need to keep cleaning - keep cleaning - keep moving FORWARD, everything else be damned! I can't seem to stop but I'm certainly not blessing my family by screaming at them and I certainly don't feel very good, emotionally. I feel a bit like I'm jumping out of my skin today.
So I've been giving this some thought, because WHY would I feel that way if I'm moving forward and making progress? I think it's because I've hit a point where I see myself repeating old patterns and I am really fucking nervous that all of this progress is going to fall apart and I won't succeed at keeping the house clean YET AGAIN. I made it through all my morning tasks, and it was only for three rooms of the house but it felt like it took FOREVER, and I know I can't really use that as an accurate gauge because I was interrupted by kids and dogs and husband and fighting and general life chaos. This week I will have a much better chance to see how long my morning tasks will ACTUALLY take. But feeling like it was taking a huge chunk of my day to just do maintenance, and knowing that what I did today isn't even HALF the maintenance I'll need to do for the entire house, wasn't a reassuring way to start my day. Then, moving forward with the cleaning, it was nice to have my husband helping with some of the big tasks but then, of course, you find things that need doing that have been put off because of time, motivation, and because the house just hasn't been in shape to do anything about it. For instance: our upstairs bathroom faucet leaks every time we turn it on. Water seeps out from around it, and over time it's damaged our paint and it leaves it cruddy and corroded and it's just become gross. A definite problem that needs fixing. So OJ took advantage of the clean bathroom today and took himself off to the hardware store to get a new faucet. Then he came home and took the sink apart. So now there are tools and sink parts around the upstairs, and all the things that belong in the bathroom are in the dining room instead, and I KNOW, logically, this is for a good cause, but I feel like things are being derailed around me and it's really freaking me out. I hear this constant refrain of BACKSLIDING YOU'RE BACKSLIDING YOU'RE BACKSLIDING in my mind and I can barely stand it.
In the meantime, I'm working in the kids' room, and trying to declutter your children's bedroom (especially when they have as many toys as my kids do!) is always tough. What to keep, what to get rid of? And can you get rid of the stuff before the kids NOTICE? Doing it when the kids are home is especially tricky. I ended up throwing all their toys into boxes and moving those boxes into my room / the upstairs hallway so I can sort them one at a time. I've designated bins in their room for each 'type' of toy and I am doing my best to purge. The problem is, I'm already out of bins for the different categories of toy they have and I'm not sure how I'm going to solve that issue yet. I'm also out of time for sorting the rest of the stuff in the hallway because I'm going out tonight, so I have several boxes sitting in my once-clean hallway, freaking me out (BACKSLIDING BACKSLIDING BACKSLIDING!!). And I'm so nervous because I have done THIS EXACT process before, boxing things and going through them to purge and put away, shifting items from room to room; I have done this SO MANY TIMES in the past and it NEVER yields a clean house, so how can I expect it to now? I'm SO NERVOUS that I won't purge enough things to be able to keep this house in order, that I just won't be capable of purging ENOUGH, I won't be able to find places for everything I want to keep, I'm doomed to live forward surrounded by boxes and crawling over piles of THINGS. I feel like I'm stuck in that insanity loop again, doing the same things over and over, crawling out of my skin, CRAWLING OUT OF MY SKIN.
(Boy, I never expected this to turn into the CRAZY BLOG! Seriously, I just thought that I'd start this to help me talk about some of the dreams and goals I have, and talk about overcoming some of the things that I feel hold me back. I had no idea I had THIS MUCH of an issue with my stuff. My hope was that this blog would help other people who have the same troubles. Maybe it will. Right now it seems to have turned into something more like therapy for me though!)
The major difference here is that I am actually taking the things I'm purging straight out to my car, to donate to a charitable organization. I am NOT letting them pile up in my house, no way, no how, not this time. That is the one big difference here, the thing I've NEVER done before, and I am praying it is the thing that makes ALL the difference. I don't trust that process yet because I haven't ever done it before, but I really need it to work. If it doesn't, I don't know what else will.
In the meantime, I am going to do my best to try to deal with the horrible feelings I'm having about purging, and try to calm down about the fact that stuff is creeping out of the kids' room and the bathroom and into my other clean rooms, and trust that my husband will finish the job he's started and put everything back together, and trust that I will finish the kids' room tomorrow while they're in school and it will be much easier, and go out with my girlfriends and try to have a relaxing night of wHine therapy.