The absolute worst part of my messiness is its effect on my family. I know kids don’t care about things being perfect. I know that my kids are well-taken care of and healthy and loved-like-crazy.
But what if?
What if my kids had matching bedsheets on their beds?
What if they didn’t have to search through drawers, then the couch, then the dryer to find a clean pair of socks?
What if things didn’t start falling when they opened the craft closet?
What if toys with lots of little pieces weren’t considered “one time use” items that Mommy threw away after a week?
What if we could find things?
There are so many what ifs. So many.
I view my job as a mother as training them for life. And in many areas, I feel quite competent (most days). But I know that I’m passing down my clutter issues to them. What if I have a neat-freak whose natural organizational abilities may never be realized because of the futility in this home?
I have ruined more than one roomate. I saw it happen. They would start out saying that it was okay, they were neat enough for the two of us. But then they would give up. I did that to them.
This is hard to write, but in many ways I have ruined my husband. He was a bachelor for years before we married. Even though he was pretty typical for a guy, he kept things nice. Not pretty or perfect, but plenty nice enough for him to have someone over without completely freaking out.
He is wonderful. My husband does dishes. He’ll do a load of laundry. He keeps his sink way cleaner than I keep mine. But he’s a guy. He can’t compensate for my bad habits.
He loves it when the house is neater, but he’s never critical when it isn’t. I must say that he is the absolute best husband God could ever have provided for me.
In the past, when I have gone through a spurt of trying to keep things better, he’s seen me fail. Many times. So, he still hasn’t said much this time. But now I know he’s noticed.
Last night, he made his eggs (his nightly ritual to prepare for the morning) and then he immediately rinsed his skillet and put it in the dishwasher. The counter looked like he hadn’t cooked anything and I had to peek into the fridge to see if he had. This is huge. In other spurts of neatness, I have whined for him to PLEASE just put things straight into the dishwasher instead of in the sink. But he had developed the habit of throwing it in the sink because he never knew if the dishwasher was clean or dirty and there were so many dishes in the sink and on the counter that it was pointless to try to wash his one.
I’m hoping that the damage I’ve done over the last ten years is reversible. And I’m praying that I still have time to help my kids learn the things they need so they won’t have to suffer like I have.