Dirty dishes, happy kids
My parents' house is always clean. My brother's house is always clean. My house is always dirty.
The expression "messy floors, dirty dishes, happy kids" is comforting to me. I have seen it on signs and cards. It resonates, although sometimes I wonder why the house has to be so messy for the children to be so happy. And there is a point where the house becomes so messy that the children are not happy. There must be a balance to this that I have not reached.
I try to incent the children to clean up after themselves. I try to incent their dad to do the same. Inevitably I try to clean up the mess that is my kitchen after the children are in bed or before the children get up. I like it when the kitchen is tidy but some days I prefer sleep more.
My parents have installed hooks and cubbies in our house which has improved the situation. I pay for a cleaning lady to come in once a week and cannot tell you how much I enjoy coming into the house after she has been there for the day, if only to savour for a brief period of time the tidiness and cleanliness she has achieved. It lasts but a moment.
As I try to find a balance between a perfectly clean house and a pig sty, I will continue to rationalize that my messy house and dirty dishes is resulting in more time spent with the children and thus them being happier. Dirty dishes, happy kids...?