I think it’s common knowledge that moms often feel guilty they’re not spending every waking moment caring for their kids. Many even pass on cleaning because it takes time away from the kids. My own mom has said she wishes she had spent more time playing with us instead of cleaning.
Clean or play with the kids?
Well, one solution is getting the kids to help or baby wearing. But what if they not amenable to that? Well, I guess cleaning can wait.
Except sometimes it can’t. At least, for me.
I don’t sacrifice my time with my kids just so I can clean. I don’t spend more than an hour cleaning a day. Not everything gets clean every day, but everything gets clean each week.
Sometimes my kids help. Sometimes they entertain themselves. Sometimes they just whine and ask when I’ll be done.
It used to make me sad, and remember my mom’s words.
But then I started thinking about it differently. Was I cleaning for my own satisfaction or to keep them healthy? It’s definitely the latter.
I clean the kitchen so I have a clean, mostly sanitary place to prepare food for them, food that’s properly cleaned and cooked and won’t make them sick. I ensure the counter is clean so they have a clean space to sit when we bake.
I clean the floors so outside dirt, grime, and nasty germs don’t make their way around our home, just waiting to infect my darlings. I also feel a little better when my daughter picks a crumb from the floor and shoves it in her mouth before I can say no.
I clean the bathrooms so they have a clean place to go poopy and wash their hands, so they don’t have to try to get clean where mold would get them sick.
I wash the towels, sheets, and clothes so they have clean things to use and wear, so they can be wrapped in pleasant smells.
I tidy their toys so they can better find what they’re looking for and so they have space to play and fight over toys.
I clean because I love my kids. I want to keep them safe and healthy in their own home. I won’t sacrifice whole days just so I can clean, but I will also not jeopardize their health.
So, kids, when you’re older and reading this and wondering why mommy was always cleaning, it’s because I love you.