It’s Because I Love You That I Clean

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.

10 Comments

  • Salem Bishop

    Love this! And getting them to help is a great solution too. Though I bet it’s near impossible to convince them when they’re whining when will you be done that you’ll be done faster if they help (and it might not be true depending on their level of “helpfulness”) 😝

    • kat

      So true! My kids are almost 2 and almost 5 so help is more of them making a bigger mess. Letting them help sweep and mop is worse than having teeth pulled. But one day they’ll figure it out, right?

  • mothertherealist

    Also, kids will retain the perspective they want to. My mom cleaned A LOT, but I never thought of her as always cleaning. I didn’t see our house as clean, even. Instead, I would go over to other people’s houses and wonder why theirs was dirty.

    Now that I am a mom, I definitely couldn’t keep it clean with an hour a day. We have about that or half that when everyone cleans in the evenings, plus Saturday jobs. I get laundry sorting, errands, yard work, and repairs and such done during the day.

    Hopefully mine are picking up good resistances with the floor food. 😀

    • kat

      Very true. My mom cleaned all the time, too, but I never really noticed because I had two younger siblings to boss around. I don’t know how she did it because, with one fewer kid and less square footage, I have a good system, but my home doesn’t look nearly as spotless as what I grew up in. I just hope my kids can understand why I cleaned, and maybe remind them that one day I won’t be picking up after them and they’ll have to motivate themselves to clean.

      I sure hope my daughter has good resistance. Just yesterday the cat scattered some litter and my daughter found a crumb among it and shoved her whole hand in her mouth before I could tell her not to.

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