Friday, February 15, 2008

Joy in Cleaning

When I was growing up, my mom had a little saying: "There are no magic genies in this house." I used to hate it when she said that because it usually meant that there was something I needed to clean up.

I have grown to appreciate that phrase for several reasons:

1. My mom's house was always beautifully cleaned and organized. When we went to bed, she stayed up finishing the last of the laundry, putting the cleaned dishes away from the dishwasher, and doing many other tasks which allowed us all to wake up to a clean and peaceful home. I now think she was really reminding us of something that we all took for granted. There were no genies, elves, or other kinds of magical creatures that took care of everything. She really did it all...she was the one who stayed up late to make sure our clothes were clean, folded and waiting in our baskets, she was the one who wiped out the kitchen sink, dusted the furniture, and so on...we lived in a clean home because she did.

2. As I have embarked on the wonderful world of motherhood, I have often felt that all I do is pick things up. I very rarely feel that I have the time to really get things as clean as I would like because I spend so much time just picking things up and putting them away. Much of my time during the day (other than times I decide to let it all just sit while I blog) is spent tidying. I have often wished for a magic genie to do the picking up, so I could finally get to the cleaning.

3. In a world where very few people know what the word "clean" really mom did and she taught me what I needed to do to make that happen. When we moved into this house (a rental), I was shocked and disgusted (literally ill) at how awfully dirty everything was. It took days and days of work just to get to the point where we felt we could even start putting things away. Our landlords are good people, they are honest and fair, but they don't know what the word clean means...and I have learned, neither do very many others. It's too bad magic genies don't exist to help those who are cleanliness-challenged.

So today, when my house isn't really as clean as I'd like I'm reminded of my mom's phrase and I think...I need to get back to work!


Chelan said...

I COMPLETELY relate! Our place gets dirtier and dirtier but I'm still in the "picking up" and "finding a place for everything" phase!

Gretchen said...

When I get discouraged about cleaning, I think of Sister Beck's last conference talk about mothers. I LOVE how she relates homemaking to nurturing our children. It makes it so much more rewarding for me!

molly said...

Did your mom have any other interests and strengths beside cleaning? One woman can not do it all. "My house is clean enough to be healthy in, dirty enough to be happy in." :)

molly said...

Thank you for visiting my place!