No one wants to live in an overwhelmingly messy house. For me, it’s stressful if the house is a mess. It’s also stressful to always be nagging my daughter about picking up after herself. I did feel it was my job to teach her to clean up after herself, I just never enjoyed that particular battle.
When Hailey was small I had to accept that my house was going to have that lived in look. There are just not enough hours in the day to do everything. One lesson I learned early in my single parenthood was to pick my battles. It’s more important that the kids don’t run into the street than that they always hang their coats up. Having an immaculate home just wasn’t that important, there were bigger things to teach.
Sometimes I had to chose between mopping the floor and baking cupcakes with my girl. The laundry wasn’t always done, dust became our friend and some toys just lived in the living room. I make my bed every day now, but for years no one’s bed was ever made. I didn’t need one more thing to obsess over in a morning that was already hectic and stressed.
As single mothers we try to hard to be all things to all people. We don’t want people to judge us and find us wanting so we try to do it all. Eventually, something has to give.
If you have small kids, let the house slide. I’m not saying you have to live in a pigsty but really, dusting is overrated anyway. There are more important things to do with your time. Unless your house is incredibly dirty the kids won’t remember, but they will remember the times you colored with them, or played freeze tag, or laid on a blanket and found animal shapes in the clouds.
There will be plenty of time to clean when the kids are teenagers and don’t want to hang out with you anyway.