Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The neverending journey

I need to learn to lower my expectations. I already know that I should lower my expectations, I just don't actually know how to do it. And it is slowly making me crazy.

I'd like my home to look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens. I mean, stylistically, of course, but that's out of my reach. What feels within my reach, though, is a house with a place for everything and everything in it's place. I've aced the 'place for everything' due to a generously sized house with lots of storage space. Everything HAS a place. The problem is that no one but me puts anything in those places.


The kids are just kids. Why spend time cleaning up when time could be spent playing? Or reading? Or aggravating your mother? Or eating for the fiftieth time today? And for that matter, why not combine some of these things? Eating and playing! Reading and aggravating your mother! So they make messes round the clock. And then when I tell them to clean up, they spend their time playing or reading instead. My older son even gives up on everything and just takes a nap. You know he doesn't want to do it when he chooses to sleep instead. He never chooses sleep.


And my husband.... Oh, my husband. He just doesn't care. Messes, dirt, none of it bothers him. I get twitchy in a cluttered room. He just moves clutter aside and makes a spot to sit and considers it good enough. We've been married a while now, and I have long since given up on asking him to do things my way. Why put socks in the laundry basket when there's a perfectly good floor right in front of it? Why put things in the drawer when you can just set them on top of the counter?

The thing I've realized, is that I'm the only one who values a clean, tidy house. My family members don't care. And ultimately, if it's something that matters to me, I need to take ownership and do it. What I'm also still working on accepting is that I can't reasonably have a home that looks the way I want it to when I'm the only one who values it. I keep trying to come up with a good routine to maintain the house, but it's hard to have a reasonable, doable routine when I have four bathrooms and I think each one should be cleaned twice a week. If it was only bathrooms I had to clean, that would be all well and good, but there's another 3000 or so square feet that need attention to.

Lowered expectations. That's what I need to do. Keep them in line with what I can actually do without making myself crazy.