Tips for Staying Motivated to Maintain the House
Even if you just LOVE cleaning (liar), when you wipe pee-pee off the side of the toilet for the umpteenth time, you may reach a scary place.
After all, isn’t the very definition of insanity repeatedly performing the same action and expecting a different result?
If that’s the case, I’ve been certifiably insane multiple times throughout adulthood so far.
I think I actually once believed that once I gathered the courage to wipe away the outer toilet stains, they’d be gone for good. Or, at least for a while. But no way would they be back by the following day?! Psh. That’d be so much to deal with.
I am insane.
Sometimes I find myself thinking that, if I weren’t an easily amused, easy-going, silver-lining, understanding, light-hearted sort of person… if I were someone else… I would likely have a mental breakdown. The recurring responsibilities of both adulting and motherhood are abundant and omnipotent, the biggest one for me being– beyond raising another human– the maintenance of the household.
I feel the need to share some affirmations that I use to keep myself from going off the deep end DAILY. Maybe you’d like to stay afloat in the shallow waters along with me.
Just promise you’ll throw ME a paddle next time I’m drowning.
There is no state of permanence
Say it with me now: There is no state of permanence. Almost as soon as you finish cleaning, it will just as quickly become undone, and, usually, by someone else. It’s CRUEL. It’s literally rude. And, actually, the no-permanence-thing is somewhat false. Someday, your home will not house your children, and you won’t have to pick up after them. However, this sappy glimpse into the future isn’t reason enough to feel motivated to clean right now, IS IT? Nope. Get out of here with that. So instead, just try adjusting your mentality. Once you finish a chore, it may be done for this second, but you’ll probably need to do it again in the near future. Laugh at the situation. Be realistic. Pick up the crumbs and tell the floor you’ll see it tomorrow.
If you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done
Mom! I know you’re reading. Truer words have never been spoken. I always thought my mom was sooooo annoying when she would say this just about daily when I was younger. But… oh my Lord. She was dead serious! Months ago, I literally walked by a spill in my kitchen. I think some ice had fallen out of our ice maker (always) and no one picked it up (always), so, it melted and created a hazard (like always). I began to walk by it, actually momentarily thinking to myself, “wow, that’s dangerous, someone should really clean that up“. My eyes widened and I stopped in my tracks when I realized I’M SOMEONE. I’m the new someone. I’m always going to be the someone who has to do it. And so are you! Admit it. It’s one of the first steps to not losing your cool.
I shall not resent
In marriage, life, adulthood, parenting, etc., it’s tough, I know, but you have to actively avoid the building up of resentment for those who are not in your particular shoes, ahem, your significant other. Back up a second… firstly ensure you both have some major shared responsibilities in place. In our household, my husband essentially maintains the outside of the house, he fixes things inside when needed, he does the tall/step-ladder stuff that’s out of my reach, he does his own laundry most of the time, and he takes out the trash. I do just about everything else. Make things as equal as possible. Ask for help if needed. Share the responsibilities of raising your children. Show appreciation and speak up when you do not feel appreciated. Do each other favors. Be polite. Communicate.
Pausing to giggle at my real-life experience… okay, seriously, this is a legitimate reason (and basically reason enough) to not slack off on maintaining the house. I took 24 hours off from picking crumbs up off the floor, and we had a trail of sugar ants leading from the back door into the kitchen the following day. #notimeoff #faceit
The end goal– though short-lived– is worth it
You have a standard. Chances are your husband and your kids (just ask my mom when I was little!) don’t have the same one. They don’t put the same pressure on themselves that we do. They’re not familiar with the “if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done” mantra, because we assume that responsibility for ourselves. For those couple of minutes that my house is in order (HAHAHAHA a couple of minutes!!!!), after I’ve worked towards that end goal, I’m proud of myself and my household. I enjoy looking around. I count my blessings. I feel confidence and capability as a wife, as a mother, and as a woman. Look at me! I work full-time, I care for our son, AND I keep the house clean. I am SuperMommy, and I’m happy to be her.
Anyone else will probably do it wrong
If you wish your husband had all of your responsibilities, have him do them all for the day then. Get a pedicure. Get a massage. Ask that he clean the house AND tend to the kids while you’re gone. When you come back, the house may be clean, the kids, unharmed, but chances are you’ll have to put everything back into the order you prefer.
What do YOU do to stay motivated to maintain the house?!