Friday, February 24, 2012

How Clean Is Your House?

Are you a "stay at home" mom?  I put that in quotes because I feel like there is no such thing as a "stay at home" mom.  First off, how much time do you really stay at home?!?!  What we really should be called is a "run from appointment to pick-up to practice to grocery store to friend's house to home" mom.

I fall into a category I like to call "working stay at home" mom.  I work about 15 hours a week as a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor (in the 80's we were called Aerobic Instructors but have upgraded the term since then).  But since I am so fortunate to be able to take my daughter to work with me I am fully responsible for her while my husband is away all day.  So I get the benefits of working, the benefits of mommying and all the headaches of both.     

Now what does all this have to do with how clean my house is?  Well, I was just vacuuming away and thinking about a dilemma that often circles in my brain and I just felt like I had to share it with you.  And that is the dilemma of the 50's house wife vs the modern mama.  And for me that dilemma usually turns me to question how much should I clean my house.

My husband is a wonderful man, friend and father and we often talk about one task should be solely either of our responsibilities.  We both disciple our daughter, we both cook and um we both clean...kinda.  OK, let's be honest, he doesn't clean much.  But it isn't because he is unwilling.  It is because he works all day, goes to school two nights a week, studies on the weekends, works out like a champ and still makes lots of time for his ladies at home.  So unless he cuts out sleeping, which he doesn't do much of, there is really little time left to fold laundry and scrub the toilets.

But...and here is the conversation I have over and over in my my life any less busy?!?!?  I run back and forth between work.  I provide for, play with, teach, feed and nurture my daughter.  I write, manage and do everything else involved in writing this blog (which I have to admit is totally my choice and I love it).  And I do all the other "stay at home" mom duties.  Should I also have a spotless house at every moment?

Well, I go back and forth on the answer to that.  I go through phases where I clean like crazy.  I run around any spare moment I am home and make sure my home is perfect.  Then I go through the opposite phase and let everything go.  I call this the "protest" phase.  But lately I think I have found my answer...the One A Day Method. 

I have a list of 5 major cleaning duties that need to be done each week - Laundry, Clean Floors, Clean Bathrooms, Clean Kitchen & Dust.  They are listed on my fridge.  And I pick one item to complete each week day.  So every week each of these items is completed once and for me it gives me perfect balance.  What needs to get done gets done.  But each item on their own only take 30 minutes to an hour (except laundry) so I don't let me entire day be consumed and I still get that wonderfully gratifying feel of taking care of business.        

Now of course there are tons of other cleaning items to be done throughout the day but things like doing the dishes can be done along the way and picking up toys only takes 10 minutes once my daughter is in bed.  So for me, this is my perfect solution. 

What is your solution to the never ending mess?  I would love to hear how you conquer the pressure of being Suzy Homemaker when we all know Suzy has never even been to our homes!