There are a hundred buttons on the floor that I need to pick up. There are a million crumbs that need hoovering, but first I've to empty out the hoover cylinder. There are toys that need re-arranging, clothes that need putting-away, dvds that need re-stacking, plants that need watering, sewing that needs to be done...
"A woman's work never ends" says the martyred Irish mammy.
Well, we must prioritise. There are two boys here, eager to soak up new ideas, activities, games, fun and laughter. I want them to remember a childhood of love and laughter, in a colourful house. If that house is messier than it "should" be, so be it. I can live with that. And I do live with it. The pile of laundry in the back porch grows daily, and I ignore it. The dishes pile in the kitchen and I do them when I can. I cook healthy meals from scratch for nearly 3 meals a day. We get out in the fresh air and sunshine whenever we can.
Visitors have to take it as they find it, I don't have the energy to be doing a whole-house clean before someone calls. And that's ok. They will visit a happy family, a messy house, and be given home-baked goodies to eat.
"A tidy house is the sign of a wasted life" as a friend said to me the other day, a fantastic mother to four children. Too true, I'm afraid. Do the minimum needed so you can live comfortably, and spend most of your time enjoying your kids. If you are spending every available minute on housework, ask yourself why? How can our standards be so high these days that we have to pay a stranger to clean our house when we're out at work? (I'd love to have a cleaner!) Who sets the standard? Martha Stewart? Does she do any of her own housework?
Rambling a bit, but let's all relax and be real. And let our friend's visit in our real houses, with our real mess and our real crumbs and our real selves. That'd be cool.