Squalor, Or Don’t Get Brainwashed By Pretty Magazines…

It’s Spring and the pages of women’s magazines and websites are probably covering the topics of organization and cleaning with mind-numbing zealotry.  My reaction this year is DON’T. Just don’t buy into it.  As Nicole and Maggie at Grumpy Rumblings said at some point, living in squalor is a good thing.  They probably did a post about this but I’m too lazy to link it.

Much as I try to embrace my inner messy teenager, I usually do let things like dirty floors and dishes in the sink get to me.  So I get very proud of myself whenever I’m able to ignore the mess, even if it’s only for a 30-minute stretch  here and there over a weekend, in-between bursts of cleaning. 

This past weekend, I was feeding my kids and doing nothing else.  I didn’t check emails. I ignored a sink full of dishes, a countertop covered with plates and cans, a full trash can, mystery spots on the kitchen floor and a dirty stovetop.  That’s when I remind myself that nothing is more important than enjoying parenthood (and for those without kids, enjoying life).

Of course, after feeding time, I did clean the sink a little and put some stuff away.   My husband took out the trash and emptied the dishwasher.  I folded tons of laundry.  We did tons of “stuff” that don’t make it on a to-do list but needs to get done.   I just wasn’t about to go that extra mile to make our home into my Martha Stewart fantasy.  I bet that even Martha lived in squalor when her kid (or kids?) were young!

Do you do spring cleaning?  Are women cleaning while men focus on fun and/or career-development?


4 responses to “Squalor, Or Don’t Get Brainwashed By Pretty Magazines…

  1. In about a month we’ll have a deliberately controversial post on this topic!

    I think up until now we’ve just put forth those arguments in blog comments sections, mostly received badly by the woman complaining about how dirty her house is and how it makes her such a terrible example of femininity. Or something.

    Kids can start helping out really young too. DC LOVES doing laundry as a family activity, especially since DH is super silly and always tries to put DC’s clothes in his drawer instead of DC’s if DC isn’t fast enough putting them away. It’s a fun game. Sure he stuffs a bit more than folds, but he’s learning, and who cares about a few wrinkles?

  2. Can’t wait! I love your deliberately controversial posts.. I have a post in the works about my inability (or fear) of writing controversial posts, haha..

  3. I used to be a “everything in it’s exact place, tidying all the time, type of gal”. Now, I like the lived in, homely, look. I keep up to date with stuff because I hate a backlog but I am not precious about it….how can I be I have two teenagers! I need me time and if that comes over some laundry to be folded than so be it…chores can wait a little. I do not ever spring clean and spend minimal time cleaning…..a weekly clean seems to keep my house in order. I do laundry daily and we have a dishes roster to keep the kitchen tidy.

  4. I’m a neatfreak, but then again I don’t have kids so I have more time to indulge my OCD side. 🙂 But I agree with your main point, we shouldn’t let cleaning come before living.

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