What is an acceptable level of filth? How dirty can my house be without seeming slovenly? At the current level, will people consider me an unfit mother? These are the questions that I asked myself last night as I was preparing for a visit from my mother-in-law. I honestly can't believe it has come to this. Muddy paw prints, dust bunnies, laundry sprawl. Previous visits, I cleaned the whole house and never thought twice about it. I would sweep, mop, clean bathrooms, everything. I always wanted company to think the best of me and that meant a clean house with wonderfully cooked food. Now, I can barely muster the energy to change the sheets.
What happened? When I was pregnant, no problems, I could clean with the best of them. When B was little, still no issue. Plop him in the swing and clean away. But now...he's mobile. I can't just deposit him somewhere like I used to. I can't put him down and trust that he will entertain himself with what is next to him. He crawls, he climbs, he searches out danger and nastiness. I can't count the number of times I have turned back to find him with a cord in his mouth or munching on a delicious wad of dog hair. The child has more bumps on his head than hair (and my kid has a lot of hair). We have already, in just a few short weeks, had a busted lip, cut cheek, and massive fall. AND I WAS WATCHING HIM THE WHOLE TIME! I can't move fast enough to keep up with this kid. Even with constant attention from mom and dad, the boy finds ways to hurt himself.
So, at the time that B goes to bed, blessed 7 pm, I am so exhausted from the constant running, catching, taking away, putting up, and picking up, that the thought of sweeping, mopping, cleaning the bathrooms, is just too much to take on. So I find myself wondering just how dirty is too dirty. Sorry, Nance, this visit isn't going to be me putting my best foot forward, it'll just have to be one tired mommy waving her surrender flag.