I'm just going to dive into this... I like my home to be clean and tidy.
Admitting that statement out loud comes with so much guilt, pressure, and honestly -- some embarrassment. Here's why:
Truthfully, I get really upset with myself when our little space isn't cleaned up at the end of the day. Let's be honest -- I don't have children, right now I'm only working part-time, and we have a two bedroom apartment not a 5 bedroom house. I have the margin to get it done and done without distraction. Realistically, it would take me less than 30 minutes to clean up. A little bit each day right? But it's thinking about all the things to get done that wears on me. And knowing that if I empty the dishwasher now, it'll need to be emptied again tomorrow. Surprise! This is adulthood!
If you showed up at my door right now and I invited you in, I would bet you $100 that you would not think our space is messy or dirty. I know any other person wouldn't give a second thought to the state of our place. And honestly, I wouldn't really care what your place looks like either. Maybe it's the way I was raised, or maybe it's my OCD but I like when things have a place and when everything is in it's place. I can attribute my organizational dysfunction to my mom (thanks mom!).
In my head I think -- give yourself some grace, it's not the end of the world if the dishes are pilled up for a day. And that's true, it's not the end of the world. But here's where the guilt comes in... having a space that's tidy is peaceful for me. It clears my mind. And for that I feel guilty. In my head, I can hear the naysayers -- Oh just lighten up! Let it go! Goodness, she's a little crazy isn't she? -- but I can't. I am a homebody at my core and having a space that I feel I can relax and retreat to is something I place value in.
BUT it's also stressful. I hate thinking that I have to come home and clean. I have a bad attitude when I clean, and then I start thinking I'm doing it all (I'm not). I then begin to resent basic household work and I hate to admit this but at times -- my husband (I'm working to get over this). And the worst? It's completely self inflicted.
We've heard people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest and while that may be true for some, it hasn't been for us. We've adjusted easily, we enjoy being together, and it's been fun so far. But this -- merging two people's stuff, their cleaning habits, the things that are important to them -- has been a little harder. For me, having a tidy home (tidy enough that I'm not doing every thing every day) is something that I place value on because it's something that brings me a sense of calm. While for him, it's not as high of an importance and that's okay. I need to recognize this and be okay with it.
I'm trying to learn that I do need to give myself grace in this area and just do what I can at the given moment. I'm trying to recognize that something will need to be done each day. The laundry will need to be done, the dishes will need to be put away, the coffee grounds will need to be swept up. There's no point in stewing and stewing until I'm upset with myself or with the people around me. I put so much pressure on myself to keep things together that instead of creating a space that is peaceful and relaxing, I create a stressful unhappy place to be.
Instead of focusing on all the things that need to be done, I'm going to try and focus on how I can create a home that is welcoming, inviting, safe, and warm. A home that is full of love and laughter, of faith filled conversation, of hearty dinners around the table. One filled with memories of the best years of our life.
Can anybody relate to this? Am I just crazy? (If I am please don't tell me).