I have never been a neat freak, yet I don't think I am a slob either. On the neatness scale, I have always been somewhere in the middle. For the most part I like my environment clean and orderly, but I don't mind letting it go for a little while, especially if there's something big going on. But then I like to clean everything up again and I find great satisfaction in doing so. My preference would be to go to bed every night with things mostly picked up and no dishes in the sink, but when that doesn't happen I'm not going to freak out, nor am I going to stay up way late past my point of exhaustion just to accomplish those goals. Cleanliness is definitely a priority, but it's not the highest priority, you know?
Anyway, I figured I was well-prepared for the mess of a large family and I figured I could roll with it pretty well. Up until now, that has been true. Things got messy, but that was okay, and then when it wasn't okay, we cleaned up. There was a place for everything and everything could be put back in its place when necessary without too much stress. I'm pretty good at cleaning when I want to and I had a system that worked.
Lately I have noticed that I have finally reached the point where the messiness is beyond my comfort zone. This house is dirtier and more cluttered than what matches my position on that neatness scale. I am not freaking out about this because I have one year old twins and that's a good enough excuse for just about anything. But I have noticed.
For instance, this is pretty typical for my homeschool room lately. The babies dump books on the floor faster than we can put them back, and there's usually clutter on every available surface. In my mind, I don't care how bad the mess gets during the homeschool day because we clean it all up when we're done, but the reality lately is that this is often the state of the room at the start of the day and that is definitely not how I would prefer things to be.
And here's my living room after the kids cleaned it up. So that's better than it usually looks.
I don't have a picture of my kitchen, but let me just say that if the Badger didn't cheerfully pitch in most evenings and do the dishes for us right now I don't know what I would do because I never seem to be able to get to them. And I actually like doing dishes, so it's not like I'm avoiding them on purpose. But it's the Badger's biggest contribution to the homeschool effort and it is deeply appreciated.
And the worst thing, that you can't see, is all the gunk that needs to be swept and vacuumed off the floors. My floors are constantly in dire need of a sweep, and I sweep more often now than I ever have before (at least once a day!)
The thing is, this stage of life should be the nadir of my housekeeping career. And it won't last long. And then things will get better slowly as the twins stop constantly destroying everything in sight and as the older kids get better and better about pitching in. I am always shocked at how quickly the house can get totally trashed, but I am also pleased with how quickly it can get clean when we all work together. (It's not easy to get everyone working, but it does happen, and I would say over time it has gotten easier.)
I just thought it would be informative to mention this aspect of this current chapter in our family history. That way, down the road, when things are much tidier, I can be reminded of how far we've come.