Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Ever since I can remember I've wanted to be a mom.  Like most little girls, I played pretend with my dolls and would act out being a mommy.  As I grew older I knew I wanted to have children and be a real mommy.  I absolutely loved babies and when my brother and his wife had my niece and she came to stay with us when I was 8 years old, I was elated.  I got to change her diapers, feed her and rock her to sleep.  To me there was nothing better.  I know for most girls at that age it probably would not seem like much but to me it was everything.

After I got married and became pregnant, I was on cloud 9.  I felt well and had no problems with my pregnancy.  Bringing home my own baby was a dream come true.  My son had brought me to tears many times just by looking at him.  I could not believe this was my child.  I was in awe of his tiny fingers and tiny toes, cute little nose and sweet smell.  What I didn't realize was I was clueless in regard to the extensive care an infant needed.  Fortunately, my mom was there to help for a few days but like most parents you eventually are pretty much on your own.  The available resources were slim, not like today so there was a lot of trial and error.  Most of the time my motherly instincts kicked in and everything turned out fine.
Before my son was born, I was very particular on how my house was kept.  Furniture was polished weekly.  Vacuuming was done frequently.  Windows washed regularly.  Everything had a place and things were always in order.
Well as all moms know, all those ideas go out the window when a baby comes into the home.    I, for one, still felt I should do it all.  I tried to keep up the same schedule I had before my son was born.  You know the saying "sleep when the baby sleeps".  Yeah, right.  I would clean and do laundry and make sure everything was in its place while he slept.  I still had to do the vacuuming, polishing, cooking a big meal nightly and everything I did before.  I drove myself and my husband nuts.
A baby is a lot of work and new moms should rest when they can.  I thought I was different.  I thought I could continue in the same way I had before.  I was fortunate I had a husband who helped with the care of my son and did a lot of the household chores but I still felt guilty if everything wasn't perfect.  I needed it done my way, "the right way" which I felt was the only way.  Do you get what I mean?  Boy did I have a lot to learn.
Do some of you feel that way?  Your house has to be just right.  Everything has to be in perfect order.  All the rooms have to be picked up and neat and tidy.  You worry that someone will pop over and see some dust.  Oh my goodness, will that be a crime?  I know how you feel because I've been there.  I thought people would judge me if the furniture had dust on it.  They would surely think I couldn't handle being a mother and a wife.  I thought they would look at my house and immediately think I was a lousy housekeeper.  I had all sorts of scenarios played in my mind.  I knew for sure the dust police would be coming to my house and cite me for having dust mites while raising a baby.
That was a ridiculous notion on my part.  I put all that pressure on myself for no reason.  A baby or for that matter a toddler requires work, lots of it and there will always be messes to clean up.  The house will not always be House Beautiful ready but with a few quick tips and some organization you can have it managed and livable and isn't that what we want anyway, a warm, happy home, livable and inviting to the people we love.  We don't need a show place, just a clean, comfortable home.
In the next posting I will share some of what worked for me and what didn't.  There are a lot of ideas out there and you probably already have tried some of them.  I don't claim to know everything but again I was a working mother most of my marriage and raised 3 children so I've tried lots of methods to keep my home running smoothly.  I hope you come back and check out what I have to share.
Until next time, remember that baby, toddler or child will one day grow up and you will never get back those precious moments.  You will always have dirty floors to clean, dishes to wash and clothes to put away but those little hands that seem to be making messes all day long will one day be waving bye to you and you'll wish for them to be home again.

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