I have learned one of the secrets of being a contented SAHM (stay-at-home-mom)...
It's all about lowering your standards. Really. There was a time when I took pride in my spotless floors, shiny mirrors, and neatly folded clothes. When Parker was an infant I was lulled into a false sense of security, assuming I could maintain the same level of order in our home. Ha!
Then he stopped napping for half the day. Okay, I could let a few things slip. Maybe I would just clean the mirrors once a week. Then he started moving...Hmmm, letting dishes pile up in the sink for one day [okay,three] wasn't that bad. Then Maddie came along and all hell broke loose in our home (and van).
These days, I consider my floor to be "clean" if I can remember the last time I mopped it and my feet aren't sticking to it anywhere.
Bathtubs must be free of hair and dirt. Bath crayon markings [thank you, Aunt Natalie] are acceptable.
Wrinkled laundry is a given. If it's been washed and dried I give myself at least 3 days to get it folded and another 3 to actually put it away. [I would not recommend this schedule, as searching for clean clothes inevitably means digging through the basket of folded clothes and recreating a mess. However, until my fairy godmother arrives, it will have to suffice.]
Maddie's hair has to be clean (free of dirt, oil, cotton candy, etc.) and brushed. Even if she looks like a crazed Banshee, it's okay; she doesn't have to wear the bow if she doesn't want to.
A well-time, unexpected take-and-bake Papa Murphy's pizza can bring me to tears [of gratitude]. B.P. (before Parker) it would have taken a candle-lit, home-cooked gourmet meal, complete with flowers to create such an emotional response.
It's not just about lowering my standards. I think it's about letting go of unrealistic expectations. Or maybe unnecessary ones. Whatever the reason, all I know is that I'm pretty darn happy...in my messy house, wearing my wrinkled clothes, with my crazy kids.