My Conscience is Clean (but My House is Not)

Conscience Clean

I can’t tell you the last time I cleaned my toilet or shower, scrubbed the kitchen floor with something other than a single Lysol wipe, or emptied out the expired contents of my refrigerator. I let the laundry pile up in the hamper until we’re out of towels, clean underwear, and I’ve worn the same bra for two (who I’m kidding, three) straight weeks. I frantically scramble every night to prepare something that typically comes out of a box, requires fewer than five ingredients and takes fewer than 30 minutes to make, and with canned vegetables or instant mashed potatoes as a side. And if I’m feeling particularly drained or indecisive, Little Caesar’s is only a quarter of a mile from my house, along with a bevy of other pizza places and fast food restaurants.

I’m a working mom, and this is my life. My time outside of the office is a precious commodity and leaves me little time (and desire) for doing the day-to-day mundane things that beg to be done. This isn’t a pity party–I’m glad to work. While I wish I was afforded the opportunity to spend more time with my daughter, I am still quite content to work outside of the home, ignoring the list of ever growing chores,¬†interacting with adults, and earning just enough extra money to spend the weekends doing something to make up for all of my time in the office. In just the last month, we’ve taken my daughter to Greek Fest, Knoxville Zoo (twice), Tennessee Vally Fair, Dollywood, Tataru’s (twice), the new park at Lakeshore, the Cove at Concord, and a visit to the Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. At first you might think that I’m doing it to help clean my conscience by compensating the hours I’m missing out on spending with my daughter and husband during the week, and while that is partly true, I’m also doing it to escape the reality of work inside the home.

Sometimes I feel like if I have to take out one more overflowing bag of garbage or transfer a sink full of dishes past the six inches of counter space that separates them from the dishwasher, I am going to have a nervous breakdown. And I’m not saying my husband doesn’t do anything–because he does a lot, probably a lot more than I do because he’s actually used a toilet brush, a mop, and managed to dry the laundry before it hits mildew status. However, this past weekend, he brought me crashing back to reality with a simple request. He asked that we spend at least one day doing “nothing,” just staying at home, relaxing and doing some good old fashion cleaning, which I can assure you, he did the majority of.

Despite receiving a somewhat tempting text from a friend to venture to Greek Fest on Saturday (which I somehow managed to politely decline), we stayed home. And somewhere in between the nap I took in the afternoon and the three hour mind-numbing football game I watched, I managed to help straighten the house, spend an hour and a half at the grocery store, and even make something that didn’t come out of a box for dinner. And you know what? While escaping reality is terribly fun and results in a lot of great family adventures, occasionally I need to be reminded that it’s actually kind of nice to get out of bed the next morning without tripping on a pile of clothes or eat breakfast at a spotless dining table or have an assortment of clothes to choose from when getting dressed.

And if you couldn’t already figure it out, we went to Greek Fest on Sunday because I am incapable of spending an entire weekend doing “nothing.” And my house was clean, at least for a day.

Why would I clean when I can spend my weekends doing this instead?

Why would I clean when I can spend my weekends doing this instead?

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