Some moms I talk to have a system of doing the most cleaning they can, as fast as they can, leaving no holds barred as they scour their house spotless in a day. Yeah, that's certainly not me. I read articles in Good Housekeeping and Real Simple about both maintaining and quick-deep-cleaning one's house and get slightly jealous that people are actually able to pull it off. Take Real Simple's guide to a ten-minute cleaning of the bathroom (all numbers are the minutes from 1 to 10):
0-1: Take all materials off surfaces; spray all of them down with a green all-purpose cleaner (we LOVE Mrs. Meyer's basil-scented cleaner)
1-5: Put toilet cleaner in the toilet, let it soak; wipe down all surfaces and replace materials
5-6: Scrub out the toilet
6-7: Take out trash
7-8: Pull everything on the floor in the bathroom out; spot mop
8-10: Clean mirrors and replace the stuff you pulled out to mop.
What they fail to mention is obviously the interruptions you'll have while doing all of this:
0-1: Put baby in her bouncer and put some organic sweet-potato puffs in the little food tray
1-2: Take most materials off surfaces. Soothe crying baby because she inhaled all her puffs in 30 seconds and wants more. Distract her with her shiny toy.
2-5: Finish spraying surfaces and put the toilet cleaner in. Pick up baby that just threw up all her puffs, change her clothes, and put her back in the bouncy seat.
5-6: Somehow, by the grace of God, you manage to wipe down all surfaces.
6-9: Retrieve the shiny toy that got flung across the bathroom and rinse it off; do this 16 times as your little one brilliantly discovers the concept of cause and effect relationships. "I throw, Mommy gets it."
9-10: Scrub the toilet. Make funny noises for the baby while doing so.
10-11: Take the trash bag out of the can and rinse out the can. Let the baby look in the empty trash can.
11-16: Take trash and baby outside to put the bag in the dumpster. Stand outside with baby to watch the birds in the tree for a few minutes. Bring content baby inside.
16-19: Console formerly-content baby after you tried putting her back in the bouncy chair that she's now obviously bored with. Put her on the floor with toys instead.
19-22: Pull everything out of the bathroom to mop.
22-60: Nurse baby because you've taken way too long to clean the bathroom and she's gotten hungry in the last 20 minutes from all her bouncing.
60-61: Give up on mopping and make your husband drag everything back into the bathroom; you can spot-swiffer the floor later.
gotta keep those pretty blues healthy
I've been doing a lot of what I've thought of it as 'conscious nourishment' in all realms of life lately, physical, emotional and spiritual. I won't leave my family's health by the wayside, that won't get us anywhere. I wish the three of us could get more family time, which of course would make the nourishment thing a little more possible, but I 'll take what I can get, a few Sundays and evenings here and there. Lydia's so big and strong, pulling herself up while we hold her hands and all over our furniture; it feels so good to know that we are helping her with love, nursing, nutritious food, family time and boundaries. And in taking care of each other and our home together, we can really get down to the heart of the matter...which is of course our number one priority, our family. We won't have any other chances to lay on the rug playing airplane with Lydia, or lingering over way too many pancakes before heading out to the park for a walk or taking out the recycling. With Charlie and I working as much as we can, the time we have as a family is precious :) I know that many other families out there can relate.