We could also title this post "The Day that Wasn't". Big plans do not always equal big results and boy howdy, yesterday was proof of that. 8:00 last night found us with a kitchen stove still in the middle of the kitchen, electrical wiring sticking out of a wall, a microwave NOT on a wall but rather in the middle of my eating area, and a mess in every single room.
It also found me.in bed. in tears. It seems that I do not handle well the thought of a visit from family with my house in total disarray. It seems I care much more about how they perceive me than I thought I did. I spent my childhood and even my early adult years as a slob. I blame this on my mother (and yes, she reads my blog- but she owes me an apology). One time she told me to wash the dishes. I used dish detergent in the dishwasher instead of dishWASHER deteregent (who knew there was a difference?) and the result was two-fold. First we had soap bubbles rolling down our basement stairs much to the hilarity of myself and my siblings. Secondly- I never had to do dishes again. Mom hated the hassle of making us clean, having us do a bad job, and then having to clean it all over again. So mom did all the cleaning.
The exception to this rule was when Grandma came to visit. Then my mother pulled out her big guns. TOOTHBRUSHES! And no way was she going to be able to clean an entire house with toothbrushes all by her self, so lucky us. We got to help on those big cleaning days, with her coming in the room every once in a while, auburn hair crazy and face red with stress. I won't even begin to tell you what her voice sounded like when she deemed to talk to us. Frankly, during cleaning time, if she was talking, we KNEW we were in trouble. During cleaning time, mom used her yelling voice to convey the importance of our new found slavery. When she talked, it was because she was about to blow that auburn head of hers. Oh, yes, I grew up in anticipation of cleaning time.
So, I blame her entirely for my early years as a woman. I also credit her with turning the situation around in a calm and loving manner. My mother-in-law also gets credit for this change in me. There is nothing like a mother-in-law showing up for a surprise visit to find your house utterly trashed, a toddler sitting on the floor probably playing with old toilet paper rolls, and her daughter-in-law playing strategy games with her husband and sister. (Let's just say that was an experience I never want to re-live) At some point I decided I had to learn to clean. So started the journey.
I went from horrible housekeeper, disgusting slob, bad cook to a really great cook, not near as much a slob, and a pretty awesome housekeeper. On any given day, my house can be company ready in a hour.
And yet, in just a few hours, my family will be here. My brother and sister have never seen my house. My house is a wreck.
Last night I went to bed crying because I felt like a failure. I knew they would not be able to see the change in me that I had worked so hard to transpire. It was a bad night last night.
But the morning is fresh. 4:30 am found me scrubbing down the main bathroom with bleach. I have a load of laundry in the washer and dryer, my kitchen looks great. (NO, the microwave is STILL on the dining floor). My family is still sleeping upstairs but at 7:00 I will wake them up and I will have one hour to get the rooms cleaned up there done. It can be done. It will be done. And even if it isn't? The truth is, that my family does not care. They loved me even when I was a slob. They will love me even if they find a basket of clean clothes hidden in my closet. They will love me even if they have to sleep on an air mattress in the living room because the sewing/guest room never got cleared out. They love me and they know I am not a failure. I know I am not a failure. Soon I will be surrounded by a family who is proof of this. We will attend our church to praise a God who does not make failures. I will pat the head of my son who has read his Bible every day this week. I will tousle the hair of my middle son who has the ability to make people laugh- at will. I will hold my daughter who is spunky and charming and oozing with love towards all kind. I will hold the hand of my husband who is thankful for the woman I have become. I am not a failure. I am a mother and a homemaker. An incredible one at that.
UPDATE: 8:00 am and it's done. My house is ship shape AND there is a place for everyone to sleep. Every room looks beautiful and every child is groomed and ready for church. It has been a long morning but it is worth the sense of accomplishment I feel.