I have been swallowed by Monstro

Yesterday afternoon I laid in my bed, fully clothed with boots and all, and all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and forget about All The Crap I Have To Do.

This house I love. This house feels like home. But this house is so big and so much work that I’ve officially been downgraded from Homemaker to Housekeeper. Aside from my desperate last ditch Halloween crafting efforts, I have no time to sew or finish unpacking. My dinner attempts are sparse and uninspired and every time I walk into a room I’m slammed with the realization that I am living in a dirty black hole that will suck the life and the Lysol right out of me if I’m not careful.

Today I took June into the village preschool early this morning and came back home where I accidentally caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Um, when did I forget to brush my hair before leaving the house? It is literally sticking up all over my head, no wonder all the Germans were staring at me. (I like to pretend it has something to do with my charismatic personality but I’m suspicious it has more to do with my personal hygiene.)

I think the realization that no matter how much I clean or how much I try to make things look nice, my frequently innocent little people are always right behind me undoing all my hard work. Trust me, with this many stairs in a house  (65) it is most definitely hard work. (As I type this Gigi is happily throwing all the pillows off the couch and shredding yesterday’s newspaper ads.)

Yesterday afternoon I found myself  fully clothed, boots and all, laying in my bed with a driving urge to pull the covers over my head and play vampire. I resorted to number 4 on my How To Cheer Myself Up list and called a girlfriend (number 3 is ‘put cute boots on’).

“Hey, how are you?” she asked, and because I knew she meant it I told her.

“My house is too big, I’m having anxiety about cleaning and packing and unpacking and everything else. So I’m hiding in my bed and I don’t want to get out,” I said.

“Yeah, I do that sometimes.”

And just like that I felt way better. Seriously. I can’t describe to you how fantastic it felt to have someone validate my feelings, and better yet, remind me in five easy words that I’m normal. There are other moms out there that feel like me, I’m not alone.

Without too much effort I was able to rejoin the household and spent the rest of the day reminding myself, out loud, about the advice my mother gave me a few years back when baby number three hit the scene. For the next fifteen years there will be very few moments when all my house is clean all at the same time, and That’s Okay. I might hate it (passionately), but I wouldn’t trade it.

This morning I decided to put down the mop, literally, and take a moment to actually write something. I have to live in this whale, but that doesn’t mean he owns me. This is the first time in I don’t know how long that I’ve sat down and written something just for myself–it’s not for a deadline or future posterity–and it’s nearly as good as finding a bathroom in the Mall of America after three diet coke’s.

Speaking of doing something for myself, I have got to find a yoga class. And a toothbrush. Maybe I should start with the latter.


  1. The first thing we did when we moved into our place is set up the TVs and the Internet. So I can avoid the unpacking an cleaning as much as possible I wish you could call me up to vent. 🙁

  2. This is what I needed to hear. I was having a day like yours yesterday. Thanks for this post.

  3. I keep meaning to make a sign for our door that says, “Please excuse the mess. The problem is that we live here.”

  4. Early in my blogging life, I wrote an essay called “Better Homes and Other Desert Islands.” It really is impossible to keep the whole house clean, all the time, without selling your soul to the process. The ONLY time my Vegas house was completely clean from top to bottom was when we listed it for sale — ten years after we moved in! To this day, my big-enough-to-know-better kids only clean in reverse. Like, whatever it is that makes a house NOT clean? That’s their area of expertise. And frankly, I’m not a lot better. I would much rather write, or read something yummy, or play with my dog, or go to the gym with my daughter, or talk on the phone with my sweet friend in Germany, than make sure the house is dust free and picture perfect. Since I can’t do all of them, I guess the house has to take whatever effort I have left over after I’m done enjoying my day!

  5. You always make me giggle.
    living in the belly of a whale…Um, Jonah did it………..?? and didn’t Pinnochio (or am I totally on drugs)
    anyway….a house is a house is a house
    A home is OFTEN unkept, cluttered and undone it seems, but that is where the people who live in it are loved, and have fun.
    ahh heck….be damned with vaccumed floors.