Wednesday, June 12, 2013


This is a keepin' it real post. I was inspired to share the "dirty laundry" when a mom I love started a conversation on Facebook about not having a Martha Stewart home herself. She wondered how other moms did "it".

I'm here to say – I do NOT do "it".

I've got five kids, a husband and a dog. We school at home. I work from home. And, I guess in all honesty, it's just not important to me to have a Martha Stewart-esk home. What I do have instead is a home where kids know they are welcome. Even though I holler more than I should, and I don't always let the neighborhood in to play, kids know I've got the band aids, they're welcome to come in a get a drink of water, and I'm here to help if they need anything.

So, without further ado, here's what my house looks like most of the time. And yes, this is what my house looks like when social workers come over. I don't special-clean for anyone but my immediate family if they're coming to stay for a visit.

This is what you see when you walk in my front door. I've got a box of books that need donated somewhere. Behind one of our loveseats is the mini-Hotwheel car track. Notice the sweatshirt on the floor? The hooks to hang it up are right above it there on the wall!

 Moving in to my kitchen/dining room you're likely to see sights like this.

The guest bathroom is on the main floor of the home. Dontcha just love where one of the cherubs left the toothpaste?!
The play room is upstairs. It is the responsibility of the cherubs to pick it up daily. But with four kids playing in it off and on all day long, it usually looks something like this. (And yes, we have an extra bed in the playroom. And yes, Dolly thinks it's a good place for all her dolls during the day.)
This is what Bart and TT's room usually looks like. Several times a month I insist that they clean it "to my standards". But most of the time it's got stuff all over the floor. Beds rarely get made in my house. I'm lazy that way and don't require it.
I won't show you Herman's room. Just imagine the room above only about 10,000 times worse. I decided a long time ago that I wasn't going to fight the "room battle". I've got three rules:
1. No dirty laundry
2. No dirty dishes
3. No (dirty) garbage
If I can walk in the room and not find those three things, he can keep his room how he wants. However, if I find any of the above mentioned offenses on the floor, he gets to clean the room to my standards. (My standards require EVERYTHING to be picked up and vacuuming to be done.)

The upstairs guest bathroom is primarily used by the older three boys. You can't see it, but one of the cherubs forgot to flush. (gross!)
Dude and Dolly's room is usually the cleanest. Though, as they are getting older (and copying their older siblings) I'm having to make them pick it up more often. The younger four cherubs don't get to live by the three rules above. I do make them pick up more frequently. When Hot Wheels, Legos and tiny doll pieces live all over the floor I find it hard to walk through the room to tuck them in at night. For Bart and TT that's what they are often told. If they want me to tuck them in, they have to clean up their room. For Dude and Dolly, I just tell them to clean it up and they willingly pick everything up without complaining. (It's awesome!!!)
Last is my bedroom. It's HUGE! It's where laundry tends to live. (Notice all the baskets on the right hand side of the top picture.) I do pretty good of keeping up with the washing of the laundry. But there isn't a lot of room to fold laundry downstairs. (I'm not fond of folding in the living room due to dog hair.) So most of the time laundry gets sorted by kid and it lives on the floor of my master in laundry baskets. I swear I'm always washing it, folding it and putting it away but I never get caught up!! Five kids and a husband will do that to ya! The shelf in the corner is currently housing all the clothes my cherubs have recently outgrown. I need to sort, fold and put away those in our storage closet.

The blanket on the floor next to my bed is where TT sleeps most every night. His anxiety tends to be problematic in the middle of the night. He's got permission to come in to our room and sleep on the floor. He usually meanders his way in between 1:00-3:00AM.

The only rooms not represented in the house tour are the guest bedroom and the master bath. They pretty much look like the rest of the house. Dusting needs to be done. Dog hair is everywhere. And there are bits and pieces of life that need to be put away.

Lest anyone think I'm taking responsibility for all the mess, or that I alone will clean this house up, that is far from the truth. As each day goes on rooms get picked up and cleaned by the entire family. It just never seems to happen in every room all at the same time. My cherubs are responsible for a lot of the cleaning though. I just don't crack the whip and make it stay clean all the time.

I don't have much of an ending for this post. I just figured I'd share what my home looks like so y'all can feel better about where you live.  :)  I'm OK with that. I figure I'll clean more and have nice decor when the kids are grown. Even then I hope to have a home like my Mom and Dad that is set up wonderfully for grandkids!! Martha Stewart I am not!!


Mitzy said...

Your house looks a lot like my house. I still clean for social workers. Last time a social worker came it was the weekend and I had an appointment so Mike hosted the visit and didn't clean at all! When I spoke with the social worker the next week she said she didn't even notice the difference in the house! I'm hoping this gives me the permission I need to quite cleaning for social workers!!!!

Teresa said...

Amen! I don't do "it" either. Is it safe? Can I find what I'm looking for? Yup. We will be featured in home and Design? Never.

Meg0422 said...

Ugh. It's still cleaner than my 2 bedroom apartment. Maybe because I don't have enough storage. Yeah, that's it! lol

Mama P said...

Hey! What are you doing living in my house? Haha! Actually, I wish that was my house. I think your house is about 2 times bigger than mine.

CherubMamma said...

@Meg - gotta go vertical. I own more bookshelves than anyone else I know. But then again, my core family of five (plus the dog) used to live in a 900sf, 3 bedroom duplex.

@MamaP - My house is huge. I will admit that. God blessed us beyond measure. If I am ever lucky enough to move out of deep South Texas I know I'll never live in anything this big again.

Heather said...

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maria smith said...

Yay for moms who are keeping it real! It's a huge job to keep up with a home. I do occasionally call in a deep cleaning service when I have fallen too far behind. It happens....

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