Some days I think that the state of my house drives my mother nuts. Crazy. Not quite to the point of disgusted, but definitely to the point of highly annoyed.
There are just more days where I decide that being relaxed and that choosing to ignore the Cheerio-Dropping-Monsters' mess as they make trains out of the dining room chairs, and rearrange the rest of the furniture into "Their House" is more important than getting uptight and OCD about how clean my floors are.
I don't ignore it forever; the state of my house has NEVER reached the point to where those foxy ladies from "How Clean Is Your House?" have felt the need to swoop in and set me straight (there are lots of examples like this one on YouTube). Never. My bathroom and kitchen are always clean. As for the rest of the house, eventually, like at least once a week, I look around and think to myself, self, put the book down. Just put it down. The bottoms of your socks are getting a little dusty with Cheerio crumbs (in my defense this can take as little as an hour after vacuuming/washing the floors to accomplish), and maybe you should fold some laundry. You know, the basket that's been sitting there all invisible-like for the last three days; yeah, it's not folding itself. Nope. No laundry fairies around here.
I also make an extra effort to tidy when I know that company's coming over, but if I've had a busy day, getting the main furniture and the floors tidied (and double-checking the bathroom) might be as good as it gets. I'll save Spring Cleaning for the Spring. And the Fall. I guess that's Fall Cleaning. Whatever.
Anyway, my mom used to stress a bit when company was coming and the desks (which are in the living room) were cluttered, but I was happy with the clean floors and with the fact that yes, you could sit unhindered upon the couch. I always had to tell her that "I think that my friends and family are coming to visit us, not to see how clean my house is. If this isn't the case, they don't have to come over." I also think that if they care that much, they can help me clean. ;) But that never happens.
Recently, though, she went to my brother's for supper. He met her at the door and told her not to come in because it was a freak show upstairs; his wife was freaking out because she hadn't finished cleaning the house yet. I've been to her house. It's always immaculate to the point that she would put Kim and Aggie to shame, even if you drop by unexpectedly.
They had to go next door to her parents' place for dinner. When my sister-in-law's mom said that it's okay to take a weekend off once in awhile, she looked at her mom like she should be committed for uttering such nonsense. Or so I was told. I think my mom will appreciate my laid-back attitude a little more from now on. At least, I hope so.
Now, I do understand the need to start your work-week with a clean house; I'm going to be going back to work in November myself. I'm hoping by then to be organized enough that we're not searching for shoes when we should already be half-way to daycare, ut I highly doubt that I'd choose housework over going to the park with my husband and kids. I know I wouldn't. I might ask my husband and kids to help out first/later if it was that big a deal, but it probably wouldn't be.
Because I would rather my kids remember all the fun we had going to parks, and baking cookies, and making forts out of all the furniture, and playing games and doing puzzles, and not remember only hanging out with Dad while Mom went crazy with the mop.