Living in a war zone

I taught piano from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. tonight. I clean the house pretty thoroughly before piano, and it stays clean while I teach because the kids are usually in their room or outside with a babysitter.

After teaching, I made dinner, ate dinner, read stories to the kids, and got them ready for bed. It is now 8:15.

The kitchen: While there aren’t any dishes besides the ones we dirtied making and eating dinner, there are napkins all over the table, hand towels strewn on the floor, a tortilla on the floor, and random toys and a hat mixed in.

The office: An inflatable pool toy, 8 pairs of shoes, a kiddie chair (upended), a book, a random strap thingy, my purse, a drawing, and a sippy cup, are on the floor.

Living room: I don’t even want to start. Duplo got into the diaper bag (which Lego got out of the closet), books are everywhere, and there’s a sleeping bag draped over the couch for some reason. Oh, and a few toys are out, just because someone felt like maybe it was too orderly in there.

Three hours. It took three hours to get the house from being neat and clean to looking like wolves have lived in it for three days.

It seems like it’s getting worse by the day, too. My only consolation is that Lego sometimes helps me pick up toys now.

The truth is, I’m tired of picking up after kids who just destroy things mere minutes later. Sometimes I just want to give up and let them live in their mess. But I can’t; it drives me nuts not to have a clean house, and even if it didn’t, I do try not to force my piano students to step over piles of clutter when they come for their lessons.

This is definitely one of the things no one tells you about having children. Ugh.


  1. I don’t miss those days. I feel your frustration! Hang in there. They do grow up and move away and the house will stay clean for a day or more.

  2. Wonderful writing! An”alive image” in-my-mind writing! Really funny! I laughed and laughed. But-ouch-the memory hurts. A realistic description of the frustration this (long ago) young mother constantly felt!

  3. I feel for you too! I leave the mess until bed time and then we all clean up. But I have the added woe right now of boxes that are still unpacked and everywhere. Plus no garage so we have three bikes randomly taking residence in our apartment. oh well. Good luck with cleaning.

  4. I hear ya! I have to say though, while we were at the in-laws it was so nice, because the house was so big there weren’t as many messes to clean, or maybe it was just there were more people to help with the cleaning 🙂
    Anyway, I stumbled upon these two posts and thought you might like to try it. Duplo probably isn’t big enough to understand yet but Lego is 🙂

    The blog with the original idea:

    The blog with a little more added to it:

  5. There are times when my children literally follow me around undoing my cleaning and leaving a trail of toys, clothes, and cracker crumbs. I’m not always good at enforcing this, but it has helped that I have made our living room a toy-free zone. My kitchen may be a disaster, and we won’t even talk about the state of Adriana’s room (even though it gets picked up every night before she goes to bed), but at least I’m not always stepping on toy dinosaurs and dress-up clothes in the living room anymore.

  6. Hey there!

    So I know it’s lame to do this in a comment, but I wasn’t 100% sure how else to. . . I’ve made my blog private so if you’d like to read it, let me know and I’ll send you an invite. 🙂

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