A Spotless House Is a Sign of a Wasted Life

Hello, RDC community!  Before I jump into this post, let me introduce myself.  My name is Kendy Cox and I’ve been asked to blog about various women’s issues.  I have vast expertise in this content area because, well, I’m a woman!  Regardless, what I write is simply my humble opinion and I want to encourage the sharing of numerous perspectives.

My full-time gig consists of serving the couples and individuals of this state through the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative.  More specifically, I work for Public Strategies, a private project management firm which coordinates statewide services through a contract with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.  My other full-time gig consists of being a wife to a wonderful husband and taking care of two lovely kids (the adjectives change depending upon the day…smile!).  I’m looking forward to musing about the issues on my mind and in my heart, as well as reading your feedback.

So, here we go…

I’ll never forget the day I happened upon this quote on a friend’s Facebook page:   “A Spotless House Is a Sign of a Wasted Life.”

I felt validated for the first time in my adult life.

The reason this pithy statement stuck with me is because I discovered it at a time when I was really struggling to keep everything in life “just so.”  Like many of you, most days are spent working hard at my job, serving as chauffeur to numerous kid-related activities, attempting to fit in a reasonably healthy dinner for the family, overseeing homework tasks, bathing kids and getting clothes ready for the next day, and hoping beyond hope that I find time to exercise and/or communicate with my husband about more than who’s picking up whom and at what time.  As an aside, I do this with the help of my attentive and helpful husband, so I tip my hat to those of you doing this solo!  With all of this activity, I end most days in a state of sheer exhaustion and many times feeling incredibly disappointed by the general disarray of my home.

You know what disarray looks like, right?  Remnants from dinner still on the table, clothes and backpacks strewn across the living room floor, and maybe even two weeks’ worth of laundry waiting to be folded and put away.  While keeping up with the house may not be your particular issue of concern, I know I’m not alone as I’ve talked with far too many women who tie their self worth to their ability to do EVERYTHING.  And not just everything, but everything well.

Now, I’m not striving for a feature spread in Good Housekeeping, but most days I would be lucky to attract the attention of So So Housekeeping.  My anxiety about it is ever present and my own negative self talk is brutal.  But let’s think rationally for a moment.  How absurd is it for any of us to fool ourselves into believing that a spotless home is a more powerful reflection of our worth than any of the other amazing things we do every day?  Let’s think about the activities that dirty up the house in the first place….cooking a great meal, building a fort with our kids, or sorting through weeks of newspapers to find that 20% off coupon we need to buy a pregnant friend a much-needed registry item.  Yes, the result may be messy blankets, newspapers, or dishes, but those are the remnants of a life lived, memories made, and relationships nurtured to their fullest.

So, the next time you look around at a less than perfect home, try to go easy on yourself.  Trust me, I’m working on it right along with you.  Let’s remember that we work hard for our families in many different ways and our work cannot always be balanced equally.  Something’s gotta give, and the laundry will be there tomorrow…just don’t trip over it on your way out the door to do something amazing!

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6 thoughts on “A Spotless House Is a Sign of a Wasted Life”

  1. What a great way to put it. Its endless, and the worst thing about trying to keep a spotless house, I have discovered, is that its one of those non-value adding activities; you getting it ready to be dirtied again.

  2. Hear hear! Great post. I strive for cleanliness but I always in the back of my head I have the following: “Quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.” In my case this is literally true, but if you take it metaphorically it applies to all of us.

  3. KC: I’ll start by saying that THIS POST was huge for me too. Thanks for the quote, the thoughts about self worth and for putting them together for us to read. I appreciate you! Kelly

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