Confessions of a Mom: Who Hates to Clean


As I lay me down to sleep
I know my clothes are in a heap
I told myself I would get to that
But my best intentions again fell flat

The dirty dishes reappear each day
The counters are in constant disarray
I send up a prayer for new resolve
Hoping my mindset will evolve

Overnight I will suddenly transform
A love for cleaning will then be born
I will no longer hate to do my chores
I will happily scrub my kitchen floors

Until this happens I guess for now
I will keep asking God just how
To keep my eyes off this big mess
And on the ones that I can bless

-Ashley Ferris

Nearly every night I go to bed with more regret for the things I did not clean than the things I did. Cleaning is not one of those things that gives me joy on its own. The more I focus on the task of the cleaning itself the more defeated I feel. My kids are small-ish and they are sloppy. I realize now that I helped to create the atmosphere in my home that they don’t clean up after themselves. It takes more work to come alongside them and teach them when they are little to pick up their toys. In the blur of having three kids in four years I wanted efficient in the moment. I lost out on setting a certain expectation for the long haul—for now. I am in the middle of turning the tide and showing them that cleaning their space is not only their responsibility, but honoring to God.

*Gulp* which means I have to learn the same hard lesson—right alongside them.

One of the truths that I need to buy into is that I am called to give my full effort to the things I have been given to do. I am a stay-at-home mom and one of the responsibilities I have been given is keeper of the home. I am in charge of the visible tone of the house. The fun side of that (for me) is decorating and creating our home’s style. The tough part of that is keeping it clean. I am called to give it my full ability:

Whatever the activity in which you engage, do it with all your ability, because there is no work, no planning, no learning, and no wisdom in the next world where you’re going.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 ISV

That’s right, everything we do. I need to take pride in the things I have and try to maintain a certain level amid the chaos. This can be done in a few different ways. Some like to print out a schedule. They do certain things on certain days. Others like to do it all and then just maintain all of it daily.

I have yet to find a method that works for me that also keeps my house at a basic level of clean all the time. I will get back to you when I do though. For now, I am focusing on 20 minute time slots. I am competitive by nature and racing myself to get an entire room clean in 20 minutes is fun for me. I also appreciate the results of a highly-effective 20 minutes!

The other thing I am trying to do is get my kids involved by giving them a 5-minute family clean up time. We set the timer for 5 minutes and clean the play room. This is one area that they can quickly see that they are the ones that made the mess and they need to clean it up. My older one is also in charge of his room.

These two things in combination with the idea that I am blessing my family by cleaning our shared space is helping me get a better handle on our home. I want to find joy in cleaning my home—even if I don’t find cleaning to be a particularly joyful activity.

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