Growing up, cleaning was a huge chore. It caused so many arguments in our home. However, I did learn how to maintain a household. I clean on a daily basis, but their are times where I do not clean for days. Sometimes I just need a break. One night, after dinner, I decided to put the dinner dishes in the sink and walk away but my husband says “Im going to take care of the dishes now” and I told him he didnt have to do it now. I usually do it before the night ends. He has this thing where he prefers to have it done as soon as we are finished, which is the way that I was taught. Never leave the kitchen dirty. So while my husband and I are cleaning the kitchen he asks me ” babe, do you think your mother messed this up for you?” Obviously I didnt know what he was talking about because it was a very empty question however he clarified. What he meant was if my mother was the reason why I prefer to wait on cleaning the kitchen or sometimes just my house. My mothers biggest pet peeve was a dirty house and I understand that now as I have my own home but I didnt leave home with the same cleaning habits that mom was trying to teach me over the years. I clean when I want to. I do not let it consume me. Every hispanic knows that the weekend is cleaning time. My mom didnt like to do anything before the house was clean and that bothered me a lot and it wasnt because I was just a child. There were times where I felt like I had to clean or else we couldnt do anything as a family or have any fun and now that I have my own family, I try to make sure that that feeling that I once had my children will never.
My husbands grandmother gave us some advice one day. She told me to not worry about keeping the house clean all the time because it can mess up your relationship. She gave me examples from her own life that I wont share but I understood her. If your house is a mess, it is not a big deal. Messes can easily be cleaned. Time, however, goes by too quickly to worry about little things like this and to have it take away time from your family. Im not saying “hey be a slob who cares”. Im saying, love your home but love your family more. Every night after I put my oldest son to sleep, things settle, so thats when I decide to unload/load the dishwasher, sweep and mop, vaccumm the living room, and put laundry away. I rather stay up a little later than to take away from playing with my boys or stopping family outings. I admit that sometimes the messes overwhelm me but thats mostly when I am already feeling overwhelmed.
My mother is an absolutely terrific mother and teacher. She taught me how to clean and cook and about personal hygiene that by the time I got married at age 17, she trusted that I could maintain a home by myself. Im not saying that growing up she was a cleaning monster but growing up she was a cleaning monster. I didnt agree with her tactics and that is okay. It got much better as we got older. I enjoy cleaning my home. This is why when my husband asked me if my mom “messed it up for me” I told him “Im not going to stress over something that can easily be done, so no, she didnt mess up anything.”
p.s. Mother, I love you.