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How I Prioritize

In Other Words, Why my House is a Mess!

My house is always a bit of a mess. There is a pile of laundry waiting to be folded on my couch, dishes in the sink, and the table is a collection of the past few days debris. I clean up some every day but it still looks like this 90% of the time. I'm a stay at home mom and I should have time to keep a gleaming house, right? Right??

Obviously having a sparkling clean house is just not at the top of my list of priorities. Maybe it should be, but it's not. I do make sure nothing gets really out of hand but I'm ok with messy. I have better things to do than clean all day.

Here's a kicker though, when I lived in town my house was clean. Pretty darn sparkling shiny most of the time. My yard was pretty too. There was less to do and more time to do it. I could manage to cook dinner, play with the children, fold the clothes, do the dishes, weed the flower beds, and generally clean most days. Then we moved to our little hillside in the woods. There is mud and hay and manure that gets tracked in by everyone, even the cat. There are animals to feed and barns to clean and vaccinations to give and critters to groom and doctor and fences to mend. My kitchen has goat kid bottles stacked next to sippy cups and milk pails get washed with religious regularity while cereal bowls sit all day in the sink. Kidding towels and kid sweaters get folded and brought back out to the barn while my children dig through to find school clothes. 

I don't mean to make it sound like my house is trashed all the time. It's not. I do dishes and make breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, and fold clothes once a week. I sweep and mop and vaccuum twice a week. It's just dirtier here and harder to keep up with. But there are so many things I would rather be doing than cleaning the house.

In the winter WeeOne plays in the hay while I clean the barn and he has to pet every single animal before we go back in. He helps me water and feed and kicks straw around when we re-bed stalls. I also spend some time jumping around the stacks of hay with him because I know how fast he'll grow out of it. It's more than double the amount of time I spend doing chores but it's worth it. I spend time in the loft with MiniMe and LittleMan building hay forts and tunnels and hide outs. We managed to waste an entire week when it snowed. Snowmen and sledding and snowball fights and snow angels.

In the spring it's kidding season and MiniMe and I spend hours, literally hours, every day with the does and then with the does and their kids. When it's nice enough WeeOne and I play in the pasture with the goats and the dogs and when it's not great weather we play in the barn and the kid pen during breaks in the rain. Sometimes I bring my book (a kindle so the goats don't eat it) because it's fenced so WeeOne is safe and secure and has plenty to occupy him. It's my time to sit and marvel at my youngest child and the new kids that make the most of every moment. When LittleMan and MiniMe get home from school we go back out because new life is incredible and everything else can wait. And there's still stalls to clean and milking season begins and animals to feed and care for.

Of course summer is the best and worst time. We skip spring cleaning the house because we are all about to be outside for next several months so why bother, right? Right! We work with the cows and get our outdoor projects going. Things like building the shop and barn, fencing, and haying. The important stuff and the not so important stuff, like MiniMe washing her heifers and working towards fair. And still cleaning stalls, feeding, and milking!

Fall is probably the busiest time of all. This is when it's breeding season, harvest season, canning season, cider season, and when I finally clean the house! In between all the other stuff going on, kids going back to school, the last of MiniMe's goat shows, cleaning up outside in prep for winter, stripping out the garden, I also scrub the house. I do all the floors Cinderalla style and wash the windows and sort out the junk drawers, go through the childrens clothes, clean off the top of the fridge and under the microwave. Fall is when it all happens. I do it in fall so we can hunker down in relative comfort for the winter!

So house cleaning is never at the top of my list of priorities. Life is. All the things we do every day, big things and little things, important things and things like playing the "armpit" game. My children are healthy and happy and so are my critters, my house is messy and my barn is clean and I think my priorities are spot on!

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