Hello??? Can anyone hear me? I’m down here… throw me a life ring QUICK! You can’t see me? You can’t see me flailing about? I’m drowning, I’m drowni…
This is how I feel. And I need help. I need some assistance digging myself out from the endless piles that get moved from one spot to another, from counter to counter, room to room, bin to bin, closet to closet, chair to dresser to bed.
I have been quite self deprecating (mother of god did it really just take me 4 tries to spell that right? And it still looks wrong…) in this blog about the fact that I am not the neatest person. I’m clean but not neat. It’s one thing that if I could wiggle my nose and change one thing about myself it would be this (or my toes). I try, I really do. The day my cleaning lady comes I promise myself that I will keep it just as she left it. But then Hannah comes home with art work, I get 43 new catalogs of which 17 of them I MUST keep just.in.case, Hannah’s Polly Pockets get dropped and the bathing suit ends up in the kitchen and the dress ends up in the family room, Luke carries off three puzzle pieces to the dining room, Hannah HAS to buy silly puddy which then requires saving newspaper, etc.
And why the hell can’t I throw ANYTHING away? Do I really think Hannah will want to read one day every single report her daycare teacher wrote when she was 1-4 years old? Will I really frame every piece of artwork that she’s done to date? Yes ladies (and maybe a gentleman), I have saved every.piece.of.everything. I have Hannah’s cast from when she broke her leg. I have both kids first locks of hair that were clipped off. I have the EPT that showed a positive finally after far too many months/years of trying (although it doesn’t show positive anymore… it’s blank but it’s still sitting in my drawer.) (How gross is that? I saved a peed on stick that doesn’t even say anything anymore?). (Why am I using so many parentheses?) I have the sweater I wore on my first date with Tim. It’s stained. It’s HUGE. It’s hideous. It’s still in my closet. I have clothes that even if they did come back into style I can’t imagine I’d wear again but just in case, they are still there. I have instructions, warranties, directions, recipes, pamphlets, brochures, invitations, and receipts overflowing from more than one “misc” drawer. I have every birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Columbus Day card that I either gave or received from the past 10 or so years. I have every article of Hannah and Luke’s clothing and I’m NOT having any more kids. I even have Bella’s doggy sweaters from when she was a puppy.
I never know where anything is. I crave minimality (is that a word?). I dream of being one of those moms whose counters are sparse.
I Need To Purge. If I don’t purge, I may vomit.
But I don’t even know where to begin. How do I find it within myself to just DUMP everything? I’m worried that one day Oprah will surprise me at my door with video cameras rolling to record “How a Hoarder can live and still care for her two children amongst the chaos”. Or maybe it will be Jerry Springer and Tim will be dragged off to share his woes of discovering that his wife has birthday cards from long lost lovers from her past. And. She. Didn’t. Even. Know.
This week I’ve become clean obsessed in the kitchen because of Mr. M. Everything is now in containers. I hear choir voices when I open my cabinets and pantries. My counter tops are SPOTLESS. I catch food that Luke throws before it hits the floor. If Mr. M does return, he will head quickly back to his hole shaking his head in disappointment. And I feel a sense of calm. Hannah doesn’t know what to make of it. I was cleaning up tonight right after dinner and she wanted me to help her with a puzzle and I said I’d be there in a minute, “I’m Cleaning Up.” I told her. I saw her poke her head around the corner into the kitchen, “You’re what?” she asked.
“It’s what I do after dinner.”
“No you don’t.”
And then I realized I usually do it after she goes to bed. “Well, now I do”, I told her.
“That’s good mommy. It’s good to be neat.”
Maybe I’ll just have her give me a gold star every time I stay neat. That might be just the incentive I need. I the meantime… if there are any lifeguards out there, trained to save a drowning mom…