If I wake up only three times while I’m sleeping to pee, that is considered a peaceful night of rest. During the day, I suddenly have to pee very badly, and as I run for the bathroom, my body goes “Eh, close enough.” We are in the midst of some kind of god-awful Maryland wintertime and I spent my day running errands in clothes made of what amounts to cheese cloth. I way too often have to talk myself down from hitting ORDER on an online delivery form for a cheesesteak and mozzarella sticks. It’s been weeks since I have been able to look down and see what underwear I am wearing. I can no longer put on socks without reverting to some bastardized form of Pigeon Pose.
The third trimester is coming. I can feel it. I can smell it. It smells like pee, just in case you haven’t been to this sunny side of life yet. But with all the discomfort and disrupted sleep and wet pants and cheese cravings, comes nesting. Glorious nesting! When I was pregnant with August, we finally cleaned out the unfinished basement/laundry room, to the point that I would actually go in there and sometimes do laundry. I emptied our big ass pantry, painted it, made solid covers for the wire shelves, cleared out all of our cabinets and storage, and organized the everloving shit out of the whole kitchen. We cleaned everywhere, getting the house ready for our new baby. And it has been mostly dirty since then.
Granted, it’s cleaner than it used to be. I used to never clean. Never. And the weird thing is, it has gotten much easier to maintain our home post-child than it was before. B.A. (Before August), the only thing that made a clean house feel necessary, or more necessary than us playing video games and watching a lot of cable TV, was having company over. We hardly ever did that, so the house stayed a mess most of the time. Now with August, I need things to be somewhat in order to feel any sort of sane during the day.
I tried writing myself an insane daily and weekly chore list, that I color-coded and laminated and hung on the fridge like the most Stepford of psychos. And then I never looked at it again. If I could stick to that thing, you would be able to eat off my toilet seat. But it was really easy to ignore the existence of that list, so I’ve made adjustments and adopted habits that are a little more practical. I try to keep up with dishes and keep the kitchen clean throughout the day. And while Adam handles bathtime and bedtime, I pick up toys and various scattered things around the house, so that I can start the next day on a semi-blank, but still pet-hairy slate. It works, for the most part. But.
Over the past couple of years, Adam and I have gone through phases of cutting down on the absurd amount of stuff we own. We don’t have a huge house- it’s large-ish for a townhouse, but only has two bedrooms, so stuff piles up quickly. We have made a lot of progress. But still, stuff remains. And adding a kid to the mix- sweet lord. You think of this tiny little baby person coming into your life and filling your heart with love and joy. But you don’t realize all the shit, literally and metaphorically, they fill your house with. And every few months, it’s more and it’s bigger. This is partially because I went into parenthood thinking that if I just bought everything ever made for a baby, the whole baby thing would be easier. That was one of my dumber ideas. But even after cutting down on a LOT of toys and gear, there is just… stuff. Stuff, guys. So much stuff. On top of your stuff.
When you have stuff, you need places for stuff. Eventually, you get more stuff. And then those places get full. Instead of having places for all your shit and all your shit in its place, you end up having a bunch of places where you shove shit, and more places where you shove shit next to that shit. And soon, you find yourself eating a bunch of deep fried cheese sticks just to give your hands something to do that isn’t lighting a match and burning down everything around you.
So, we are getting back into decluttering-mode. A lot of the rooms in our house aren’t what I would call “finished”. The walls are bare, or fairly bare. There isn’t much pulling the crap we have and plan to keep, together. Our kitchen is pretty much finished, and so is our living room and the bathrooms. But the basement/family room, and the bedrooms need some help. The plan is to go room by room. Purging, organizing, cleaning, and finishing decorating, so that we can enter the lion den that is having two children with as much peace of mind as humanly possible.
I will post about our progress as we make it. We recently started on our family room/basement, and the changes we made have created a more enjoyable space that already feels bigger. So I’m feeling good. Hopefully it will be complete fairly soon, and we can move on to the bedrooms.
Do you have a space or room in your house that your family spends the most time? What have you done to make it a place you want to be in?