Don't get me wrong - I dig being home with the Reds and watching them move -swiftly, leaving mess in their wake - through their days and I love being the first person to see them master a new skill or use the phrase "Fer CRAP's sake!" in the right context.
It's the OTHER stuff that sort of gets me down. Meals, I've got sorted - I like cooking and the Reds aren't as fussy as they once were. We eat simply and on a schedule, which leaves me time for other stuff.
Mostly, I ignore the pile of stuff on the kitchen table until it threatens to topple. My junk drawer is actually a "junk counter" and while I try to keep it tidy, it drives my husband loopy.
On Sunday, I learned that practically all aspects of our life drive him loopy and that the house, in particular, overwhelms him. Dude's got a lot going on, life-wise, between his job and wanting to spend more time helping out his parents. I get that.
But because he was home last week, he got to witness the cheerful, everyday chaos of life with two kids and it sort of freaked him out:
The phone rang incessantly, friends and neighbours popped by unannounced, friends came asking if the boys' could come out to play, our street is filled with the noise and mess of construction, workmen toiled at the bottom of the driveway and needed into the basement to mess around with the water pipes or something, toys lay strewn from kitchen to front door and the boys played hockey in the house....
It overwhelmed Mark, who leaves for work when the boys are still sleeping and trudges home long after they're in bed. By the time he comes through the door the house is tidy, the toys are away and his supper is waiting on the stove. H e has control of the remote because I am usually blogging and all is quiet. Peaceful.
But not, apparently, peaceful enough.
Our house is small and old - there is very little in the way of storage and there are LOTS of things that ought to be stored away. Mostly toys, books and paper - bills, pictures, notes, etc. I think part of Mark's issue is that even the things that are put away are still visible, as our shelves are open as are both bookcases.
The boys' room looks best when I close the door and I'll admit that I am crap at putting laundry away. I could live out of a basket forever, actually, if it meant never having to put clothes in drawers again.
The kitchen, even when completely tidied up, still looks cluttered and...too full.
I am pretty good about making the bed every day and the bathroom is always getting cleaned because I live with three boys and only one of 'em has decent aim.
But that boy is NOT happy about Life with Bellymonster and the Reds.
Not. one. bit.
So, beloved readers, I need advice. And a garbage truck backed into my driveway so I can scrap it all and start fresh, but since that's unlikely, I'll take suggestions:
How do YOU control the clutter monster in your house?
Do you and your partner have completely different ways of doing things?
How do you balance the needs of everyone in the family?
Do you schedule certain tasks or tackle things as they come up?
Would you please come and heeellllppp meeeeee?