Thursday, November 19, 2009


Before I was married, I used to think:

"When I am married and have my own home, it will be spotless, tidy, perfectly decorated to my tastes and specifications, and it will be a cinch to keep in perfect order, what with just my husband and me living there. It won't be like my girlhood home where my 7 siblings and I grew up, when my mother struggled to keep things together......" Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Yeeeaaah......... whatever. I got my man, and with him his farm and 1920's era farmhouse. Great, right? Of course! I love old places! It was, until last year when we decided it would be "fun" to remodel. "This won't take long at all," we thought. "This will be a breeze." "We'll have it done by spring and then I can blissfully paint and decorate, and buy antiques and rugs and artwork to hand on my walls............." Well, we haven't really remodeled anything yet. So far, we've just demolished things, and stopped there.

Yeeeeeaaaah......... Uh-huh.

The reality is this: The remodeling is far from done. Nor will it be done anytime soon. I've come to accept that. This is going to take years at the rate we're going.

I've bought a lot of artwork, decor, collectibles, etc. And they are all packed away in boxes still.

I haven't painted my living room or parlor/office.

And as for housekeeping? For just two people living here, we sure create a lot of mess! There are two of us and yet I do laundry almost every day. This time of year is such a nasty time of year - my husband comes in from hunting and tracks mud all over the place. We have 2 wood stoves - which I LOVE!- But bringing in the wood for them leaves untold messes. I clean floors several times a day - on a good day; when I bother.

My kitchen is not just a place where I prepare meals in a frilly dress, heels, and pearls with every hair in place, wearing one of my organza hostess aprons, serving it up on my antique Blue Willow or Homer Laughlin china.
It is a deer and cow meat processing center; a canning and picking center; a jam and jelly kitchen; a bakery, a first aid clinic, a vet clinic, a baby chick incubator/brooder, recycling center, and tool shed, among other things. It is in a constant state of mess to one degree or another.

I HATE duvet covers! I have one of those "hotel" types; off white; and I stuff the comforter in it. Or I try to. Every time I take it off to wash it, It goes back on lumpy and uneven. ARRRGG!
And it was a BIG mistake to make throw pillows out of vintage white linens. I have a pile of them all over the bed; and every one of them is covered in black and gray cat hair. *SIGH*

I don't mean to complain, here - I am just illustrating how my teenage dream of keeping my perfect house is shattered all over my dirty floors, swept up, and dumped in the trash.

And don't even ask me about all the STUFF we both brought into the marriage.... for two people only married just under 2 years, we sure have a bunch of stuff. Stuff we don't use; stuff packed up in boxes; stuff we don't want to toss because of whomever gave it to us; stuff that we mean to fix; stuff, stuff stuff. I still have STUFF given to us as wedding gifts, still in gift boxes. Hunting stuff, riding stuff, embroidery, sewing and craft stuff, my antique stuff ("Oh - I'll sell it! Uh-huh -) I feel a purge coming on!

Ok. Maybe I am just stressing because the Family is coming over for Thanksgiving next week and I have so much stuff to do, and clean, and put out of reach of little fingers. Or maybe it is the fact that all I've done for the past two days is clean messes in the house, or clean the barn.

I feel like I have turned out to be such a failure at housekeeping. For all my efforts, I seem to get nowhere.


Susannah Forshey said...

Part of me wants to hug you and comfort your perfectionist housekeeping side...part of me wants to slap you for not being utterly grateful for the fact that you have actual mud and grass surrounding your home instead of pavement (and animals other than the occaisional squirrel to care for and call your own)....and part of me wants to be sarcastic and say, "You think it's bad, now, just try adding some KIDS to that!!" Well, I think having given a sneak preview of each of those reactions, I'll go with the compassionate one. :) See, I think this is just part of what every wife goes through after marriage. Priority-shifting. The home, the meals, the chores, the errands, the husband, the friends, the church. Which comes first? (and add to that renovations, for you!) I wish I had some pat advice to help you get it all together, but the truth is, God does have a slightly different version of this list for every woman. The main thing that I learned after cycling fruitlessly around with these priorities is: Begin your day with a humble confession of inadequacy before the Lord, give over all your tasks to Him, and ask for the earthly things not to take hold of your life, but to be consumed, still, even in the midst of it all, by the Holy Spirit. He will not fail you. He will meet you during the day, and inject order into your busy life. He has never failed me in this.

Seth and Karen's blog said...


I can totally relate to you about how I felt I was going to keep my house before I was married as opposed to the reality after marriage and now with three children! Don't stress too much though, because I have noticed that just an orderly, tidy home that doesn't belong to me always looks better than my home when it is immaculate. We are our worst critics!

May I please use your advice and post it on my Love in Action blog? I'll make sure to give you full credit! :)

Duvets said...

I felt the same way when I first got married and then I just had to realize that I am not perfect, but I can at least try and make the best of it! So I totally understand.

Herb of Grace said...

I'm just gonna be snarky and go with...

"Welcome to the real world, sweetie"


You know I love you-- you perfectionistic over-achiever, you!

Susannah Forshey said...

Yes, of course, Karen!

Prairie Princess said...

They say the reason us women apologize perpetually for the condition of our home is because... it's a whole heck of a lot easier to apologize than it is to actually clean it. ;P