Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cleanliness Gone Too Far?

I tell my daughter all the time that if she wants her toys to be good to her, she has to be good to them.  I believe this to be true.  A clean house is a good thing.  Keeping things organized and clean is a great habit to teach our kids and allows them to be able to use their toys for a long time.  Also, if things are organized than we know where the toys are, what needs to be tossed, rotated, or most importantly what we should enjoy!  But if our BIGGEST concern is cleanliness than we might be accidentally sending our children a message that they are not important.
I know for me personally, it's easy to focus on putting things away, organizing, or cleaning the bathroom.  It's tangible, I can see the results, and it sparkles!!!  It's something I have complete control over....but the real question is, is it really a problem if the bathroom sink has some toothpaste on it or is it more important to get on the floor and spend quality time with my child playing that matching game for the millionth time? If I stay awake til midnight cleaning the kitchen floor or organizing the basement, I may be short tempered and impatient with my child in the morning (perhaps sending mixed messages to my family about what it most important to me).  If I'm cleaning out the fridge instead of going to bed with my husband at night, am I accidentally making him feel unimportant or unappreciated?

If you find yourself obsessing over a clean house, maybe it's time to shift your focus toward taking pride in how much time your spending with the children and let go of the household checklist a little.  The results of spending quality time with the children (or husband) may not be as obvious as that perfectly organized playroom but the impact is a greater one!  Your child will feel that they are more important than the pieces of cracker in the corner of the living room floor or how organized the tupperware drawer looks.  The outcome may not shine like the windows in the front of your house but the quality time spent with you husband or child may be a lasting memory that they will hold onto for years to come.   

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