Parent Confessions: Keeping the House Clean Feels Impossible

Why is it so hard to keep my house clean?   I have four kids, and it seems it takes me longer to clean one area than for it does for them to turn their play space into a disaster zone.  How can can these four little ones cause so much destruction?

I do get them to clean up but just like laundry, it never ends.  I clean my windows and my three year old leaves her prints all over, making them look dirtier than before I cleaned them.  I steam clean my carpets, then the baby spills my coffee and the five year old drops her drink. Fortunately, my husband sees that I pick up. He cleans too but it seems to never be enough. My worst nemesis is laundry. Can I just donate all of our clothes? It feels great to put an entire load away, and then I'm reminded that I still have five more to go; three on top of my bed and two in the laundry room.  In my youth, I worked in retail and managing five rolling racks packed with clothes and a truck full of boxes were nothing to me. Everything was put away, hung up and neatly folded before the store opened, and now a basketful of clothes mock me.

To top things off, my kids look like feral children at the end of the day.  They started the morning bathed and in clean clothes, but now their hair looks like it hasn't been brushed in days.  Those stains on the carpet match the stains on their clothes. The thing that helps me keep my sanity is knowing that my children are happy. Three out of the four are in school full time, two for the full day.  Soon, my house will be clean and empty and I'll long for the days when I found random toys and food under the couch. I’ll think of when I contemplated throwing away the sippy cup (with day old milk) that I found at bottom of the toy bin.  It helps me realize that now is the time to focus on more time with my children. The mess can wait, and I will not regret the extra play time, laughs, and the time spent with my babies.