Parenting Guru: All I Want This New Year is a Clean House for an Hour

Can a Clean House Stay Clean for More Than One Hour?

A few years ago I wrote about my messy house. I did not think much about it when I wrote it, but it ended up getting a lot of hits and nasty comments (which have since been removed by the editors). But fast forward from then to today and not much has changed. Unfortunately. Even now that I have two children in college you would think it would be easier to maintain a clean house but it's not. I realize the mess is created by just 3 people. Okay, maybe just one. Me.


My excuse is I hate to clean. And I don't want to pay someone to clean it for me while I'm in the house. How can I be sitting at my desk having a cup of tea while others clean my house? They'll be looking at me from the corner of their eyes wondering how I manage to make such a mess and not clean up after myself? But really should they care if I'm paying them? But I'm not. I don't want anyone in the house cleaning up my mess.

The truth is the house does get cleaned. But it's as if the instant it is clean it's like Pig Pen from the cartoon "Peanuts." Do you know the character? The instant he gets a bath and goes outside to play he's back to being as dirty as before. It doesn't matter how cleaned up he gets in an instant he's back to his moniker, Pig Pen. That's seems to be the same spell my house is under.

So this year my 3 girls got together to choose a gift for me. It was my dream gift, the gift of "clean." Yup-when my husband and I were doing our last minute stocking stuffer gift shopping the 3 of them teamed together and cleaned the house from top to bottom. They scrubbed, swept, vacuumed and dusted. They put away, threw away, folded away and hung away. And by the time my husband and I returned home the house was spotless. It was a piece of heaven if only for a moment.

Then my Black Labrador Retriever "Rally" came bounding in to greet me. And in an instant my spotless house started to snap the clean house spell as Rally shed a hundred black fur balls throughout the house. Next the mailman delivered a thousand catalogs that piled high on my kitchen counter. And the laptops, iPhones, papers and mugs started appearing out of nowhere on my previously spotless kitchen island. I spun around to savor what was left of the clean gift my girls had worked so hard to provide.

If only for a moment, my gift was there and I enjoyed every nanosecond of it. I look forward to next year when my house is spotless for another millisecond.

Tina Case is a Yahoo! Shine Parenting Guru. She blogs at Parent Grapevine and Moms Who Click. You can also find her writing on the Yahoo! Contributor Network.