I Am So Tired of Clutter


I am So Tired of ClutterI. Am. Exhausted. I know most of us expect to open a blog written by a mother and read about how “there is hope” or “look at the silver lining” or “check out these hacks that eliminate clutter!” This is not one of those blogs. This is a blog about solidarity. Solidarity for all those mothers who are so tired of all the clutter in their home that they have reached the breaking point. Solidarity for all the mothers who feel quietly judged by others for their constantly cluttered home and all their stuff. Solidarity for all of us that are just plain tired and would love to hide until all the clutter disappears.

I refuse to clean up after my children. REFUSE.

I am not their servant and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. It is not my job to clean up after them. It is my job to teach them how to not be slobs. Sure, it would be easier to just do it myself but I’m not going to lie — I resent it. On the other hand, I feel like if I have to tell my kids to throw away one more wrapper left by the microwave when the trash can is three steps to the left, I might scream!

I try to make it easy for them, but nothing works. I have tried reward charts, yelling, screaming, dance parties, making dad come home to put the fear of God in them while I go watch a movie. You name it. I have tried it. Nothing works. And I. AM. EXHAUSTED. It is such a constant in my home to remind my children to put dishes in the kitchen, trash in the trash can, laundry in the hamper, shoes in the shoe closet, toys in the bin, etc. etc. etc. I am starting to feel like my very existence has merely become like that of a robot, one which reminds a child to put their stuff up.

I love being a mother.

I don’t mind driving them to their activities. I love homeschooling my children. I love watching them grow and learn and develop passions. But I am so tired of the constant clutter and the simple refusal to recognize that the empty juice box needs to be thrown away. I have even begged their grandparents and aunt to not buy any more stuff for any of us because it will just be. more. stuff. We don’t need more stuff! With every toy that goes in the donation bag, five more magically appear as a gift from my children’s grandparents or aunt — it makes me want to scream!

Last week, I got in the car and just drove. I had lost it. I had reached my breaking point with the clutter and I called my best friend and parked in a parking lot to just talk. I called to tell her that I had left the house and why. She started laughing and said, “It is so funny you bring this up because I completely lost my cool with my family earlier this week over the same thing.” We talked for over an hour. We talked about the clutter and how the constant asking, begging, reminding, PLEADING to clean up has actually brought on some anxiety.

We know they are just children and they don’t mean anything by it, but it’s hard not to take it personally. When a person constantly asks for the same thing over and over again and there is no return answer, that person starts to feel like no one cares about what is important to them. It’s not the one pair of underwear left lying in the bathroom; it’s the fact that it is the umpteenth pair of underwear, plate, food wrapper, towel, toy, shoe (I could go on and on), in so many years. It’s an isolating and nerve-wracking feeling and it can be really hard to put all of it into perspective. You never imagined as a young woman dreaming of success that the majority of your day would be focused on so. much. clutter.

Yes, yes. I know this too shall pass. There will be a day when it finally clicks in my child’s head that she can put her plate in the dishwasher instead of leaving it on the table until I remind her to put it up. And then put it in the sink if you’re lucky (more than likely it will just be on the counter by the sink). And then you must remind her that she can actually put it in the dishwasher. This is starting to sound to me like a mother’s version of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Anyone else?

Until then, I shall slather on my Stress Away or Peace and Calming essential oils, hug my children at night because I feel badly for getting mad at them AGAIN over the clutter, call my best friend and vent for over an hour, or go to a movie by myself when I can to get away from it all, you know, the self-care stuff that all of us our supposed to do. By nighttime, my head will hit a pillow and I will sleep like the exhausted snoring mother that I am, waiting for the fight over clutter to begin all over again the next day.


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