I'd say that from the moment my firstborn started to crawl I have had this dilemma and feel it will be a dilemma till they are all teenagers and no longer want me to play with them :)
Here's my dilemma. How does one clean a house and keep cleaning and tidying it up all day while also being the full-time carer of active, inquisitive and adventurous children?
Here's what happens in my house: a) While I clean or tidy up one section of the home, the children are pulling out things and leaving a trail of mess in the other parts of the house; b) the children fight and someone inevitably gets hurt; or c) I put the tv on and let them sit there like zombies while I get some things done. All 3 options leave me cranky, guilty and particularly in the first 2 cases 'the scream' comes a-visiting. So what do I do instead?
For the past 4.5 years I have ignored as much as possible, played all day and gone out to lots of interesting places. Now please don't imagine a filthy home with piles of stuff everywhere all the time. Yes, on some days there is a fair bit of mess, but generally I am quite tidy. What annoys me is that I seem to tidy all the time (yes, I know that's a given being a SAHMof 2) and don't seem to get to the deep cleaning.......
Now I don't profess myself to be the best mother in the world - far from it in fact. I also don't condemn those that do have clean houses and think that you must all neglect your children. Not at all.
I am aware of my talents and weaknesses. My biggest weakness is time-management. Something which I aim to improve everyday. Sometimes I do well. Sometimes not so well.
So here's my question: Is it possible to have an immaculate house and stimulate your children all day? Or, is it a case of each taking it's turn.
I have the following quote on my wall:
If you are in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scatttered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will - to your surprise - miss them profoundly (President Monson, Ensign, Nov 2008, 84-87).
It is why I try to play with them as much as I can and create memories of fun outings but......... just sometimes I wish I could have both.............
If you have any tips for doing both, let me know!