Giving Up On Clean

Today, I’m linking up with The Tiny Twig and naptime diaries to talk about giving up on good.

In other words, giving up something that is a good thing, in order to prioritize that which is really important and dispell the myth that we women ‘should be able’ to do it all well.

I pounced on this topic when I happed upon a tweet from naptime diaries yesterday because not only have I struggled with this as a christian woman, wife, and mom, but know countless other women who struggle to fit into some sort of ‘superwoman’ mold.

Today I want to tell you that the good I have chosen to give up {for now} is a clean house.


Once upon a time I was a brand new christian, wife, and mom. And I had a clean house.  Most days, trying to keep it clean made me miserable. and frustrated. and distracted. and did I mention frustrated?  Moments with my babes eluded me as I tried to keep a clean house……..

A ‘you could eat off my floors’ house.

A ‘looked like a magazine shoot’ every night before I went to bed house.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a clean house, but for me it was an idol. And it was all about me. I wanted the cleanest, prettiest house of them all. I would have tried to tell you that it was for God’s glory but, it really had nothing to do with Him.

It has been over the course of many years that God has gradually shown me that my clean house was really only for me. And  only led to frustration and toil. I will even go so far as to admit that the problem was not even as much in the actual act of cleaning, as in the attitudes of my heart that it lead to.

My husband doesn’t care.  He doesn’t even notice the difference in the house from the days I  scour and slave, to the days when we only pick up quickly 15 minutes before he gets home….

He would much rather have time with me than a clean house.

My kids certainly don’t care.  They would much rather have a walk, cuddles, or a game of farkle than any amount of clean house.

That is not to say that we live in complete disarray, but as far as the house being magazing ready at a moment’s notice? Forget about it.

Freedom. and permission to enjoy. my kids. my husband. fitness. my business.  my life.

 life abundant.

This freedom has helped eliminate much frustration, and helped me to be able to breathe in   moments that are so quickly fleeing.

I would rather:

revel in their creativity

cuddle on the couch…….
in the MIDDLE of the day!

Hold hands and chat in the early hours of the day

Date them…

leave their lego creations on the dining room table for DAYS
because I KNOW the day will come when there will be no legos
on the floor to puncture our feet.

For me, giving up the good simply meant relaxing about the cleanliness of the house.  I readily admit that I’m still not perfect in this area {or in any other for that matter}  but I KNOW that there have been many more moments of enjoyment than what might have been.

I homeschool, I workout, I have a handmade business, I spend OODLES of time with my kids and my husband, but I DO NOT keep a clean house.

DO NOT do it all.

As my eldest child turned 12 just last week,  I can honestly say that not even a little part of me looks back on the last 12 years and thinks, “I wish I had spent more time cleaning the house

Have you found there is an area of your life where you have had to give up the good, in order to prioritize what is really important?


P.S. This is only the tip of the ‘good’ iceberg that I have given up, so stay tuned 🙂

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  1. Thank you! This is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Trying to balance everything. All of your pictures are so sweet and truly capture what matters!

  2. Great post. I struggle with my house and how fast it gets dirty. I am OCD about order and being neat and my hubby is the polar opposite. But it’s all good. I clean when the kids nap. thank you for posting this

  3. The thing about cleaning and laundry is it’s a continuous process….my husband used to like it all “done.” But as soon as it’s done, there’s more to do! We have both relaxed in our “older” years. Do we love clean and order? Yes….but we enjoy being mindful of the moments. You are doing the right thing.

  4. i love it. so much pressure to be the perfect house wife and mom … what a refreshing point of view!

  5. Sara-thanks for your thoughtful post. It’s Hilary. For me personally, after a year here in Africa – there will be a fair amount of thought upon re-entry to the states. It will not be easy as we have been altered in a way I can’t quite convey….good at you for chipping away. This one item you’ve chosen will only be the first of many I’m sure ;+}

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