When my husband and I started dating, he had the absolute worst college roommate — ever. John had no regard for cleanliness and hygiene. He never did the dishes, he bought new underwear instead of doing laundry, and he left food all around the house. I will never forget the time he ordered Chinese food and didn’t refrigerate the leftovers. Instead, he left his food on the coffee table — which was already piled high and wide with other fast food containers. My husband refused to clean up his mess, so the food sat out on the coffee table. For over a week. Suffice it to say, we spent most of our time at my apartment.
Just recently, after a fairly hectic week, I looked around my house and saw the disaster it had become. Dishes were overflowing across my kitchen counters. Laundry was piled up in four different rooms. I could barely walk through my messy house without stepping on a block, Lego, or Cheerio. I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d mopped or vacuumed the floors. My home had reached a level of disgusting I had only seen when my husband was living with John.
I often grow frustrated with the state of my messy house. I long for the days when I can sit on my couch without having to move piles of stuffed animals. And I usually blame myself for my home’s disorderly state. But I’ve realized recently that my housekeeping skills are not entirely to blame.
My two young children are some of the worst roommates I’ve ever had.
They leave food everywhere. One time, I found a banana under my entertainment center. I have no idea how long it had been there… and I don’t want to know.
They fling their clothes all over the house. Once upon a time, a sock on the doorknob meant, “do not disturb.” Now it just means it’s a Tuesday.
They never do the dishes. And, somehow, those dishes end up on the floor, under the couch, and in their beds.
They vomit in inconvenient places. And at incredibly inconvenient times.
They don’t bathe unless I make them. Let’s face it, even that is a real challenge sometimes.
They steal my food. For example, they don’t want their own chicken nuggets, yet my chicken nuggets are much more appetizing.
They control the television. Like, they get really upset when I want to watch “House Hunters” instead of Mickey Mouse.
They borrow things without asking. My 1.5-year-old is obsessed with my shoes. It’s a pretty typical morning when he walks into the living room wearing a pair of heels.
They really enjoy being naked. Especially first thing in the morning.
They’re not very good at respecting personal space. It’s a luxury when I can go to the bathroom without two children and a dog in the room.
I think it’s pretty understandable why I grow frustrated with my children and the state of my house. It’s difficult sharing your space with another human being, even when those humans are your own flesh and blood.
In the end, though, I have to remind myself that this situation is only temporary. Soon, my children will be old enough and big enough to help with chores and clean up after themselves. And one day, far down the road, my house will be very, very clean and very, very quiet… because my children will have moved out and started their own lives. For now, I’m going to do my best to enjoy the mess and love my terrible roommates. Thankfully, what they lack in cleanliness, they more than make up for in hugs, kisses, and love. So maybe they’re not such bad roommates after all.