When I was chatting with another mom who was a night nurse reference, I told her that I was used to the house being spotless. I had a regular schedule when I would clean the bathroom, I would sweep the kitchen every week, I would clean the kitchen countertops at regular intervals. I liked everything exactly the way it was, which was super clean. I was very averse to dust and felt like I was constantly dusting. She laughed and told me that I was obviously a first time mother. “You need to learn to let go of all of those things,” she said. “When you are able to rest, you rest! Who cares if the shower has not been scrubbed in two weeks. You need to prioritize rest and sleep, otherwise you will never rest or sleep!”
Well, since the baby has arrived, this apartment has not been vacuumed even a single time. I have gathered dust bunnies and put them in the garbage. I have swept and dusted a number of times, but I have cleaned far, far less than I normally would. I still insist that our bathroom is cleaned every two weeks. I clean most of the bathroom, and Chris will clean the shower and the bathtub. I will be honest and say that his standard for cleaning the bathtub is much lower than mine, but hey, you can’t have everything perfect, otherwise you will end up doing everything your damn self. So I had to let go of this.
I have also been cleaning the mirrors less. I used to spray and wipe them down every month. Now, I have probably sprayed and wiped them down maybe three times in the last 19 weeks. And I only sprayed and wiped down the parts that I could reach. I did not do my usual thing before baby and actually get on top of the sink and toilet to get the top parts of the mirrors. Again, this is something that I learned to let go. And though I have done this, you know that I have not been as anal because there are streaks all over the mirrors. I absolutely hate streaks on mirrors. I used to proud myself on having streak-less mirrors, though I never shared that with anyone. What is the secret to having streak-less mirrors after cleaning? Well, the main secret is to use very very hot water while wiping them down after spraying and scrubbing. The hot water is very key. This allows all of the excess grime to be removed from the mirrors, and any streaks will just evaporate. Some people will use a half-and-half mixture of water and vinegar, but I never really found this necessary. Now, I care less about the streaks. All of our bathroom mirrors have streaks now. I hate it when I see it, but I have to learn to let go of some things clearly… so this is one of those things.
So yes, I am a first time mom. And I am gradually, gradually learning to let some of the cleanliness obsession go.