Repressing the Clean Freak with Lupus

My mother-in-law came to town and I didn’t clean a damn thing. She was seconds away from walking in the door, and I sat up in my bed, knowing full well what my house looked like downstairs.

Luckily my husband had picked up a bit, but I knew the toilets were not clean, the carpet unvacuumed. Rotting wet-cat food on a plate in the garage, and don’t even let me get started on the putrid, green aquarium.

But it was ok. I just left the hospital. I had just endured another iv of drugs. And I sat there telling myself it was OK. It really was.

It's time xoxoxo -next tweet: loopy!

But it wasn’t.

It really wasn’t.

I’ve never been unable to at least pick up the house before my INLAWS came form out of town. Never. Even before giving birth to my second child I managed to make sure things were clean.

Go ahead and laugh at me. I don’t care. I’m the person on her hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor before guests arrived and who will do anything to get you OUT of my house if it’s not picked up. Well, I used to be that person. Then I had to learn to let go.

This hasn’t been easy.

Being very ill makes it easy…not cleaning on those days comes with no guilt. But on the days I feel good it’s all I can do to NOT go on some crazy, anal, cleaning spree and organize my entire house. But I know I can’t. I’ll pay for it tomorrow. This creates more work for my husband. More guilt for me. It’s a crappy situation.

So there I sat, in my bed, listening to my mother-in-law walk in the door. I sucked it up, walked down stairs, said hello…and not so secretly looked around and hoped I didn’t look like the biggest failure of a wife and mother ever.

Of course she’s been wonderful, cleaning and cooking and what not. Keeping very busy in my very messy house. It kills me a little. Ok, it kills me a lot.

But at least I’m here to watch.


  1. That sucks. Lupus can #suckit.

    Can you outsource your cleaning? Even just twice a month or once every three weeks might help?

  2. Never a failure.

  3. Think of it this way. She wants to help. She wants to be there for you. Doing this one thing – cleaning the house – is almost like a gift to her. You’re letting her in, letting her be a part of your support crew. Instead of treating her like a guest, you’re treating her like family. I’m sure she secretly appreciates it.
    Except for the toilets. That would be weird to appreciate. 😉

  4. huge huggss.I canceled Stinkys bday because I just could not clean it all up.I am busting ass today.Over kill cocktail so they can have a joint party tomorrow.I know exactly how you feel.My OCD is so over now 🙁

  5. I actually have a cleaning service that comes every other week. Of course this was the ‘off’ week. Some day I will be very wealthy and have a live in housekeeper. But not the kind that has secret love children.

  6. Rachael Macry says:

    Your MIL sounds simply wonderful… I know how you feel- I really do!- but I hope you can accept the love she is showing you without pangs of any sort. Not meant sharply.. just something to think about. {{hugs}} girly

  7. The best MILs don’t judge and instead just want to help out their children when in need. I’m quite sure that’s how yours felt.

    (but I feel ya. I really do.)

  8. My chronic ailment is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It won’t kill me. But I think it may brighten your day to know that my house is clean when my MIL visits, but I’m blowing the roof off with farts that make the hurricanes in the south seem like mild air conditioning. When I come back into the room everyone smiles politely and pretends they don’t have plaster in their hair. Repeat every ten minutes.

  9. I’m going to have to agree with Jessica !!
    I am the Mother of a LUPUS Warrior and I consider it a blessing and a gift to me, to be able to help around my Daughters house ! I know it is difficult for her to get around at times. She is so strong and it’s such a little thing for me to help her with ! I wish I could trade places with her and I would gratefully walk in her shoes any day. Give yourself a hug from me, and remember that “A clean House does not make the person” !! What you do each and everyday to live with Lupus is the Hardest work I’ve ever seen !!
    The Warriors Mom !!!!

  10. Exactly. I can’t tell you how many times the only thing I accomplish in a (short, limited) day is picking up the house. It means a lot to me, too much, I know, but it’s been so hard to let go….

  11. Doll, believe me, no one is expecting it to be clean right now. If it were clean, she’d be there and wondering what to do with herself. She wants and expects it to be dirty — really! Rest up and feel better!

  12. I hate lupus it sucks why can’t we all be normal surely there is something to help us feel better I have good day and then I go days when I feel so useless that even doing washing. And tidin the house is to muchj I sweat like a pig and feel so dizzy I even work fulltime 48hrs awk cleanin so when I’ve done my job I’m just haven’t got any energy its weird then I get a day when I go crazy and do the jobs that need to be done it is lovely to hear everyones comments and to hear we r all sufferin from lupus wouldn’t. It be great if there was a cure Be better then winnin tje lottery lol

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