Monday, September 6, 2010

Why Do I Obsess Over My Wood Floors?

Two years ago when my husband and I first looked at the house we live in now, what we noticed first was the endless stream of beautiful hardwood floors.  The flooring runs throughout the entire house like a main artery connecting our boys' bedrooms at one end of the house to the foyer and living room and onward to the master bedroom, the family room, dining area and ending in the kitchen.  I was smitten.  From the time my eyes laid upon those floors, I felt the house speak to me.  

Fast forward to the present and these smooth, hardwood floors are full of dents, nicks and (gasp!) a few small holes due to the endless dropping of toys and heavy objects by my two older boys.  Everything from the big dump truck to the small wooden trains to small chairs being toppled over, to a standard sized bowling pin (don't ask!).  I cringe as I'm writing this, remembering the scuffed white bowling pin being dropped on the floor by my then 2 year old. The sound of the pin hitting the floor felt like an explosion to my ears as I thought of the mark that would be left behind on the precious floors.   I just about died inside.  I know I blacked out for a moment. 

These smooth floors have now gained "character" my husband tells me.  I get that he's trying to make me feel good.  Put a positive spin on the situation. It's not quite working.  

Trust me, I'm not the materialistic type.  Really I'm not.  I don't need to have the latest of anything whether it's clothing or shoes or appliances or furniture.  I'm still trying to wear several clothing items that I obtained back in college twenty years back.  Items I should truly let go of and replace, especially since my body has changed due to having birthed 3 children in six years.   I just like having a nice home.  A neat, orderly, clean and beautiful oasis that we, as a family, can step into and breathe a sigh of relief.  One that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and inviting to all, friends and family alike, who walk into it.  

To me our dented wood floors are symbolic of a bigger issue and begs the question I often ask: can I have an attractive looking home while raising three children?  I've been told not to expect much now that I have kids.  To get used to the sticky walls, the rooms cluttered with toys and other bric-brac, the crayon-marked curtains, the scuffed floorboards.  To not even think of getting new or nice anything: furniture, art, appliances, until the children get older.  Really?  Do I have to wait more than a decade before my home is house beautiful again (my youngest is only 6 months)? Ten years feels like a long time. 

Honestly, I'm not looking for magazine house beautiful just a beautiful home.  I really believe I can have it, still.  Am I crazy to have that belief?  Am I holding onto a pipe dream?

If any of you have any advice or feedback, I gladly welcome it.

In the meantime, I'll continue living for the dream, as I run my finger over another gash in the floor.  Now where did this one come from?


  1. I hear you. It is hard to have a clean house with kids. It's a bit easier if you have a playroom and can keep most of the toys in there. It does become easier as the kids grow older, especially when they become proficient with the vacuum and cleaning wipes. This is a battle that every mother can relate to, with the only exception being ones with a cleaning service.

  2. We moved into a house with glass smooth hardwood floors. The house was built and we moved in. Nary a scrach, a ding, and oh they were oh so slippery to walk on.

    We moved in with six cats and the intent to foster kittens as I had been for years. I knew the floors would not last.

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) the first strike against them was done my the two humans living in the household moving a piece of furniture. The soft pad at the base had come off leaving an exposed nail, and we caused a scratch down most of the hallway - that surprisingly looks like yours.

    Over the years the cats (as of recently numbered eight) have made that scatch hardly noticable. The floors are what you might call a mess. There are scratches, dings, dents, and claw marks from cats running and skidding out. But to me, they are.... charater. They remind me that our house is ment to be lived in. It is not a museum to be shown to friends (which the house I grew up in was. Not a thing could be out of place) WE live there. We LIVE there, and LOVE there, and have FUN there. We buy things (house included) to support out LIFE and the fun we want to have in it not to amuse and entertain or impress others.

    and when your boys leave the home, and you still wish you had smooth floors, you can always sand them down and redo them. But in time you might come to love each mark and pock as a memory of the time you got with your boys when they were young


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