Today I am in the midst of a cleaning frenzy, pregnant style. Meaning that where frenzy would have been an apt description before the third trimester, right now it’s more like a cleaning…putter. But the same amount of work still has to be done.
Truthfully, it’s the kind of cleaning I like the least. It’s pressure cleaning, when people who you want to impress are coming to your house. Not cleaning for pleasure (it’s possible!) or cleaning for cleansing purposes. At least, I thought it wasn’t.
But as soon as I started sweeping I felt a change. I could see the dust and cat hair gathering and the house just began to feel…cleaner. More pure. I wiped up grime in the guest bathroom and guest bedroom and felt a certain joy that my guests (my parents and in-laws in this case) would have a clean, fresh place to sleep and dream.
These moments of clarity were definitely interspersed with hot flashes, sweating and a stiff lower back. I can’t squat very well, or kneel, or rise. It’s one of the most obvious but also the most difficult to accept aspects of pregnancy: for all of its work to create new life, pregnancy takes from the mother, most notably independence. Independence in the way that we are never alone, always toting a little baby with us, but also that as we grow bigger we grow less able. More dependent.
Truthfully, I haven’t accepted that yet. I still do too much and don’t ask for help. My husband gets on to me, especially during the night when I try to roll over by myself and end up giving myself charlie horses. It seems so simple—roll over in bed! But yet I need him to give me a push. Or get out of bed—I need him to help me out some mornings too. It’s almost embarrassing.
Even more than asking my husband for help, I haven’t begun admitting to myself that I need to help…myself. Take it easier. Enjoy pregnancy more. Not be so frantic, not give in to mental confusion and mental dust.
So that brings us to today. Sweeping, mopping, bending, kneeling, rising, dusting. Cleaning and cleansing, both the house and the mind. Making room for new energy, new thoughts and ideas and dreams. Putting the confusion and stress in its proper place, and welcoming instead peace and joy.
Easier said than done, just like cleaning the house.