Mamas, Stop Apologizing For Your Messy House
I seriously want to flick my friends when the minute I walk into their house they say “UGH, I’m so sorry my house is such a mess.” Girl. Please. Not only is your house not messy, your house is immaculate. Your children’s toys remain confined to a rug – which, by the way, is not sprinkled with crumbs. Your kitchen counters are bare. Playdough goes nowhere but the kitchen table, and your dog never sheds. Insisting your house is dirty speaks to clinical delusion, your misunderstanding of life with small children, your secret desire to make me feel guilty, or maybe your need for reassurance. Probably all of the above. Seriously, stop it.
So for all of you insisting your spotless house is messy, and all of you not-so-clean Moms therefore afraid to have anyone come into your house ever, because that level of clean is just not achievable due to kids/time/dogs/life/constant art projects, let’s talk about what normal messiness looks like. At the end of the day, you get to decide- you can either carry around a sense of shame and stress about constantly needing to tidy up, or let it go and remain present for your small children. I’ve got two littles under seven so trust me when I say that this is not always an easy task for me. Here is what my day-to-day “normal” looks like.
There is a room that is always stays cluttered and messy It is usually my bedroom. My bed has become the permanent keeper of clean laundry in need of folding, and a place to store my collection of books and art supplies. My altar space sits next to my bed filled with all of my spiritual, woo woo things, and the corners of my room are filled with bags on bags of items to donate, and usually multiple, overflowing baskets of laundry. I keep this space in a state of lovely, organized chaos and tidy up often, but for the most part have to remind myself to take a breath and let this beautiful messiness go.
My laundry is e v e r y where Current tally: three clean baskets in my laundry room. One clean basket in my bedroom. A clean load in the dryer and one in the washer. But only one basket needing to be washed. Therefore I choose to feel accomplished. Will those clean baskets make it to folding, or even more daunting, into drawers and onto hangers? Maybe. I’m feeling it lately. But refuse to spin in circles over my endless, ever flowing laundry.
My sink is full of dishes, my dishwasher is full of dishes, my table and counter are full of dishes, and I can’t find a clean spoon So I use a teaspoon for my cereal. When I get to the giant soup spoon or worse, start to contemplate that spikey grapefruit spoon at the bottom of the silverware drawer, then I need to do a load. But only enough so that the kids have plates for lunch.
My kids’ bath toys are right where they left them after I drained the bathtub I don't bother pulling my shower curtain shut. We all know what’s behind it.
Some type or types of toys are scattered all over the house and no matter how hard I try, or what bribes I offer, I can never get every piece picked up True story: I have found those stupid plastic ball-pit balls in my washer, my diaper bag, and stuffed between car seats. We have the same problem with legos. If I come over to your house and notice plastic army men in the space behind your toilet, I am not judging.
Cups on cups on cups. Everywhere. All the time. My babies lose their shit without a cup of water or juice at all times. Except they leave them everywhere, and then get a new one. They now hold up drinks and ask, “Is this good, Mama?” before taking a swig. So do yours. Don’t lie.
Art Damage My bathroom has some hopefully/maybe/eventually will fade tie-dye stains. I need to repaint part of an end table, because who lets her toddlers use her acrylics? This Mama. At the very least, your toddler will take a pen to the wall somewhere and you haven’t had time to magic erase it yet.... don’t lose sleep over this.
I can’t see the floor of my car Where else are you supposed to toss spare diapers? Or dirty sippy cups? Seriously. Your husband probably complains about it. Remember that this is time limited, and the day will come when your car is sparkling. And when this happens, you will miss this mess.
I have not dusted. Perhaps ever, or at least since my parents last visited I think I maybe own Pledge? Somewhere? Please don’t stare at my bookshelves, especially if you have allergies.
You guys. Choosing what to not give a f*ck about when it comes to cleanliness as a parent can be so freeing. Either your house is really, really clean, and you should stop apologizing, or let go of shame and host playdates for once. We’re all in this together. I won’t look in your bedroom if you don’t look in mine :)