Thursday, November 13, 2014

"Wow! Our bathroom looks great! Who cleaned it?"

The fairies. Ugh. I wish. I did!!! And why are they acting so shocked? It isn't as if I never clean bathrooms. To be fair, I do clean bathrooms. Regularly. In this case, the shock was because the girls had trashed their bathroom so badly it needed emergency services while they were at school. Lotion on the floor and mirrors, toothpaste all over the sink, nothing where it should be, etc.

Messy desks, but creative kids.
Messes like that are why our home is never 100% in order. And we have messes like that because - ready for a shock? - we have kids! Not only do we have kids, but we have kids who play. I remember explaining this to my husband one day when he was getting cranky about their desks being all kinds of crazy looking and super cluttered. He loves having creative kids who come up with all sorts of original games and projects on their own. The side effect of that is mess. I leave them alone to play and they make messes. Cause and effect.

But I'm a stay-at-home-mom, right? I should be cleaning all day while they are at work and school, right? Yeah . . . no. I mean, I do, but I don't. Here's the reality of being a human today: I have long to-do lists. And I have limits, so one mess gets dealt with while another gets ignored.

Here's a secret - this is true for pretty much ALL moms. Really. I used to feel bad about my cluttered house and how bad it could get on its worst days. Then I talked to my friends. We all have messy house days. We all frantically tidy up before people come over. Even when my best friend is coming over, the one I know won't judge me for my mess, I still hide the bras drying on the door knobs. Do I know she has stacks of laundry waiting to be put away hidden in her house, too? Yup. But we all do it. Every single one of my mom friends has at least one room in her house she considers off limits to guests because that is the "dump everything and close the door" room. Every one has a secret stash of junk stuffed in a drawer or under a couch or chair just hoping no guest finds it. No matter how polished and perfect things look the day you show up, know that every mom is human and therefore spent the last fifteen minutes running around like a chicken with her head cut off frantically stuffing, dusting, vacuuming, and hiding junk.

We all do it because we all have kids making messes and demanding our time and attention. We all have kids who want us to watch them jump off the couch, help them with their homework, feed them, hug them, remind them to brush their teeth (twenty times), tuck them in (thirty times), find their socks, pack their lunches, snuggle on the couch, listen to how their day was, drive them to school, repair their ripped sock alien's antennae (again), etc. So relax. No one is Donna Reed in real life these days and only people who have housekeepers and nannies have homes that are always tidy. Embrace the clutter and know you are not alone.

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