Friday, May 11, 2018

I love you, but I won't clean my house for you.

Growing up, I can count on a single hand how often I remember our house being dirty. 

My mom, at one point in her life, was a professional house cleaner, and her house reflected that former profession. Everything was always clean, all of the time. Sounds pretty great, right?

Fast forward a few years and now I’m the mom. I have a two-year-old who can destroy a single room faster than I can pour a glass of wine (she’s that fast). I’m a working mom that writes, blogs, and works alongside my husband in his small business. I’m really freaking busy.

And my house shows it.

There are some dishes on the counter that need put in the dishwasher. There’s a load in the washer that needs to be transferred to the dryer. There’s a leftover craft sitting on the coffee table. There's a coffee stain everywhere but the coffee table. There’s a growing mound of toys sitting in the basket on the floor.

And it’s okay.

When we had our miscarriage earlier this year, we had the greatest of friends and family bring us meals for a solid three weeks straight. It was wonderful.

But each day before our next meal was due, I would panic.

“I need to put the dishes away so they don't see our dirty plates.” 
“I need to finish the laundry so they don't see our undies on the chair.”
“I need to put the toys away so they don't think we're messy people.”

So here’s me, fresh out of surgery, still mourning heavily, trying to pick up my dang house because, GASP, what if I wasn’t mom-of-the-year for a few seconds?

What if we, wives and mothers, took a moment to not be "perfect"? What if we started giving ourselves more grace and less judgment?

What if we started being okay with a little bit of mess?

I don’t know about you, but whenever I go to a friend’s house, the last thing I expect is a spotless house, especially when she has kids clinging to every limb of her body.

Why do we think our friends will feel any differently about our home? (If they do, they are not the kind of friends you need and you can promptly hand them the vacuum.)

Why do we think our homes need to look less than lived in?

So, next time you come visit me, I will welcome you with open arms. I will chat with you for hours, cry with you, laugh with you. I might even have a hot (or lukewarm, let’s be honest) coffee ready for you.

But, my friend, I will not clean my house for you.


  1. I grew up with a mom who was the same way. It took me a long time to embrace the mess, but I finally did. It's definitely freeing!

    1. Yes! That's the perfect word for it!