Monday, June 3, 2013

A Little Bit of My Mess To Make You Feel Better About Your Mess

I like to think of our home, and all the activity in it, like a giant drain.  There is a lot of stuff going through that drain.  A lot.  I, the keeper of the drain, am aware of this, so I do my best to keep the drain flowing smoothly.  And you know what? It usually does.  I work really hard. I don't have a tendency toward procrastination.  What I do have though, is four kids. Sometimes life decides to throw one more thing into this very full drain, and when it does, it creates instant backup.  INSTANT.  The system that normally flows smoothly just can't handle one more thing, and all the crud just comes flowing out all over the floor. This week, the backup is being caused by three sick munchkins.

There is very little in this life that makes me more anxious than when my house is messy.  (I'm not talking crime/poverty/tornado/someone took my kid kind of anxious, just day to day anxious).  I do believe, like most of us, that providing a happy, clean, safe, delicious food-filled home, is important.  I want to give these things to my kids and my husband. I enjoy it, and I don't think that Mama's should ever shirk these things. To be honest though, it's possible that I'm even more driven to keep it clean by the nightmare scenario of someone showing up when it isn't.  I can't stand the thought of someone seeing our mess and judging me for it.  How lame is that?

This is particularly stupid because I know, in the teeny-tiny, rational part of my brain, that virtually everybody's house is messy at least some of the time.  It's just life.  I genuinely don't care when someone else's house is messy.  Plus, if someone showed up and saw my house in disaster mode, most of them would probably choose between three options in their mind.

A) Think, "Eh, she has four kids.  Of course it's a little messy."
B) Think, "Yes! This disaster makes me feel better about my house."
C) Think, "Why choose between A & B?  I choose BOTH."

Now, I know that there is a random stray judgey-face that would think about their perfect house and hate on me for mine, but most of the people coming to my home do not fit into that category.

So, the message I'm trying to make myself believe and trying to make everyone else understand is this. Stop pretending.  I know your house is messy sometimes.  So is mine.  So is everyone's.  Do your best to keep it nice for your family.  Never stop trying.  (Can you imagine what it would look like if we did?) But stop stressing so much about it when you can't.  It's not the end of the world, and we are all in that place sometimes.  Mom, out.


  1. I sure hope everyone feels better soon and the drain start flowing properly once again. I know exactly what you mean though. One little thing can throw our entire family's world off kilter. Then chaos ensues.

    I choose C (both).
    In fact, we went to my SIL's house unexpectedly yesterday and it was a mess, totally cluttered. All I could think was, "Yesssss...her house looks just like mine."

  2. MamaNieceA, my pet, the daughter I wish I had; I told you last week that you are darn near perfect and a wonderful wife and mother. We can't think of anyone in this world who could top you. I had a fun aunt when I was a kid and all she could tell me was that she loved and enjoyed her 5 kids (six if you count my uncle) and that when they grew up they'll never remember a cluttered house but they'd remember how much she loved being with them. And she couldn't hold a candle to you.

  3. Alanna, I love that you think that when you see someone else's mess. I totally do too. :)

    Duddie, that is such an incredibly kind (albeit exaggerated) thing to say. We love you so very much.