I think we all have those friends. Those friends who always look impeccably put together, their kids never seem to get their clothes dirty or their hair mussed, their cars are always washed, and their homes always look like a page out of a home decor magazine.
I am not that friend.
Most days, you’ll find me with my hair pulled back in a ponytail, a little makeup, and probably the jeans I had on yesterday. If I’m lucky, the kids haven’t gotten toothpaste stains on their clothes before we leave the house in the morning.
What you see is what you get with me (and the kids). I’m not putting on airs. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
But my inability to keep my house spotlessly clean really drives me crazy. Makes me anxious. I literally wake up thinking about it at night.
Wait…that sounds bad. I like having my house clean, I really do. After I go on a cleaning kick, the smell and feel of the house revives me…makes me think I can just keep up with the cleaning and have it all looking presentable all of the time.
Not so much.
My house looks relatively clean, but look in the corners and you will probably find dust bunnies, or look closely at the furniture and you will see a fine layer of dust covering everything.
In my perfect world, dishes that I don’t put in the dishwasher would be washed, dried, and put away instead of air drying in the sink.
The laundry that actually makes it out of the dryer (that has been tumbled dry at least three times to remove the wrinkles) would not only get folded immediately, but also (eventually) put away.
All of the bathrooms would be wiped down every day and make the weekly cleaning a breeze.
Not only would I vacuum every day, I would mop every other day. I’d have floors so clean you could eat off of them.
Those black marks on the walls from the kids running into the baseboards with toys and stroller wheels would be Magic Erasered away at least monthly. Touch up paint every few months.
And everything would get a good dusting once a week. Never mind that leaving all the doors and windows open all day is like a standing invite for any dust within a 100 mile radius to enter the house and settle on my dark wood furniture and stairs.
Now I could spend time every single day keeping the house spic ‘n span, and it still would never be totally clean. Every time I clean in one room, the kids (AKA The Tornados) come in right behind me and leave messes in their wake.
Their shoes are never put in the closet, and the backpacks and homework are usually spread across the counter. Legos have taken over out kitchen table, and it pointless to put them away because they will just be back on it tomorrow. Their toy room always needs to be straightened up.
Don’t get me wrong, the house is relatively clean. I wouldn’t advise eating off of the tile floors or licking the toilet bowls, but if you walked into my house you wouldn’t think I was a hoarder or a total pig.
I know that the shutters need dusting (always…even right after I dust them) and that the kitchen floor could use a hands-and-knees scrubbing. There’s always laundry piled up that needs to be put away.
I could drive myself crazy trying to keep up with the cleaning and the cooking and the perfect appearance and remembering to get the car washed regularly and put the laundry away instead of leaving it in the laundry room until we need to use it and making everybody think that I have.my.shit.together.
It’s just not gonna happen, and I’m trying to get okay with that. Don’t get me wrong…I would LOVE to be that mom that does have it all together, it’s just not me. I’ve tried.
But we are all happy and healthy. That’s what matters most, right?
When it comes to cleaning and appearances, sometimes good enough really is good enough.
This has been in Draft form for a long time. It seems silly, but it was hard to share because it is my truth. I’m sharing an imperfection that I can’t get behind and embrace just yet. Mommy guilt…I feel like less of a mom for not having my shit together all.the.time.
But if you have met me “in real life” and told me that in person I’m EXACTLY what you thought I was like, then I know that by sharing this you already know that I am who I am, and nothing more. This won’t surprise those of you who know me.
And if you are ever invited to my home, just ignore the dusty shutters and dust bunnies in the corners. And don’t lick the toilets.