Monday, January 23, 2012

good moms and dirty houses

This post has been sitting, half finished in queue for almost 3 weeks. I vary between indifference, anger, sadness, annoyance. So I imagine this post will have all of that. I wasn't sure I was going to post it at all, but when I woke up with this on my mind this morning, I figured I would.
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I'm about to be a little judgey here.  And then I'm going to omplain about people who judge. 'Cause thats how my mind works.

I've been seeing this posted all over the place.



I want to like it. I really do.

But I don't.


I totally, totally get the sentiment behind it. Your children are more important than a clean house. The dishes will wait while you show the child the rainbow and all that. Lovely thoughts.

Part of me feels like it's people just wanting to give themselves an excuse to be slobs. Yeah. That's the judgey part of this post.

Part of me feels like it's very similar to the real women have curves saying. I won't go off on a tangent about that - but it's along the same thing. You have to be curvy to be a REAL woman? Um, what? Yeah. You have to have a messy oven to be a good mom? Come again?

Look, I understand there will be days when the laundry waits while you nurse a growing baby. There will be days the dishes sit while you go enjoy some sunshine on a spur of the moment hike. There will be weeks all of you are sick and you spend time snuggling and reading and lazing instead of cleaning. I get it. There is life to be lived outside of cleaning a home.

I used to be one of those people. I did. Clutter didn't bother me. Messes didn't phase me. In fact, if you've known me any part of my life until the last couple of years - you know I was one of the messiest people out there. Then 3 or 4 years ago, a switch flipped. These things bother me now. And I'll tell ya, when I was working, one sure way to set me on edge was for there to be dishes in the sink when I walked through the door.


Here's the thing. It doesn't take much to do a quick clean up. I'm not saying you have to be Martha Stewart, but taking 20 minutes out of your day to straighten up makes a big difference. Just 20 minutes. (judgey).

I have found that I am a better mother when my house is tidy. I feel less flustered. Less crabby. More happy. A messy house makes me feel unsettled. Not calm. I get snappy.

Do I think my children care if the house is clean or not? Judging by their bedrooms, I guess not. But I also believe that they do better in a tidy house. They can find the things they need, like library books and art supplies and pants and socks. And I'm sure having a happy mama in a clean house helps.


If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that housework and balance has always been an issue for me. I often feel like I can't do it all and I get cranky trying.

Having a new baby added into our family has certainly forced to me give up a few things. I'm embarrassed at the amount of laundry piled up right now. I've delegated the cleaning of the bathrooms to our 13 year old (which I'm sure you can imagine means that the bathrooms are not currently sparkling) and I turn a blind eye to the boys bedrooms more often than I'd like.

That is why I really want to like that saying. I'm certainly struggling here. I could use the 'permission' the have a dirty oven!

But I still can't get behind it.

I really just see it as another way to pit mothers against each other. If you stay home, you're worth less than someone who works. If you work, you chose career over family. If you formula feed you are giving your children poison. If you breastfeed you need to cover up. If you have a clean home you aren't spending enough time with your children. . . .

I wonder what a good dads house looks like?

1 comment:

♥Cari♥ said...

I agree with every word!!!