I am a stay at home mom. I feel that as a stay at home mom there are two expectations of how my house will look at any given moment.
Expectation #1: My house will look flawlessly clean no matter when you stop by. My counters will shine, my floor will be spotless, even my kid’s faces will be clean.
Expectation #2: My house will be a disaster. Piles of unfolded laundry will fill my bedroom, toys will be strewn across the floor and most likely my children will be a mess as well.
These expectations are due to two different stereotypes of stay at home moms. People seem to either picture 1) June Cleaver or 2) a lazy Bon-Bon eating woman. Neither of these expectations are remotely accurate and the reality is that most stay at home moms – and really most moms in general – are something in between. Am I lazy? No. Absolutely not. Will you ever find me starching my husband’s dress shirts while cooking tonight’s pot roast – all while wearing an apron and heels? Nope. Not a chance.
I may not have the time or energy to have a perfectly spotless house at all times, but I also don’t function well living in a disaster zone. My kids are young and full of energy so I have to find a balance in order to not lose my mind. There are a few ways I’ve found to not obsess too much over my house one way or the other. First of all, I try to keep things organized so they are easy to find, easy to put away, and easy to get and play with. We have lots of baskets, plastic tubs, and totes throughout our house. Baskets also make it easy to quickly clean-up messes when I find out I have people coming over at the last-minute. I also have help. My husband helps with the laundry and dishes, and we’ve decided having a cleaning person come bi-weekly to scrub bathrooms helps us stay on top of our house without going crazy. Lastly, and most importantly, I know that memories are often made at the very messiest moments. The paint splatters on the kitchen floor around the easel, baking ingredients on the counters, forts made of blankets and pillows – these are all signs that my family is living, loving, and enjoying our home and each other.
I may not have the cleanest house on the block, but I certainly don’t have the dirtiest. The middle ground is where I aim to be, and by default I’m fine with a little mess here and there. Sometimes the laundry will wait a day to get folded or the floors will get ignored. But I take a deep breath and remember the famous quote “pardon the mess, the children are making memories.”
Does a messy house bother you?