Remember those cutesy sayings on Pinterest and Facebook. . . the ones that moms typically love. . .
You know, the ones that have to do with a messy house because a good mom lives there? Because to be a good mom, you should really be enjoying your children, letting them tear apart the house, color the furniture, and leave dishes everywhere. Why would you put the toys away if they’re just going to drag them out again?
“Excuse the mess – the children are making memories.”
“Excuse the mess – we live here.”
It’s almost insulting to read those. As if you can’t possibly be a great mom AND have a kept home. You know, because it’s hard to set limits and pick up after yourself. Dishes be damned!
I realize that we’re not all perfect. Children certainly grow up too fast, and there are times that being with them must come first. But come on.
The excuse of “I have kids” because my home is always a mess just doesn’t do it for me. If my home is a mess, it’s because I’m being lazy. Absolutely not because I’m such a great mom.
I am a high school teacher. So, some would say I’m a part-time stay at home mom because I have the summer off. That’s an argument for another day, but regardless, my house is, and will always be, clean. I attribute this quality to my own mom – who works her tail off – and has always maintained a beautiful home while raising three children. She taught me to put things away when I’m done using them. To wash the dishes after eating dinner. To fold the dang laundry after you take it out of the dryer.
I take pride in the fact that my home is picked up, the floors are clean, the dishes are done, the laundry is put away. Of course, there are things that slip through the cracks. Sometimes we have days that we just let things slide. But the majority of the time, our home is tidy, and I don’t neglect my daughter in doing so.
Cleaning up is part of our day together. I hope that as she gets older, I can teach her about cleaning up, about having discipline, like my mother taught me.
I believe that teaching my daughter to be tidy and responsible and to play on her own at times is just as important as the one-on-one time I get to devote to her. When the floors need to be vacuumed and the toilets need to be scrubbed, I do it.
It’s not like I’m super-mom.
It’s an insult to read over and over the idea that if your home is clean and you have children that you must be neglecting them, or “over the top“. Really?
You can be a fantastic mom with a messy home. Absolutely. There isn’t a prize or “mother of the year” award for housekeeping.
But. You can also be a fantastic mom with a clean home.
I don’t see how either one really matters as long as you’re doing what’s comfortable for you and your family – but let’s not throw the other half under the good mom bus for a cleaner house.
Now, excuse me, but I need to finish the dishes and Gracie needs to be ignored.