Once upon a time I got the nicest thank you card from a soon to be mom. In it she said how much she loved following my family on social media and that I was an “inspirational mom”. I’m not making this up, I promise. Needless to say I barely made it through the halls of my house my head was so big. That was until I tripped on a rogue shoe and fell directly into a pile of toys and laundry. You guys. My house is a mess.
Like most moms these days, I juggle many balls, mainly because I choose too. I have two kids and my husband at home, work full-time, edit here for DMB plus try to attend our social gatherings when I can, throw in family and other social commitments and our calendar isn’t just full, it is jam packed. My boys are only 3 and 6 months so we haven’t even added their extracurriculars to the mix yet.
Like many moms these days I have been asked how I manage to do all that I do. Well here’s my dirty secret I don’t post on social media (though if you look beyond the smiling faces you can catch glimpses of it): I neglect my housekeeping responsibilities.
I try, we try, my husband helps SO much and for that I am grateful beyond belief! At the end of the day though we go to bed with dishes in the sink and toys strewn throughout the entire house. We just cannot ever seem to stay on top of it.
My mom visited recently and we talked about this, you see, my mom taught me how to properly clean baseboards and dust ceiling fans, to put away my shoes – the essentials. And she is a so good, her house looks immaculate even when my kids are tearing through it.
My mom, being the gracious woman she is, told me she also struggled with the housework when my siblings and I were small. She also said that she totally understands the struggle with us both working outside of the home.
This conversation felt validating to the extreme because I always feel like I need to power clean when my parents come for a visit but also, because she taught me the right way, feel like I’m failing at coming anywhere close to that way. But she doesn’t care (or at least doesn’t tell me she does!) She cares that she can come and make memories with my family. And that’s what is important to me, and my small social media followership. Memories. Experience. Family fun.
And my kids have lots of fun! I encourage painting and playdough, digging in the dirt and picking out flowers, leaves and rocks. My toddler helps with baking and cooking, both much more messy tasks when little hands are helping. I encourage these things because I just don’t care if the house gets messy as a result.
I’ll trade memories of family trips to the zoo and museums over memories of scouring my house while my kids are out doing the fun stuff every. single. time. In a few years my house can be as clean as my mom’s. My kids are only this young once. And soon they’ll be old enough to help with real chores.