If you decided to come over and visit me today, I woud sheepishly invite you inside–my cheeks burning with pink blooms of shame and embarrassment. You likely would notice the 5 gallon and 1 gallon buckets of paint in the middle of the living room (I keep them there so remodeling can be an ever present excuse among the mess), the piles of blankets on my couch, the towering pile of falling books strewn upon the coffee table and floor, the dishes in the sink, and the endless piles of chaos here and there. If you looked closely you would notice every surface could use a scrubbing and the dust bunnies…well I might just welcome you to this our rabbit farm. And then I would make some excuse about the busyness of life and tell you it normally isn’t a wreck ( fingers crossed behind my back).
**(As we work towards minimalism I have secret fantasies of a completely empty house where nothing can be set out of place–then the mess couldn’t creep in.)
We aren’t a family of slobs. We can do a mighty fine cleanup in 10 minutes ( I know I set the timer…convinces my children cleaning is a game). We just get a little messy because life is well messy.
My husband and even myself suffered from ” neat freak-itis” before kids. It was horrible– deep cleaning involving qtips and rubber gloves. Somehow children cured that ailment very quickly.
So my curiosity is now pondering… why do I still glow red when my house has been “caught” in such a state? I’m no longer the freakishly clean girl who alphabetized cleaning supplies?!
Who made it law or expectation that a busy family should have empty sinks (even though we eat three meals a day and haven’t a scullery maid?), laundry should be always done-folded-put away (except our bodies are typically wearing and dirtying those said clothes all day long), that carpets are fresh (treaded on daily), floors mopped (again daily wear and spills), and all is sparkling and pristine? Who says this is the way it should be?
A small part of me would like to have a stern discussion with the media moguls who depict American homes as these spotless mansions–ridiculous. You know who you are–I hope your cheeks bloom as well–for shame!
But honestly, I blame me. I buy into this ” cultural norm” where we believe to be a proper and respectable family we must live in perfection. Cleanliness is next to godliness is not Biblical…just so you know…it really is a mean thing we do to each other–putting up these lofty expectation and judging each other against who? …These unreal perfect people who don’t exist!! Let’s stop. We can choose to make the lived-in look the expectation for our homes and lives.
Drop by my house…I’ll move a can of paint and try to find my sofa then pour you a coffee, and my cheeks won’t burn (that much).
Blessings today and tomorrow on your mess and mine!