Why do we do it? The second another woman comes into our home, we apologize for the mess. Whether the house is ACTUALLY a mess OR or we have spent the past hour running around like a chicken with our head cut off cleaning and it’s the tidiest it’s been all week, we apologize.
I do it, my girlfriends do it, my family members do it. We all freaking do it!
Why? Why do we care if our friends know that sometimes, just sometimes, there is evidence that we actually live in our houses?That there are actually kids who play with toys and forgot to clean up. That mornings get busy and sometimes there is cereal on the floor or some dirty dishes in the sink. Sometimes the kids forget to make their beds and don’t hang up their coats. And sometimes we are just too damn too busy to make sure everything is done.
I apologize every time. But why? This is what my house looks like. Not always, but at least once on any given day there are dirty dishes and clutter on the kitchen counters, Cheerios on the tiles, toys on the living room floor, and hand outs from school sprawled on the table. Why? Because this is where we live.
This year, on Halloween, the kid’s mom came to take pictures of their Halloween costumes. It was an impromptu thing. I didn’t expect her to come in, and yes the house was a mess. There was pizza on the counter from the rushed dinner before trick or treating, and Reese’s stuff was sprawled out everywhere. For about an hour I felt sick thinking, “I can’t believe she was here when the house was such a mess. How embarrassing”.
And then I stopped myself. The kids are at her house too. She knows what it’s like to rush around and try to get everyone fed and ready and out the door. Why am I so worried that she saw the house in not so perfect condition? Why am I worried about ANY mother seeing it like that?
It’s like well have this desire to portray perfection, especially when it comes to parenting. But we can’t have it all, all the time! Clean house, well dressed kids, healthy dinners on the table every night, all while running to extra-curricular after extra-curricular, doing homework and trying to actually have some fun here and there. This is our life. It’s perfectly imperfect! There is absolutely no reason to apologize for that!
I am challenging myself, and all of you, to stop apologizing. When another mom comes over and sees the receiving blankets on the couch from the last feeding, or the pile of undone laundry on the floor, don’t even mention it. Or if they see nothing but a clean house, because today you have all your ducks in a row (or you spent the last hour frantically shoving stuff in drawers and closets) don’t apologize for “the mess” because really and truly that mom doesn’t care about the mess at your house. She is just happy that for a brief period of time so doesn’t have to worry about the mess at hers!