Happiness

Welcome to My Messy Home

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Never before had I invited a friend over to such an embarrassing mess.

We were meeting at a park close to where we both lived. It began to rain. I suggested letting the kids play at the library. It was too far to walk and she did not have a car or carseat with her. I could have set up a rain date, but for some reason I will never quite understand I heard myself say:

“Why don’t we just all go to my place?”

I warned her it was not cleaned. I did not realize the extent of the mess until we walked into the door. Funny how unaware you can be of the very filth you are living it.

Toys were everywhere, and this in itself would be no big deal to me. I have kids, toys come with territory. What about the laundry, some clean, some dirty, diapers (clean and dirty as well) and dried cheese from last night’s dinner strewn across the floor–does this come with the territory as well?

Not just cheese, every step I took I could feel the crumbs, millions and millions of crumbs underfoot. My son is terrified of the vacuum and I had been putting it off.

Perhaps she would leave her shoes on!

No, I could not be so lucky.

She politely removed her slip ons to reveal her bare feet. Bare feet: they would feel each and every crumb.

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I offered to make coffee, and to my horror noticed she was following me right into the kitchen. No, no, no, please do not follow me in here! Please sit in the crumb infested living room while I go start the pot.

Not only was the sink piled full of dirty dishes, the counter was overflowing with them as well. I will not even mention the smeared peanut butter, old coffee rings, piles of papers, and even one of my son’s socks–how in the world did an old sock make it up there?

Well, she saw it all now.

No, she did not.

She had to use the restroom. Could she not have went before leaving home?? I pointed her in the right direction and prayed I had thrown away all my feminine products used earlier that morning. Oh, and flushed the toilet. Please, please tell me I flushed the toilet. . .

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When she returned, I carried on as though everything was peachy and she did not seem to be bothered in the least. In fact, the play date went surprisingly wonderful. As my embarrassment began to subside I realized how nice it was to be my complete self around this gal.

It was like I revealed a true side of me from the gecko (did I mention this was our first play date) and therefore all walls were somehow down. We opened up to one another and shared our hearts, sipping coffee and not worrying in the least about what kind of mess the kids were making–it was all out on the floor already.

From this first messy play date began a friendship.

Not one based on appearance, but of being completely ourselves; fellow moms simply trying to survive the toddler years. 

There are no competitions: who has the better home, the nicer car, whose husband makes the most money, whose kids are the smartest, the cutest, most coordinated (yes, when you have toddlers it is a bragging right to have a coordinated kid). 

Did all the competition truly die from one visit to a dirty house? Somehow, seemingly yes. It just took one of us letting the guard down, although completely unintentional it was. We do not always need to have it all together.

It seems, in fact, the moments we finally admit we do not is when someone else feels the courage to admit she does not either. Sometimes the very thing it takes is the simple decision to say:

“Welcome to my messy home.”

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50 thoughts on “Welcome to My Messy Home

    1. I have good news and bad news here…..first, coming out of toddledom, but before you get to preteen years, there will be a period when the small ones actually can and will help to have a cleaner area….but then you will hit teen years and it’s over till they move out when you will spend no less than a month cleaning what they don’t take with them.

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      1. I am very much looking forward to those preteen years! I believe you about the teen ones though, since I was the very one you just explained. I guess it comes back to haunt you later on! 🙂

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    1. Oh, I love to hear this, and with four boys I can only imagine the work you have cut out for you! My husband has suggested a housecleaner but I kindly explained we would have to hire someone every day of the week since the mess is back within minutes of cleaning! 🙂

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  1. Sasha, haha, I love this! Now that it’s suddenly turned “flip flop season” I have guests who insist on taking their shoes off, while I’m insisting them to leave them on!! I was just thinking this on Sunday night as someone walked into my kitchen barefoot..! How could she not feel the Cheerios (and many assorted crumbs) sticking to her feet? I know I was!! Lol. I enjoyed this post very much. Tomorrow i am having a playdate at my house…and after reading this..I may, or may not clean up for it;)

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    1. Thanks Rebekah! Yes, flip flop season is the very worst I think!! I hope you do not clean up too much tomorrow and instead spend the time doing something much more fun with your little love. You may want to perhaps sweep and vacuum though–really quickly! 😉

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    1. I love to hear I am not alone in this Holly! I HATE housework; there is so many more exciting things to do each day. Entertain away though; it is somehow refreshingly wonderful to be completely you sometimes, mess and all! 🙂

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  2. I love how “real” this post is. Just this morning I found an unflushed toilet and thanked the good Lord no one is visiting us today. My kitchen floor is supposedly wood but I haven’t seen it under the layers of dog hair, toys, and food splatters. My preschooler is a healthy eater and she “steals” apples, tomatoes, and bananas from the counter leaving them half eaten around the house, except the tomatoes – those are eaten in full, but you can tell where she ate them – the juicy seeds will still be there!!

    But it’s so nice to have a friend who gets you. No pretenses. Wonderful! And I think among all the blogs offering advice on how to clean your house, it’s great to hear a balancing voice that tells us our friends aren’t really going to care 🙂

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    1. Kirsten, I LOVE the description of your home! We would be make great friends if we just lived a little closer! Thanks so much for the kind compliment. I will definitely not be the one offering cleaning advise, but I am not a complete disaster. There are the occasional few hours of cleanliness around here. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, I love hearing how not alone I am in this one! I prefer the happy, healthy toddlers over a clean home any day. I do think I may try to vacuum a bit more though! 🙂

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  3. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! For your beautiful honesty & messy house. It’s seriously crazy how there is this weird underlying competition between moms. I didn’t sign up for it, but I was a mental wreck after experiencing my first real bout of it last week (my son is only 4 months). And for what?! I’m not competing. I’m just working at being the best mom I can be. And more often than not that means surrendering to this messy new life as a mom, not trying to be super mom. Okay, of to the mountain of laundry that’s stuffed in the closet 😉

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing this Keri!! Yes, before I had kids I had a friend who warned me about the competitive natures involved, but I did not really understand until I had children of my own. I think it is often a shield of defense though; no one has it all together, for we are all simply human. When you do find the friends who love you in spite of your mess, these are the friendships to cling onto.

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    1. Thanks Kymberly! The only advise I have is to probably sweep and vacuum around the toys and laundry before guests arrive. Other than that, welcome them with open arms!! 😉

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    1. No, you are definitely not alone!! When you look around at whatever disaster has accumulated, take comfort, there are many others out there just like you! 😉

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  4. Love it! I was so nervous having friends over too! One of my Mommy friends came over and just said, if you try to pick up one more thing I’ll scream! Then she said, “We’re all on the same boat girl!” Its like that sign, “excuse the mess, we live here” 🙂

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    1. Oh, what an amazing friend you have. Definitely keep her friendship going!! I think I may go purchase this sign as well 🙂

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    1. Aw, thank you!! Yes, I think we are often simply looking for kindness and friendship, not an impressive home to walk into. . . at least this is what I like to tell myself. 😉

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  5. I laughed out loud at “Please sit in the crumb infested living room while I go start the pot.” ! haha! Did you apologize? That’s what I wanted to know. I try never to apologize for the state of our house when people arrive at our house unexpectedly (which happens all the time for us) but sometimes a tiny one escapes. It’s a little battle I have within myself (“Do not apologize!”)… But sometimes I just can’t help but say something totally stupid and insubstantial about the hovel they are now standing in. Did you?

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    1. Oh, your approach is so good!!I did apologize and also tried the “it’s extra messy today; I usually pick up in the afternoons.” Yours is a much better way though. It is just an honest day here, welcome and enjoy! 🙂

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  6. Ahahah! We must be two peas. This is my worst nightmare. You really don’t realize it until someone says they’re coming over and you take a hard look around. I mean, we all have kids so it’s no big deal, but I totally get it. I had a friend come over and start examining my counters because he thinks they ordered the same color. All I could think was, don’t look too closely! I haven’t wiped them down in a week…

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    1. Oh no, I think I would simply die if someone asked to examine my counters!! Yes, I always considered myself a pretty clean person. . . then I had kids! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this Rachel!!

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  7. funny how we feel like we need to impress anyone that comes into our home…like we have time to be the best mom, the best cook, the best house keeper 100% of the time!

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    1. Yes, we seem to always put so much pressure on ourselves to look like supermom, to never let our true colors show. It feels good sometimes to show some of our true colors!

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    1. Oh yes, I definitely understand your reasons fellow momma! I am so glad you enjoyed it and hopefully feel a little less obligated to have a perfect home! 🙂

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  8. So good and true! You introduce Someone to our mess they introduce us to theirs. So much easier and better to have friends we can completely just be ourselves with. It’s a blessing!

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  9. Missed this one. Good for you for having her over!! We miss out on some good opportunities for friendship (and happiness) by feeling like we need to be too perfect. Really people like us much better when we reveal we aren’t perfect anyway, because none of us really are (which is also why blogs are kind of great, when they’re honest 🙂 ).

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    1. I agree! Pretending we have it all together will only breed surface level relationships. It is only when we open up that true friendship can come. And, yes, the best blogs are really the honest and open ones!

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  10. I read this almost biting my nails (and I don’t bite my nails!) The thought of someone being over without having had the chance to clean up… yet your sentiment of letting go is so, so true. It’s so nice to let the walls down and say this is me, this is reality. I think it’s vital in getting others to open up, and good on you for doing it XO

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