My House Is a Mess


Would you readily admit that your house is a mess? Only if someone else says it first? Well here I am, I’ll admit it first: my house is a mess. And I don’t mean in that “one or two things is out of place” type of mess either.

I want to tell you I have a nice, clean house. I want to tell you that I’ve done all the dishes and everything is put away. I would also like to tell you that all the laundry is washed, dried, and put away.

But all of that would be a lie, and I don’t lie.

My messy living room… from my messy kitchen table

Here’s the truth: I have crap everywhere. My kids have crap everywhere. My partner has crap everywhere. Even the cat has crap everywhere. We are, like many families, extremely busy.

I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am also in school full time and training for multiple long-distance races, which by itself can feel like a part-time job. My 5 year old son is in preschool, soccer and karate, my 3 year old daughter is in karate, and my partner works full-time with some extremely long days. This does not include all the other little random things we have going on or all the time I try to spend outside with them when the weather permits it. Basically, we have a few things going on.

I hate that I am like this right now, but I spend half the week living off the couch – I lay my clean laundry flat on the couch to avoid wrinkles, with the intent of folding it and putting it all away by the end of the night, but then the end of the night comes and goes, and so do the next 3 nights, and there all of the Flat Cyndi’s lay. Picked through daily, until I finally decide to put something down and spend the time to deal with it. The Flat Children are only there for about a day. My partner is the only weird one who puts everything away immediately.

I think it’s suspicious.

I buy paper plates, and for a while I bought plastic silverware. I hate doing so many dishes all the time, and our children seem to think it’s completely normal to use every single fork and spoon we have in the drawer in two days. They also think that they need 347 cups per day. So while I am in school, I don’t do the dishes every single day. Insert shoulder shrug here. If I am caught up on schoolwork (or my brain is completely fried), I use that opportunity to catch up on my favorite podcast (Two Girls, One Ghost!) and get some things done, but if it isn’t every single day, I’m not going to stress over it anymore. We rinse everything, so it is what it is. They will be cleaned eventually.

shoes strewn all over the floor because my house is a mess
The cat doesn’t even care

We have a mat we put our shoes on when we come in the house, and the cat bed is next to it. Half the time, there is a shoe IN the cat bed, and the shoes are scattered everywhere BUT the mat. We are all guilty of this, and we also all have more than one pair of shoes we try to fit on this mat. I do not know why. The kids like to put on our shoes and walk around in circles in the kitchen with them until we tell them to take them off, and rather than put them away, we just kick them towards the mat for a few days until one of us decides we need to pick them up, and then we repeat the cycle. Clearly, we are very good at adulting.

Then there is the toys.

I wanted to be that parent that had “a place for everything, and everything in its place.”

Everything does have a place. Is everything in its place? No. Is everything close to its place? Also no. I try every day to get the kids to clean up a little, even more-so at the end of the night before bed, and they start to, but get distracted by another toy, and that ends the cleaning. This is an every day thing. We’ve taken things away, we have vacuumed Legos, we have put batches of toys out of sight so maybe they would miss the toys – they are trying to show me that cleaning is not in their DNA.

Would they clean better if I set a better example? Maybe. But let’s face it, they’re young kids. So probably not.

Why am I telling you this?

Why am I admitting that I cannot keep up with the kids and my own schooling and cleaning every single thing in the house? Because I know that somewhere out there, there is a parent/guardian/caretaker that feels like they aren’t doing a good job because there is a mess. They think they should be “doing more” to make sure things get done everywhere, for everyone. They are causing themselves stress because they can’t keep up, or they fall behind for a few days and that makes it harder to catch up. How do I know? I WAS that person. I still am, sometimes.

But then I had some conversations with people that really put it into perspective:
Are we living in squalor or filth? No.
Are the kids happy, healthy and fed? Yes.
Does it all get cleaned eventually? Yep.

We all have a lot going on.

They say pick your battles with your kids… well sometimes you have to pick your battles with yourself as well, and maybe the battle you DON’T pick just happens to be the dishes tonight. Or the laundry. Whatever it is, cut yourself some slack. You are a human, and you have a lot going on. So if your house is a mess, you are not alone. If your house is not a mess, you are not alone. But could you please teach me your ways? Or at least tell me what type of coffee you drink.


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