That’s what I mutter to myself right after I find out a friend is coming over in 30 minutes, and there’s no way I can put the Chaos Genie back in the bottle before they get here.
Yep, my house is messy. Real Messy. It was messy yesterday. It was messy last week, and it will be messy next month. The only time it won’t be messy is when you come over. Even then it will be messy, just not Real Messy.
It’s not that I don’t want a clean house. I do, but trying to keep up with my kids is like being caught up in a housekeeping version of Ground Hog Day. So instead of continually cleaning the house, I wait until right before my wife comes home. That way, it sorta looks livable for 30 minutes, and Carrie thinks I actually do something productive while she’s at work. Clever don’t you think?
Have You Heard This One?
“When you have 6 kids, keeping your house clean is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.”
I didn’t come up with that saying, but it sure describes my life.
- Couch pillows. They’re never actually on the couch! I see them on the floor. Put them back on the couch. Walk out of the room. Return five minutes later, and like magic, they’re back on the floor.
- Who the heck ever thought it would be a good idea to put white tile in a kitchen? Did you know it takes exactly three grains of sand, crumbs or drops of kool-aid to make a white floor look filthy? Combine that with six kids and three dogs and you have ………..Oreos!
- Then there’s the kid’s bathroom. How do you even get toothpaste on the mirror? More importantly, why can’t my boys hit a 12 inch diameter target from 8 inches away? How the heck do you miss from that range?!
- Finally, why do children have to take absolutely every, single, thing, that they own, and spread them throughout the house. Tablets, chargers, clothing, dump trucks, shoes, stuffed animals, and pretty much everything else seems to be on this endless migration from their drawers and shelves to the floor, as if it were the promised land!…….Oreos!
I Was Mortified
After our last trip to DRCongo, we brought home our two youngest daughters and some unknown virus I’ll call “Puking Death 11” (the eleven stands for the number of days we were puking). We could barely get out of bed, much less take care of the kids. Our friends were kind. They brought us food every day, and two of them even came over one day while we were at the doctor to clean our house for us. It was a very nice gesture and I should have been thankful, but my first thought was horror!…….Exposed!
Ever had that feeling?
A few nights later, we were sitting in the kitchen eating dinner when a friend brought over a casserole. Clearly, I didn’t know that she was coming over, because A) I would not have cooked dinner, and B) I would have at least swept the kitchen floor so that it didn’t look like the Faber College Cafeteria after a food fight. But no, she walked in and there we all sat in our Animal House glory!
I Need To Get Over It
If you have lots of kids, or even one or two, you know my pain. And I know you know my pain. So why do I get so uptight when you want to come over to my house? Because yours always looks clean, that’s why! But could it be you are just like me? Could it be that your house is usually messy too? Are you scrambling to tidy up your house before I show up? I think some of you are.
So why am I afraid of your judgement, and why are you afraid of mine? It doesn’t make sense!
Therefore, My Advice To You (and Me) Is…
- We should cut each other some slack. We worry about being judged, only when we judge others. Reflect on that for a nanosecond or two. It’s true, isn’t it!
- Let’s shift our worries away from whether or not our house is clean enough to impress our friends and concentrate on whether we provide a safe and loving environment for our kids.
I like how a friend once put it. She said “My house is just clean enough to be safe, yet messy enough to have fun.” And I got it. There were no bubonic plague carrying rats strolling through her kitchen, yet you could see that she didn’t spend a lot of time sprucing up her house either. It was, what it was, a “lived in” house. And you know what? My kids had fun, and I felt comfortable because that family and that house were just like mine. The only difference was her attitude.
The interesting thing is, I really like and respect this friend and she has inspired me to be more genuine. In fact, she has inspired me to come clean. So, here goes:
Hi. My name is Brian and I have a messy house!
If you have a messy house (or even if you’re a neat freak) you will want to sign up for Timeout, my once a week email. It contains bonus materials like recipes or free downloads and resources. Just click here and fill out two measly fields. It takes like 10 seconds, and I promise not to sell your info, spam you, or try to sell you a vacuum cleaner, or aluminum siding.
Brian from Daddy go To Timeout