baby-2

We can’t be friends.

Moms,

See that picture above?

Thats my life. 90% of the time- that beautiful mess is my life. Despite my best efforts, it is crazy, chaotic and absolutely unorganized.

I like you. I think you are sweet, and fun to hang out with. But let me give it to you straight. If I have to clean for three hours before you come over…

We can’t be friends. We just can’t.

It’s just way too stressful, and trying to keep my home perfectly neat in this stage in life is impossible and overwhelming. I used to be more put together, believe it or not, I am naturally organized ( and a little OCD) . But then my kids became mobile, they ganged up on me, and my life and time were no longer my own.

If you do come over, and I really want you to, I won’t pretend that I have it all together. Simply because I don’t. I believe real, authentic relationships are more important than an organized linen closet. One day those closets will be organized again, but today a four year old wants to play candy land, a seven year old wants to show me his latest paper plane, and my nine year old needs to go to dance.

So, if you can push aside the piles of clothes that need to be folded, sit down with me among my chaos, with a hot cup of coffee, I know we can be good friends. Even better, FOLD those clothes as you share your heart with me, and we will be the best of friends. I promise.

On the flip side, if you are cleaning your house like a mad woman before I come over… for the love, stop doing that! Just stop it! You really don’t have too. I love you, just for you. And I want to get to know you. The real you. I have a feeling that underneath all  those facades us women are SO good at creating- you are such a beautiful person.  You don’t have to try to impress me,  I know you are a good wife, a great mom, and an amazing housekeeper. Besides those crumbs on your counter make me feel at home.

xoxox

 

Update: After a lot of thought ( and courage ) I wanted to try to clarify a few things . Please hear my heart. 

823 Responses

      • I was just wondering if you have a spot for recipes?? I’d love for you to share some of your favorites! I bet others would too! Thanks

      • I have a dinner board on Pinterest ( none of them are my own recipes ) But I totally should think about putting some on here! Thanks!

    • This is so true my friends don’t care if my room is a disaster but I try to keep my livingroom and kitchen somewhat cleaned

    • Yup agreed. My house is open to all so long as you don’t mind the toys, the crayons, the unfolded laundry and also the two kids screaming for me while we sit down over coffee.

    • Amen! I’ve been saying that since my first was born. The problem is every time we go to visit people they clean up and so we only see other peoples homes when they are clean and tidy – which makes us feel like we are the messy ones and we need to clean up to have visitors. I gave up years ago.

    • I seriously thought the same thing! My house, with one toddler, has more on the floor plus a thick layer of dust on the shelves! lol

    • I agree. Can’t relate to this picture, sorry. The article is good, but this picture must be staged. Seriously. I see a beautifully decorated magazine worthy room with a few kids & toys laying around. But you can see the floor in 90% of the picture! :-) There are no stacks of stuff piled up anywhere… Doesn’t look like a real family’s house! If my home looked like this and I wrote this article, I would seriously need to reevaluate my priorities. (The couch throw blankets on the floor…horrors!)

      • Love the article. It is SO true….and I have to agree with the “Mom of oler than toddlers”…..It really doesn’t get any better…. :P

    • Mom of 4 big kids sees the picture above and thinks it’s remarkably uncluttered. Kid mess doesn’t count. It’s when there is no flat surface uncovered with grownup and big kid stuff that I call it a mess.

    • I was thinking the same. My house (even thou I crave cleanlinesss), usually has something spilled and several paper things shredded along with more clutter.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Yes it has some toys strung out, but under that it looks spotless. My house has stains and fingerprints everywhere, walls, furniture, carpet all under all the toys and othet items scattered everywhere. I only wish my house could look like this one!

    • I agree. I would love for my house to be scattered with everything and wipe hand prints off the wall ( NO I would leave them there and kiss one each time I walked by). I would love to hear squills, screams,loud talking and laughter. Young ladies enjoy those babies whatever age. You can’t go get them back, but grandbabies help:-)

  1. I couldn’t have said it better myself! I know this is unrelated but I love your curtains. Would you mind sharing where you bought them?

  2. I’ve always told. You not to clean for. Me, I don’t give a rats a– what’s on the floors or tables. It’s your own idea to clean before anyone comes! What’s the use of cleaning and picking up when it will be to do all over in an hour. Enjoy the kids and forget about what anyone thinks.

  3. Shit! My granddaughter can do that in 30 min. An my 17 yr old can do it in 10min! Come to my house it looks worse I work 40 to 50 a week then try to take care of my family then my parents which my father is dieng from cancer. If that don’t like your house then then they are not true friends!;)

  4. So you’re saying that instead of trying to figure out why I cant keep my house clean, I should just accept that its gonna be messy while my kid( hopefully kids some day) is little…? Why didnt I think of that?

  5. I love this. I have friends who are moms and they apologize for the mess – I do my best to encourage them that they don’t need to have their house clean for me — their house looks lived in, and is much more welcoming to me than a pristine house…and I know that I will be like that someday to (okay, I’m like that now and I don’t even have kids added to the mix yet)

  6. My husband is a total neat freak, and his parents are even worse. I literally worry myself sick for a week before they come visit. It really pisses me off that they’re like that, especially because I have a 3 year old and a 15 month old, and I’d love to not spend half my life cleaning. Unfortunately, if I don’t have everything perfect for them, they’ll get out the cleaning supplies and do it themselves. It makes me feel awful.

    • I am sorry Jessica. And that is exactly the point I was trying to make. Mom’s should not be worried about keeping a house magazine clean- it’s a huge enough task to keep little human beings alive. Let them get the cleaning supplies out, and hang out with your babes. :-) Guilt free!

    • *hugs* Jessica! I am in the same boat. Its one tho g to be judged by friends, but when it’s your own hubs and in-laws that’s the pits. I really can relate to “getting out their cleaning supplies” part. Here’s to us not making ourselves sick over this anymore. Wishful thinking.

    • Jessica, If your in-laws are that concerned about the cleanliness of your house – pick up some new rubber gloves, make sure your supplies are well stocked & let them have at it!! What a great thing for them to gift to you!! As the mom of 10 my house hasn’t been ‘clean’ for 20 years!! Maybe one day, the teens are messier than the 2 yr old!!

    • They will not stop until your husband lays down boundaries for you. If it comes from you, it won’t have as much clout.

    • Joyce, I don’t think you should worry or feel awful. You have a FULL PLATE without having to worry about the problems of GROWN ADULTS. If they want to clean your house because THEY can’t stand the clutter….I say let them. If they don’t want to clean your house but can’t stand the mess, they can wait for you to visit them.

    • You know, if someone else feels the need to clean your house, by all means, let them! Most likely they are doing it, not as a criticism of your housekeeping skills, but to try to help you out. Try not to let it make you feel bad, rather, accept the help gratefully and thank them for being willing to make your day easier. I’m saying this as a person who, if I see a job that needs to be done at a friend’s house, I’d rather jump in and help out and get it done and make their day a little brighter, than have them feel that it needs to be pristine before I can come over. Of course, my house… well, you can come help me out any time too. ;)

  7. Thank you for this article. I am a mom of 2 kids, 4 & 6. At the time they were 2 & 4 I was working full time and helping my husband start a business. Our house had clean laundry in the chairs, toys all over…very lived in. My family actually came down on us pretty hard for having a “messy” house. I have felt bad until I read your article. There are people out there who do understand. Thank you so much for your article!

    • Oh my! I cant imagine working full time, plus keeping up with everything! It is so hard to feel judged and really the last thing any mom’s need. A little understanding and encouragement goes a long way. We should really be supporting each other, and not tearing each other down.

  8. I am one of those people that will start cleaning when I come over and chat while doing it. Or I would ask you about a major project you want to tackle and ask you if you needed help. My kids will keep your kids entertained and distracted the whole time.

    I have six kids, I know what it is like to clean and clean the same room and the same things over and over again… It gets pretty boring and very frustrating because the kids will mess it all up again in two minutes anyway… plus the whole time you are cleaning they are either crying for attention or making a mess some where else.

    I am of those people that makes sure my kids’ messes are picked up before I go, so you won’t have to feel stressed about it when we come over to play. Picking up other people’s messes on top of your own isn’t pleasant.

    I am one of those people that wants to set an example for my kids by helping others.

    I am one of those people that absolutely and totally understands because I have been there and I am there right now. I see messes as someone needing a hand.

    I am one of those people that doesn’t judge.

    • I just can’t do it all I’m raising my older daughters 17 year old son and he is worse then a 2 year old great kid but sloppy mess always. Plus I have a 25 year old with cerebral palsy OCD and bad. Ugh so any of you young mom please don’t worry it only gets better. You ever get bored more then welcome to come washer and dryer always full plus 2 house dogs sweetie your house looked loved. P

  9. Enjoyed your article. My friends and I don’t do more than clear a path for each other. We also have a “no real pants” rule. It means that pajama or yoga pants, the shirt you slept in and a messy pony tail are acceptable dress for all of our home playdates. I love that my friends love and see me and my kiddies and don’t worry about the rest.

  10. Love! My mom friends and I also have an understood comfy clothes rule! The first time I went to one friend’s house, I was sitting outside for about 5 minutes before going inside. She told me she was worried I was putting make up on and therefore wouldn’t fit in. I had to confess that since I was early and my then 18 month was behaving well in the back seat, I decided to finally pluck my eyebrows in the natural sunlight :)

  11. This made me smile:) I have three boys under 3…at one point it was a 15 month old and my twins. Needless to say my house is never clean, piles everywhere and things needing to be put away. I’ve taken the stance that if my kids are happy, fed, and ready for bed at night than I’ve succeeded. That’s my day to day thinking. However, still finding it hard to not clean when guests are on their way and truthfully that’s the only catalyst to my cleaning. I’ll definitely be sharing this article!!

  12. Nice article but my dog makes a bigger mess than that. And it looks 100 times messier because my home isn’t as perfectly staged as yours. Nice article but I call b.s. if the picture here is really your “mess”!

    • Have you ever thought that maybe to Cari this is messy, if she wants no toys or anything in this room, then TO HER its messy, not nice to judge a person, especially one you don’t know, just sayin!!

  13. Love the article. :) I have seven children ages 8 down to 10 months (including 4 year old twin boys). Before I had kids who could help with the pick-up, it took an hour or two each night after bedtime to get the house to a state of calm so I could relax (I’m a super visual person and the clutter drove me crazy).

    Now we do two family cleaning times each day when everyone works: once in the morning (after breakfast and before school-work), and once in the evening (while dinner is being made and before daddy gets home). That helps keep the chaos relatively under control. But they play between those times, and if my house looked as clean as that picture for more than about 5 minutes it would be a miracle.

    It’s totally worth it though. :)

  14. But you see, articles like this make it sound like if you do have your house all clean and organized you must not be giving your children the attention they need or deserve and that isn’t true.

    • I am so sorry, that wasn’t the message I was trying to convey at all. For me personally I have struggled in the past to make everything look perfect for when friends came to visit. I would stress out myself, my husband and my children. To the point I think I ignored my kids, to give a good impression for guests. I am at the point in life now, that I have learned that “good impressions” dont often produce real, authentic relationships. I need real friendships. It’s not that I don’t like a clean house ( my biggest desire is to have one ) , or if you have a clean house you must be neglecting your kids. It was all about my heart and striving for that balance.

  15. I don’t know about this. You are assuming that anyone who has a clean home is putting up a facade and not showing the “real” self. My real self is teaching my children to respect their things and appreciate what God has given us. That means having a super fun time with toys- then picking up after yourself. My kids are 5 and 6. They know how to sort their own laundry and do the dishes amount other things.
    If I invited friends over, only to have them fold my laundry… I can’t imagine! Seriously? To me it shows more love to a friend that I took the time to make sure she had a clean and comfortable place to sit than her accepting my lack of of cleaning up even just the one room she’s going to be in. I agree that we all are crazy with life with small children and we can’t have magazine ready homes all the time. But to write a blog post insinuating to the world that if your house is clean, we can’t be friends is a little much.

  16. No I am not judging your post :) but I have had people post this all the time, or little cute memes saying you know you are a good mom if you do this or if you have cake batter all over the house or whatever else it is that people say and I don’t. I can’t. It is for my own sanity and it makes ME happy and I do it at my own time, without neglecting my child. I don’t expect people to do that for me in their house but I also don’t want to be judged for having my house clean always, no matter what time you stop by. That makes ME feel like I am doing my best as a mom.

  17. To the person above, take the article in context. Good grief people get the heart of it, she isn’t saying you must not love your kids if you have a clean home. She is saying, let’s be real with each other. Sheesh, people with clean homes getting all antsy.

    • Lol, that just made me laugh! But Carrie you seriously hAve a Beautiful house, I want to move in ! My house gets even worse and all that by my 4 year old .. Love your post though
      Xo

  18. I can relate to this picture, it’s similar to my house. And the article is spot-on. I do clean for hours before I have people over, but it’s usually only half because I want to impress them, and half because I don’t want people tripping all night or stepping on legos. I very much want to keep my house clean but it’s just so hard. My kid has too many toys! They just end up everywhere. I read another blog post recently from a mother who got rid of all of her daughters’ toys (with positive results)… I’ve been considering something like that. With the exception of a few creative toys and a few special stuffed animals, I often feel like (besides cluttering up my house) the toys also just overwhelm her. she goes from thing to thing to thing without focusing on one thing for more than 5 minutes

    • Do it! I have seven kids 2 to 15 and though we only buy toys for Christmas and birthdays (and sparingly even then), we were overwhelmed with toys. My 4 year would just dump the buckets to find the one car he wanted. Besides some outdoor balls and basic craft supplies, I kept legos, magnatiles, 10 cars, dress up clothes, up to 5 stuffed animals a piece (most kept 2 or 3) and 3 Little People sets along with 2 handheld video game consoles. The end! We also narrowed down books and make more frequent trips to the library which the kids love (and it’s much easier to find the books to return them when we have so much less stuff). My kids play with their toys now and clean up is so much easier and faster. Good luck whatever you choose to do!

  19. I would love for my home to be that messy!!! With 2 preschoolers, 2 year old toddlers and one starting to walk, it will be a while!!!

  20. ^ What Sarah said. Also, goodness sakes I wish I could say this to my husband. Well, actually, I do. Every. Day. I swear he was brought up in the 50′s because he has unrealistic expectations of what the house should look like- at all times! It puts such a huge stress on my shoulders knowing there is no room for error. And who suffers? My babies. To the people who “claim” they absolutely had to have a clean home, blah, blah, blah. I am assuming you do not have four children, two of them under 3 (as I do) It seems to me you missed the point of this post entirely. This was for mommies to support and understand other mommies. This was a hug in writing, reassurance in text, just one mom letting other moms know- hey, it’s ok! I appreciate this post. Because I can relate. I agree. Bravo Cari! ;)

    • I agree! Rhiana banana! I cant keep up with the expectations either! I simply love this post! I think there are people out there that “just know” how to keep a house clean and kuddos to them! But for the life of me… its means clean, clean, clean, and clean some more to keep a house clean and sorry that is no fun! But when the hubby sits and complains all the time that things aren’t done. “Dear, the soap is empty again…. okay go fill it up again!” In all honesty it takes a team of people to keep the home clean. And when we (Moms) are the only ones cleaning its just NOT going to happen. I would love for my friends to come over and not care, and I had to laugh at the folding laundry cuz i have done that before and my friend was so grateful because it was one less thing to worry about. We can serve, and let others serve us. Its for all good intentons.

  21. The author of the post wasn’t implying or saying that having a clean house would preclude you from being friends. The heart of her message was that if she had to make her home “picture perfect” for a friend then, for her, that wouldn’t be the essence of a meaningful, supportive, understanding friendship. I keep a spotless home most of the time. For myself, that is important. But that doesn’t mean my son and I don’t make messes in the pursuit of exploration and play, we do. We play with zeal and fervor and passion. But then we pick up and move on to the next thing. I grew up in a spotless home where scissors and glue and glitter and baking were not allowed because of the mess they produced. I became a momma that loved the clean house and appreciated the organization but was inspired to do messy and fun things inside my home with my own children. I have had friends say to me, you can never come over to my house because your house is too clean. These friends haven’t known me long enough to understand that the condition of your home, whatever it may be, is not important to me. A real authentic relationship is, with mutual acceptance and understanding. I could care less if I have to clear off clothes on your couch to sit down to chat with you. I care more about our genuine relationship. I think that’s the crux of her post.

  22. “Pardon the mess, the children are making memories.” Favorite ever, and between three kids, husband, grandma to take care of… And now going back to college… I don’t have time. It bothers me sometimes, but I just can’t keep up!

  23. Good grief, people! Everybody has a different level of mess at different times… If you relate to the article don’t criticize the photo. I believe her dilemma is just as real as yours and mine.

  24. My mom always said, you can drop by anytime…no need to call, would love to see you. However, if you want to see a clean house, then you’d best call first…I can probably get that done in 3 months or so. :-) There were 4 of us kids, in a 17 year age gap, and we lived on a small farm 20 miles outside of town, and she drove us into town daily for private school…and Dad traveled half of every month she she was kind of a single parent. I learned a lot from her and try to live like her. She’s a wise woman to not stress over the little stuff…and so are you!

  25. This made me feel just a little bit better about myself. For those of you complaining it’s not “messy enough” if it were you would be complaining it were too messy. Threatening to call authorities, and ugh I can see it now. We all know what the rest of the house really looks like, just look around your own house! I think it’s great we can bond over this. Here’s to messy homes all over the world, filled with happy kids who’s mom’s get on the floor and play with them instead of trying to vacuum it constantly.

  26. I am a mother of 6 boys, who actually needs to get up and clean now :) nobody ever comes over here when they do occasionally I feel like I have to clean up bc its a mess, even when it’s clean it’s a mess!

  27. I’m a mother of 6 boys so I get the mess! Nobody ever comes over to my house and in the very rare occasion that they do I’ll spend at least an hour trying to clean up first bc even when it’s clean it’s a mess!

  28. I get what she’s saying, but there is nothing messy about that picture! Posting a “beautiful mess” pic like this just makes me roll my eyes. Sorry not sorry.

  29. I come to visit YOU not your house… This is what I always tell my friends… I don’t care if they have a mess… I raised 8 kids I’m use to it. :)

    • This is Cari’s house, Cari’s kids, Cari’s mess, Cari’s message. This is how Cari feels! No one needs to judge or read into it too much one way or another! It is what it is. And I would give anything to bring my kids over and just have one hour with this beautiful, inspiring mom and her family!!!

  30. I can relate. I have 5 kids ages 10 to 21. I couldn’t stand a messy house and tried so hard to impress people when they came over. It didn’t matter what I did, they didn’t care about the condition of the house. They judged on the house as a whole, where we lived, what we drove. So it didn’t matter if I cleaned or not. I finally got a clue and dumped the judgmental snobs and found good friends I could relate to. I admit I’m not one to have a lot of friends (that’s another story) but the few I do are like sisters, and we never cared one bit what each other’s houses looked like, we were raising kids. Life is messy, life is a blessing when you’re OK with it. Toddlers and teenagers wreak havoc on a house, but now they can help clean up. We don’t have much company, in fact none really, except the kids’ friends, and I’m fine with that. As long as you accept it for what it is, you’re welcome. If you judge, then I have no time for you. I enjoyed the read. It’s a shame that we are each other’s worst enemy. Women judge other women to easily when it comes to the joys of motherhood. It has really hindered my ability to make friends. I cherish the few I have and don’t try to make new ones. The company of my husband of 25 years and my wonderful kids are what truly matters, mess or not :)

  31. This is Cari’s house, Cari’s kids, Cari’s mess, Cari’s message. This is how Cari feels! No one needs to judge or read into it too much one way or another! It is what it is. And I would give anything to bring my kids over and just have one hour with this beautiful, inspiring mom and her family!!!

    • I am concerned about the message you may be sending in this article. Your children are 4, 7, and 9 years old. These children are all old enough to be trained to keep their house at least relatively neat and orderly so it is not “crazy, chaotic and absolutely unorganized.” I agree with you when say, “I believe real, authentic relationships are more important than an organized linen closet.” They are, but that doesn’t mean that one can’t have a messy linen closet but still have an orderly house and good relationships. I know that it is difficult, but it is possible to have a house that can be orderly and organized, especially when one doesn’t have toddlers or babies. If the rest of my house is orderly, it won’t matter about the linen closet. A mother can still play Candy Land, look at a paper airplane, and take a child to dance and still have a house that isn’t crazy. There is a difference in having a “crazy, chaotic and absolutely unorganized’” house and saying it is fine to live that way because you have 3 children. We all have days that our houses are messy even when we don’t have children around anymore. As a mother of 5 boys and 3 girls in a span of 13 years, (the first 5 were born in 6 1/2 years) I do understand the stress. I constantly had to pick up, but I don’t ever recall justifying having my house a mess because of my children. Now I have 13 grandchildren, ages 6 and under, who come to stay and play, but we pick up and organize when it’s time for them to go home. It can be done if it’s important.

      • I found it easier to keep my house clean when my children were babies than now. I have two five yr olds a 8 yr old and 10yr old. They do their chores but things do get chaotic and disorganized.

      • She can live anyway she wants. Why on earth are you being so judgemental?? I am not spending inordinate amounts of time when my kids are little, cleaning my house. It will be plenty clean when they leave and I’m in no hurry for that. I don’t think I’ll be proud of my clean house while I lay dying.

  32. Please come over to my clean house but understand that it doesn’t make me a super mom or you a less put together one. My clean house has nothing to do with us as mothers or our individual parenting style and everything to do with my house keeper! It’s just stuff. As much as a toddler organized house makes friends seem uncomfortable, my clean house makes me feel uncomfortable for other mothers. I don’t want friends to come over and think I have it all together with three kids under 5. I don’t, at all. I barely hold things together most days, but stay strong knowing Maribel will come eventually to help! Come on Thursday and we will all be uncomfortable, but come on Tuesdays for a peak at the disaster!

  33. If you have a job and your house is a little messy that is ok. If you have crumbs all over your floor and a layer of dust on everything then you are just nasty and probably putting your kids health at risk. Did the author write this so she could frel good about herself about being lazy and get other lazy people to comment on here and comfort her?

    • You are obviously not a parent lol. No, this author is just like every other parent that is constantly trying to play catch up. Go speak your ignorance elsewhere.

    • Dust does not put you at health risk. I dust every other day and there is still dust. We live in an old house and its just dusty. I’m not gonna spend every moment of my day dusting and scrubbing every germ out of my house because if you come over you might think its nasty, because truth be told you have probably already judged me by what I have on or the car I drive. There is always a load of laundry on my couch that needs to be folded. Does that make me nasty? Probably to you. But my kids are happy and in the end thats all that matters. Judgemental people like yourself are the reason the article was written. And btw, I clean my house every day and there is still dust…..and you know what? We are never sick. So there goes your argument. *eye roll*

      • You are so right. The people that leave rude, judgmental comments like that chick who thinks a few crumbs are “nasty” is someone I would NEVER be friends with or even want to be friends with. I don’t care for snobby, rude people. Never have.

    • Oh, please. There are crumbs on my floor every single day, thanks to my son. AND I LEAVE THEM WHERE THEY FALL until my son goes to bed. There is absolutely no use in cleaning anything while he’s up. Perhaps this mother is like me…if you want to visit a clean home, visit at night :)

    • Really ppl can be mean you are judging bc of crumbs on the floor you must b crazy if u have kids and don’t have crumbs on the floor you can’t get every crumb everytime even after sweeping under the table you still probably have few I don’t c it as nasty I see it as lived in and you can’t get every crumb everytime or spend 30min cleaning after every meal esp when u have small children they have to live and be kids and part of that it messin up the house

    • You’re an idiot. You can clearly see her house is clean. It’s “messy” from the kids being kids. She’s trying to say that she doesn’t have to walk behind them cleaning up everything they put down. Full time, part time or no job- she’s making a great point. Leave it to people to just post nasty and rude comments to make themselves feel better.

    • How brave of you to boldly criticize another woman’s life under an “anonymous” title… the author is not the only mom in the world who has this experience. Many other moms feel the same, and perhaps are silently nodding in agreement after reading this rather than posting that they share the same sentiments. I was one of those moms in agreement until I saw your little critique, and felt the need to express that my home also has a pile of unfolded laundry on my bed, a small pile of crumbs in the kitchen, and handprints on the windows (among other various toys scattered throughout) oh, and my husband is overseas working in Afghanistan so we can keep this roof over our heads and have a place to do laundry or scatter toys, and I am essentially a one woman show for the time being, taking care of 3 young boys singlehandedly. I am far from a “slob”, much like hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of my fellow moms. But please, if you have all the answers, “anonymous”, feel free to write your own blog and make it go viral so all of us moms who don’t meet your standards can see how it’s done… I’d LOVE to read that!

    • Wow, you really have no idea, do you?! My husband and I don’t even have kids yet, just have the nephews and niece over now and then and even we get how hard it is to keep up house with 3 kids under 6. If you really think it is so easy to keep a house spotless in those conditions, you must have a housekeeper (like another commenter mentioned.)

    • Hey Cari, looks like one of your judgmental friends is back. “If this, if that…” It’s only okay if your house is a little messy “if you have a job.” Because maybe she doesn’t consider motherhood to be a “real” job. Although she comments on what she isn’t sure of, she favors being judgmental. It’s easier to do when your anonymous, I guess. I hope she can one day learn how rewarding it is to lift others up instead of tearing them down. I loved your post, which wasn’t at all about being nasty or clean, but being imperfect and yet accepted. Your heart is in the right place. If it’s a choice between one or the other, your children should come before impressing others.

    • Wow, did you really just say that? That house is in no way nasty. Perhaps you need to look up the definition. As a mother of 8 and a Nana of 14 I can tell you there have been times when my house was messy and times when I myself considered it nasty. No one died from any kind of sickness and in fact my kids were rarely sick at all, thank you Lord! When my babies were younger I was completely ocd and I prided myself on my house being spotless with all those kids.Then I read a poem that spoke volumes to me.”Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow. So go away cobwebs and dust to go sleep, I’m rocking my babies and babies don’t keep.”Truth is in hindsight I would take a messy house anyday and sit right down in the middle of it with those babies and play, which is exactly what I do with my grandbabies now. They grow up way to fast, you better enjoy every minute. Oh and just for the record whether I work outside of the home or not I as a Mom have a full time job!!! Kudo’s to the Mom’s who handle both!

    • You are a fuckin disgrace..ive been told that im a clean freak and ocd.I still have to sweep three times a day and i have dust in my house sometimes its a lost battle..does that make me a slob???I definetly cant judge a parent by some toys laying around,pile of clothes on a couch,or some crumbs on the floor.I give props to parents its not a easy job .Unless they are in a unfit atmosphere shut your nasty judgemental mouth..people like u shouldnt reproduce ..just saying.If anything these people are real and do the best they can do ..what makes u so much better ???

    • Are you serious? Have you ever been in a house with toddler/kids/teenagers? There are messes and there are days we are too tired and exhausted from life to deal with it. It’s not called being lazy, it’s called living life. Some days we choose to do that in a clean house and other (most) days we can choose not to. If a clean house is your focus and not your family, then what a sad, sad life you must lead….

    • Dust on the floor and crumbs on the floor is CPS worthy?Call the cops cause all my friends ddon’t deserve to be mothers..SARCASM!!!! Tots before mops!!! A clean house never credited my mothering…untidy homes make way for the ability to teach kids responsibilities….Im lazy because instead of following behind my toddler with a vaccine Im instead planning meals…grocery shopping…making doctors appointments, paying bills…play dates and field trips. The dust and crumbs can wait til nap time.

    • roflmao… yea… i’m a father. with my career i work at home alot. my wife works in town on graveyard shift. so needless to say i tend to our child the most. i use to be a neat freak. everything had its place… every window had its routine cleaning, bathroom, dusting yard, etc… then we had a kid… you there who attacks the messes and claims dust is no excuse have obviously never lived nor have a child as well as must have a sorry excuse for a life. once we had a child… my cleanliness went right out the window. i seriously followed behind our son and cleaned up behind him the first few years.. now its like what the heck is the point. r there clothes all over. yea. are there dirty dishes… yea, is there a mess… yea… its called life. does it means im not fit to parent and that my kid must live in a health hazard zone no. at this point there would be more of a hazard for my child to be at your house… mrs anonymous joke. and odds r my family is still more accomplished than your clean perfect lifestyle and obviously way happier. dont come here and trash something u have not only no experience in but obviously the ability of something u cannot achieve. if u reproduce i feel sorry for your children… and that messy house you’ll be living in… do the world a favor and dont reproduce. if u got time to have the perfect house… then u have no life to be perfect for.

    • I’m going to guess you have no children. I’m far from lazy… but I can get my living room immaculate, come back from the laundry room, and then find that the toy box has thrown up across my rug.

      “It takes a child to raze a village.”

    • If you have a job and your house is a little messy that is ok? Whether a mom is on a payroll somewhere or not, EVERY mom out there has ‘a job’ and is on the clock 24/7. Any mom whom has found a healthy balance has crumbs on the floor and memories of playing with her children. I would rather build a fort or play playdough than dust any day. Raising children in a sterile bubble doesn’t protect them from anything.

    • You’re extremely rude. Nothing nice to say get off facebook I really want to call you a bad name but I wont stoop to your level. Poof be gone!

    • Before I had my son I was constantly cleaning my house, but now I am still picking up and making sure there is nothing he can put in his mouth, but hey you can sweep up the crumbs but five minutes later there is going to be crumbs right back on the ground, as for your comment about dust she never said anything about not dusting, and never said her house was filthy, yes a home needs to be safe for your kids but it does not have to be immaculate.

    • Nasty, lazy? This is just so rude and way judgmental. You have no idea what is going on with another person or their circumstances. I have 3 yr old triplets and one is Autistic…you wouldn’t last 1 damn day in my world! How dare you! You pretentious, pompous snob. Go spill your drivel somewhere else.

    • Seriously? If you look at the picture she posted you think she doesn’t feel good about herself? Regardless of the “little” mess on the floor of toys, everything else looks spotless, her children look happy in all of her other posts including this one. I get what she is saying, and anyone who thinks it is easy to keep a house clutter free with a 4 year old is crazy. I finish cleaning one area, move on to another area and my son is already messing up the first area. It gets frustrating. Yes it can be done, it will be done but unexpected visits can be stressful if you feel like people are looking at the laundry that needs to be folded or the dishwasher that needs to be emptied or the floor that needs to be vacuumed for the 3rd time that day. People always have to find something so negative in everything. Can people just be!?! For pete’s sakes there are so many worse things in this world than an untidy house, just look at cnn.com A blog post with a slight hint of humor and reality is a nice break from the disasters being posted on the news on a daily…almost hourly basis.

    • You’re a douche bag. I have crumbs on my floor, dishes in my sink, toys strewn everywhere and guess what else…happy children and a clear conscious.

      I can’t speak for the author but quite frankly she sounds like a kindred spirit in the way she writes. I can say this though, Moms blog to connect and share the many humorous and difficult things we do in a day. We also do it to put our minds to rest because they are always going non-stop. We blog to learn from other people. We DON’T blog in hopes that someone will come along and try to make us feel like shit. Did you get that last part? Good. No go fuck yourself.

      Sorry about the offensive language but I hate bullies and anyone that calls this Mom/writer lazy and makes ridiculous accusations like that is a bully in my eyes.

      “If you have a job…” Seriously?

  34. Great article. I’ve done that with friends who have grown children who are out of the house. I don’t care what your house looks like. I came to visit you and spend time with you. It’s not about how the house looks. It’s about being with friends and enjoying their company.

  35. I love this. I am the same way. I love a clean house but there are times when I cannot be bothered or care. I love the friends that do not care either.

  36. You are welcome to my house ANYTIME! Thank you for the emphasis on spending time with your children. The dishes are always there, the laundry always needs to be done, but our children are growing to fast and our time with them is a blessing! and should be cherished. Therefore, the house chores can wait!

  37. Dust does not put you at health risk. I dust every other day and there is still dust. We live in an old house and its just dusty. I’m not gonna spend every moment of my day dusting and scrubbing every germ out of my house because if you come over you might think its nasty, because truth be told you have probably already judged me by what I have on or the car I drive. There is always a load of laundry on my couch that needs to be folded. Does that make me nasty? Probably to you. But my kids are happy and in the end thats all that matters. Judgemental people like yourself are the reason the article was written. And btw, I clean my house every day and there is still dust…..and you know what? We are never sick. So there goes your argument. *eye roll*

  38. OK this is sad. For one thing why are the kids toys in the living room and not in there bedroom? I’m sorry but it does make you look like a slob. That is what people think no matter what you say or how busy you are. Plus you are teaching your children to be the same. It takes 5 minutes to pick up things every night before bed. If the place is clean. Let the kids destroy there rooms and shut the door.
    Your children are old enough to clean up after themselves. I started at 4. They should be doing dusting at least once a week. cleaning there rooms and helping mommy. You are lying to yourself if you can not find 10 min to pick up stuff a day. Just looking at the picture I would not want to bring an infant into that house because they could choke on something on the floor. Sorry its just how most of the world sees you and you have to stop making excuses for it. Just say I hate cleaning and that’s that. You don,t see clean people making excuses for being clean.
    Get your children and husband into it. Once you learn to keep it up it works out just great.

    • Dear Bev,
      I’d love to know how many kids you have and what exactly do with them when you don’t clean. Kids are unpredictable and you can’t put them on a 24 hour cleaning schedule. And if that works for you, then, ma’am, you’re a better woman. However, this life is too short to spend my time 24/7 to try and clean my house.
      Signed, a homeschool mom of 4, working part time and who’s house is not 24/7 spotless.

      • my children liked to be with me. my 17 year old boy would come to my bedroom and watch the tv when I was in there rather than watch the bigger tv in the living room because he wanted to be with me. I am sorry for kids who have to keep their toys in their rooms

    • I completely agree! Yes, there are times in the midst of playing we have toys in the living room. But having all kinds of different toys strewn everywhere is not setting our children up for good habits of discipline in the future. I was raised in a house with no discipline in that way, and I still struggle against it. My husband was raised in a house where he was taught- get the work done and then you can enjoy playing more. He still finds plenty of time to enjoy life but he has an excellent work ethic. We need to teach our kids to have a good work ethic. Yes, they should be kids and enjoy their childhood, but that doesn’t mean letting them tear up the house and glorifying that.

      • I don’t think the article ever insinuated that you should let your kids rule the house and distroy it. I think we should stick with what the author intended to convey: sometimes cleaning with small kids is like shoveling snow while it’s still snowing.

    • Let me get this straight– even if I don’t have an infant, my house to baby-ready at all times? Your logic is sad and judgmental. I’d like to add that one snob can’t speak for “most of the world.” The views you expressed don’t really speak grace or love, and isn’t that what mothering is all about? (I do have an infant, incidentally.)

    • Let me get this straight– even if I don’t have an infant, my house to baby-ready at all times? Your logic is sad and judgmental. I’d like to add that one snob can’t speak for “most of the world.” The views you expressed don’t really speak grace or love, and isn’t that what mothering is all about? (I do have an infant, incidentally.)

    • Why, exactly, should children not be allowed to have toys in the living room? It’s the LIVING ROOM and they LIVE THERE. Nobody’s saying it’s ok to let the kids tear up the house 24/7, but while the kids are up and having a good time, why would you be cleaning up after them while they are still playing? And if you have an infant that you don’t want choking on any one of hundreds of unsafe items in a house with adults and children, then stay home and pass you neuroses on to your little one while mine are allowed to live comfortably in their own home.

    • I have 4 children under 10. My philosophy is this:
      1) 67% of the people that live in my house are children. It is their house, too. They have a right to use the house and spend time in the living areas just as much as my husband and I do. Of course their stuff ends up in the living room or on the dining room table. So does mine!
      2) We LIVE in our house. It is not a showplace for my decorating skills or a museum of my stuff. It is where we live and make memories as a family. I am thankful my children like to play where their parents are. I believe the messes of their toys now are worth the relationship we are building for the long-term. I’m not going to relegate my children and their stuff to their bedrooms. As long as we stop and pick everything up a couple of times a day, I’m content.

    • You, my dear, are old enough to learn proper spelling and grammar. I started at 4. Children should be allowed to make messes. It’s in their nature to do so. I feel bad for your children.

    • Oh Bev, I am sad for you. Don’t you know the joy of playing with your kids? If I confined my kids to their rooms each time they wanted to play, I would feel like we were both missing out on SO much! I am my daughter’s favorite princess, horse, dance partner, fellow artist and hair salon owner. We live our life and have the most fun in our living room, bathroom and kitchen! Life happens all over our house, not just her bedroom. I have a feeling that you raised your kids in a different generation and thankfully we are now raising children who know no limits and do not have their creativity confined.

    • First of all, Bev, I don’t think you are entitled to speak for the world, so please don’t try to do so. Secondly, I believe the author was writing about what her house looks like during the day, when she might be having company. No where did it state that she doesn’t clean up at the end of the day or even ask her children to help. You can see her house is clean, but lived in. I don’t see mold or grime or tumbleweeds rolling through the frame. My goodness! Good for you for starting your children on cleaning up after themselves at the age of four. My son has been picking up his own toys before nap time and at the end of the day since he was just over a year. Does this make me a better parent than you? No. You know what makes me a good parent? The fact that I allow my son to have fun without making unreasonable demands of cleanliness, the fact that I don’t make my son feel like an inconvenience by locking him in his bedroom anytime he gets into one of those ‘toddler moods’ and seems like he might get out some toys and make a mess, the fact that I take a break from doing dishes and laundry to teach him about things such as being empathetic and not being judgmental. Get off your high horse. Her childrens’ toys are in the living room because they are playing with them. I allow my child to play with his toys in the living room. Call me crazy, but I think it’s a pretty nifty idea to sometimes be involved in what he is doing or to allow him to feel like he is part of the family and can therefore share the family living space with me. The way I see it, allowing a little bit of a mess to build up during the day can help to establish the good habit of cleaning up at the end of the day. The moms who walk behind their children and clean up every little thing as the day progresses 1)don’t get anything else done 2)teach their kids that messes will magically disappear 3)probably are really stressed and are passing that stress tendency down to their kids. Its realistic to teach your children to have a good balance between enjoyment and responsibility. What naysayers like you are proving on a daily basis is the fact that it is less realistic to expect to get through a day as a mother without being judged by another mother. Sad too, as this is what the author was writing about in the first place.

    • I may not agree with your harsh tone, but I do agree with your comments about a few minutes here and there and voila – it’s tidy! It really does not take a lot of time!

    • While you are busy being a judgmental arse…you might want to work on your grammar. “There” is a place, “their” shows possession. Just thought I would point that out.

    • Oh goof grief, Bev…really? The kids can’t have their toys in the living room. “No, boys. That room’s for the special people.” Ugh.

    • You wouldn’t want to take your infant to her house because there might be a choking hazard? I wouldn’t want your kid at my house anyhow, it might spit up on my kid’s toys. BTWs, that’s sarcasm and I have twin toddlers so my house isn’t perfect all the time! Also, I some husbands won’t help clean, I ask mine to simply put his trash IN the can, not beside it, and he still does what he wants! And since you have time in your perfectly ordered day, learn which “their, there, they’re” to use. It seems your grammar could use some tidying up.

  39. First, This was beautifully written. I’ve raised my kids, watching them play with and leave all their toys laying around in the main living area when they were small. I loved the messes my children left. As they grew older they stopped playing in the main room and I began to get a little lonely. Now they are all adults and have their own families and homes. So now I have grandchildren, so the cyclone in my main living area has begun again and I am no longer lonely, and happy for the messes again.
    So, Let’s not let some ignorant and obviously naive commenter ruin a good thing. Smile and have a great day!

  40. Sounds like my house :) It’s so hard keeping the kids’ stuff in one room. I tell everyone, “this is the girls’ house, not mine.” Since July 2008, my house has turned into everything pink and girly. :)

    Kudos to you!

  41. You know what gals? It is all about balance.. She is not saying it is okay to be a slob. She just doesn’t want to have to impress anyone. We are not talking about filth here just a few toys and maybe a load of laundry unfolded. No big deal. The moms that stress over the little things really don’t realize just how stressed it makes the kids. Just relax a little. And the slobs ( meaning those with really gross dirty houses) out there should clean up for the sake of a safe environment. There, Everyone Happy?

  42. I love this! Love me for me. I just have to share though that flylady.net has helped me tremendously. I am not affiliated with them or get any money but it has made such a big difference in a month in my house and my whole life I can’t not tell anybody about it, maybe it will help someone else out of chaos. (And its free!) My DH and I just got married 6 months ago and got custody of my 8 year old step daughter about 2 months later and I had no idea where to even start to keep house.

  43. There is a huge difference between messy and dirty. If you are a stay at home mom with a messy house, that is normal! If you have a dirty home, then ur just looking for an excuse for being a lazy pig.

  44. I have a sign on my door that says: If you have come to see me- come on in, If you have come to see my house…Make an appointment!

  45. That’s how you know true friendship. I do straighten up for my friends, but I mainly just move my clutter around. I feel uncomfortable in a totally clean and untouched house. What if my kid spills? UG. Not fun.

  46. oh what a true and beautifuly you wrote. I belive most mom’s can realte. My kids are grown..the younest it 14 and oh how i miss those messes…the lil fingerprints on the mirrors and doors…i miss the cherios in the seats of the van etc etc etc………i say enjoy your children to the fullest…On my the first day of my first son’s kindergardent, once the kids were in their classrooms..us sobbing parents were listening to Mrs.Bell, the principal talk to us……she said in her sweet gentle voice…parents….read to your children…let them sit in your lap and let them tell you about their day …let the dishes sit in the sink…let the dust bunny’s roll…let the laundry wait…etc etc…spend time with your children…before you know it they will be all grown up………and the dishes..dust…laundry will be waiting for you……i write this with tears rolling down my cheeks..i love my kids dearly..but the time went wayyy to quick….happy kids are loved kids..dont listen to anyone that has a negative thing to say……being a mother is a gift and a privilage. God bless your family and your beautiufl “mess”

  47. The picture above doesn’t look that messy at all. That would only take me about 5 mins to clean up. With two boys, my house is usually a disaster, but I like to clean up my house before my friends come over. It make’s me feel better and more able to relax and enjoy their company. That is just how I am. So you shouldn’t judge someone who has a clean house either. Your friends are friends, tidy or messy!

  48. I always say if you come to see my house you’ll be disappointed every time! But if you come to see me, come on in and we’ll have a good time!!! Memories are much more important than dust!!! You go girl. Love this article!!

  49. I truly pity those of you who view this picture, see some sort of laziness and feel the need to either tell this mom “how the world views it” or what she should be doing. I pity you because your literacy skills are severely lacking (no doubt due to too much time spent cleaning and not enough time reading). Had you read the title of the article or even the first few paragraphs, you would not have missed the fact that she neither wants the opinion nor the friendship of those who would judge her based on the cleanliness of her home. She is making a statement about her life that you can either choose to accept or choose not to accept and move on to other like-minded friends. Sadly, though, you feel your opinion is somehow superior to hers (no doubt because of all of your expertise in microbiology and occupational safety gained not by reading but perhaps by mopping floors?) Or perhaps you just feel you are generally superior to all and this gives you the right to forego proper social etiquette, hijack a well written blog and flaunt your “superiority” in an attempt to bolster your own failing ego. Regardless of your own issues, the author of this article does not at any point in this open letter solicit your opinion…but you would have known that if you had read the article.

    At the end of the day though, I am much like you if I am to be honest. I write this to make myself feel better because we both know that you’ll never fully read it.

  50. All i can say is that i hope the anonymous user NEVER reproduces ..u are a disgrace ..ive been told that im ocd,a clean freak ..and i still have dust in my house its a never ending battle .Some of the peoples comments on here make mde wonder how they can be so judgemental .Such a sad sad world grow up ..oh and anonymous person your a fuckin idiot just sayin

  51. I think a lot of people are taking this article the wrong way. She’s not saying it’s ok to be a slob, she’s saying it’s ok to not follow your children around the house picking every toy up behind them. And she’s also not say she doesn’t want you to clean for company, she doesn’t want you driving yourself crazy to pick up every crumb and spec of dust only to impress them. There is NO judgement in this article at all. She’s saying it’s OK to not be perfect.

  52. Exactly …if anything she isnt fake .Its just sad its 2014 and people are so worried about other people.Unless they are not in danger or unfit house.Shut your moth ..like i said im a clean freak with no kids and its still hard .Idiotic people stop reproducing its disguisting and very sad

  53. This brought tears to my eyes…..I wish I could turn back time to my babies being small….hold your children and play with them as much as possible. Laundry can wait the floors can wait but those sweet babies need your time now.

  54. Love this so much!! I stopped apologizing about my house a long time ago. One of my very dear friends told me she isn’t coming to see and visit my house. She said don’t worry about that. I’m coming to see you. And I loved how she said that.

  55. Haha… that picture is the furthest thing from a messy house I have ever seen!! If I take one day to be lazy and not clean anything my house some how goes into a state of disarray that makes me think that if someone dropped by they might call the board of health… But I do agree that it is a constant struggle- I would much rather go to see someone else than to have them come here most days.

  56. This was great and very well said. I struggled with this for years and spent too much precious time trying to maintain organization and order at ALL times. It was totally exhausting, not to mention impossible. I read a book called “No More Perfect Moms” by Jill Savage that completely changed my life. One thing led to another and suddenly I found myself leading a moms small group in my church. This is one of many issues that we have covered…..among others that involve moms being pinned against other moms. It is amazing the FREEDOM that has come to so many of these moms as we have intentionally decided to build authentic, non-judgemental relationships. As word spreads, the group has grown and grown from 8 moms at our first group to 21 the last time we met! Moms are fed up and I see a revolution coming……moms are tired of the “mommy wars”…..Well most of them are, anyways, but as you have (sadly) witnessed here, there’s always a few who are not ready to leave the comfort of the shallow end to experience the adventure and vigor that await in the depth of authentic, life-giving friendships!
    Keep doing what you’re doing…..moms are reading and they’re being encouraged!
    Blessings to you, my beautifully messy fellow mommy!

    • Tears. And thank you. I too am tired of Mommy Wars, they truly take off the focus of what really matters- our families. We would be much stronger and more productive woman if we encouraged each other instead of tearing each other apart.

      • I’ll second that! ;)
        You gained at least one new follower today….me! Looking forward to doing life together. :)

  57. Kids are messy. I let my kids play–so they make a mess. As long as it gets cleaned up, then I am fine with it. I don’t want them stressing over about making a mess instead of playing. True friends don’t care about what your house looks like. They just care about you. That’s the bottom line in my book. Let the dishes set, let the mess alone, just enjoy the moments with your children!

  58. I am a vet student with two little kids 7&2 and a husband who works full time. Our house is rarely clean because I just can’t keep up and have time to study too…some things are just more important, like reading a bedtime story. We usually always have dishes piled on the counter and crumbs on the floor. I would rather have a clean house and it won’t always be this way, but for now…I’d rather be called lazy and nasty by those who don’t understand than sacrifice precious time on trivial duties to make poeple happy who are not worth my time.

  59. I agree with this article but I just have one question. The author writes “if I have to spend 3 hours cleaning before you come over, we can’t be friends”. And I wonder what makes her feel that she would have to clean for 3 hours before someone comes over. If someone outright told her to do that, then that is extremely rude and judge mental and I understand why she would want to be that persons friend. But if it’s just that the friend/acquaintance has a very clean home herself, and that makes the author feel inadequate, then it is very rude and judgemental to say “we can’t be friends.” Just like nobody wants to be judged for being messy, nobody wants to be judged for being clean either. I would be devastated to know that someone was withholding friendship from me because my clean house made them feel bad about their messy one. We need to stop judging each other-period.

    • Clean Queen, you are reading too much into this. The author is not saying you can’t be neat all the time, only that you do not HAVE to be for her. That is all. Take her words as simple encouragement and not a criticism. :)

    • She’s not judging. She’s just saying that because, yes, there are “friends” out there who WILL judge your mess. I know because I used to be one. And I used to worry that people were judging mine. And I know at times, they were. She’s talking about giving up the impossible pursuit of perfection and having friendships that go deeper than the messiness (or cleanliness) of our homes. I have had to let go of friendships where I could not live up to their expectations of a “good mom” and I’ve had to let go of my own unrealistic expectations for others (and myself) as well. Too many are accusing her of judging the flip-side and, by my account, that’s not it at all. Let’s all just enjoy the authenticity of her writing and stop trying to pick it apart.

    • There are “friends” of mine who judge me because I keep my home clean! Somehow that makes me a clean freak and OCD! I should be judged upon to content of my character and the cleanliness of my home.

  60. Looks like my living room – toy explosions! Except the paint color on your walls is gorgeous (that truly was one of the first things I noticed about this picture). Thanks for this article!

  61. I’ve been there! Toys on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, spilled milk somewhere that’s making a nasty odor, dirty diapers waiting to be changed, piles of laundry. From little on I have taught my children (four of them, including twins) to work with me and help me as we keep our home. They each have their own responsibilities and are a great help to our family. We are a team and we each contribute something to our home. I work hard to make my home a haven for anyone who enters it. If my house is clean and orderly it’s that way because that is how I like it. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I also believe in real, authentic relationships. How I choose to keep my home is no reflection on how deep and meaningful my friendships are. Just because the laundry is clean and folded, the carpets are clean, and the dishes are put away does not mean that my children are any less happy or loved. This isn’t a prison work camp – it’s a home, a loving home, filled with laughter and everything else normal. It’s a lot of work – but it is a labor of love. I’m so blessed to do it!

  62. I normally don’t choose to leave replies on comments but I felt like I needed to. Yes, look at the picture. Do you see what I see? As a mom, I see two children totally immersed in what they are doing and getting along. Sure, there are toys strewn across the room and maybe there are crumbs on the floor but at the end of the day, having healthy relationships with your family is more important than a few toys strewn about. Who are we to judge her? Why do we feel the need to comment negativity on here? Why tear someone down? Let’s look at the intention of this author. Her intent was to say I’m not going to beat myself up and physically drain myself to clean my house before you come because I want you to accept me as I am, messy house or not. The picture is proof that her house is not CPS alert-worthy. I don’t see any roaches in her house, I don’t see mold or mildew or anything that says she is a dirty person. I see a mom who chose her children over spending 15 minutes cleaning up a room that will be destroyed again in 40 seconds. I have a 2.5 & 1 yr. old and I can spend all day cleaning and missing out on time with them or wait until they are tucked into their beds and choose to clean then. We don’t have a picture of what her house looks like after these beautiful children have come to bed? When did we become entitled to tearing someone down? Sure, good work ethic is important and teaching a child chores can be helpful, but we aren’t in this woman’s shoes and we don’t know what responsibilities these kids have. We can’t sit here and point our finger and tell her what she needs to be doing. We need to sit here and keep our negative thoughts to our self if we have one. When she asks for help, then offer her it. Until then, leave it alone. Don’t bring it up. What was the purpose to say it in the first place? I don’t think it was her intention to start a debate about the crumbs on the floor or the work ethics of her children. It was to say my house may not always be pristine in this season of my life because investing in my children is more important. It saddens me that as women we feel like we need to pick at each other or hide behind a computer screen to pick at someone. Be an encourager, be accepting. We all have our flaws and we all have our strengths. We so easily forget our flaws when we are pointing out someone else’s :(

  63. I think the chaos is beautiful. It’s life, and its messy, and if you’re so focused on a clean house you’ll miss the joy of little ones. I think.

  64. I think your house looks great. It is a beautiful space with some toys being used by your sweet children. They won’t remember your clean house, but they will remember time spent having fun.

  65. I completely agree if someone is dropping by and these aren’t visits by invitation. Whenever I invite a guest over or have a gathering of friends/family I always clean my house well beforehand. Not because I want to give them some false belief that I am super mom, but out of respect for the invitation. I invite them over so they can get away from their own chaos….not so they can step into mine, lol. Again, I just believe it’s respectful to your guests to do so. I have a 3 year old and 5 year old, so I do understand all about clutter and chaos as well. Children should also be taught to pick up after themselves as well. Mothers are doing a disservice to their children if they are not teaching this at an early age.

    • Good for you. I have children age 8, 6, 4 and 1…I would have to be ran ragged everyday to get my house spotless…and it would still be chaotic because children LIVE here.
      If you cannot handle that, obviously you’re not friend material.

      • Well, let’s see…yes raising children is a very trying and difficult task; especially those age groups. But, since we are being real, let me say that I have several Mom friends who have the same complaint; but their schedule consists of taking majority of kids to school; usually leaving one or two behind. Going to the gym for 2 hours, hanging out with friends for 2 more hours, coming back home and taking a nap, then going to pick up kids from school…..there’s about 6 hours wasted there. I think most people are understanding and don’t expect spic and span with children of those ages, but c’mon!! Do a little bit everyday and people wouldn’t have such an overwhelming mess to deal with. I empathize, but don’t agree. What if the bread winner in the household decided to use that same logic at the workplace? Sorry boss, I’m just too stressed out and have too much on my mind to be dealing with work. If you don’t like it too bad. Something tells me that would go over well. And let’s put it in perspective; now I don’t know you but from your house you look like you make a decent living. What about those out there who don’t and have multiple kids and still are able to make it work. Just saying. Not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, but we’re all about being real I just want to point out what a lot of people want to actually say. I understand the need for decompression and getting a break; I get it. But it’s how one makes use of their time. Now I wouldn’t judge you or not want to be your friend because there was a mess. That’s just silly, but I don’t buy the whole whoa is me act. Just being real….and if you can’t deal with that then I guess we can’t be friends. Friends who keep it real and tell it like it is; not just what you want to hear.

      • Shame on you snobby girls, get real. Some days were just looking for a laugh.
        Men just don’t judge or criticize like you girls, I like
        hanging out with
        very few of you
        women.

      • Seriously did you look at the picture? That is not a disaster it’s not like there is garbage piled up everywhere it’s just miss toys through out the room. I bet she picks up every night while the kids as in bed. You ever obviously did not look at the picture or have some sever issues because there is no way to keep a house clean 24/7 especially with kids. Her house isn’t trashed its lived in and the fact that your pretty much bashing stay at home moms that don’t have spotless houses is sad. I hope you don’t have kids. Then again you could use the wake up call to reality. Her job It’s raising her kids and if there are toys on the floor and smilies on her kids faces she’s doing a good job it’s not like there is garbage on the floor!

      • Totally agree with the above statement. Gym, hair, nails, rest, lunch….Clean up. It is not that hard. Part of the job of raising kids and staying at home. Have the little ones help if they can. At 4+, they certainly can do something.

      • I agree with all of this comment, “Well, let’s see…yes raising children is a very trying and difficult task; especially those age groups. But, since we are being real, let me say that I have several Mom friends who have the same complaint; but their schedule consists of taking majority of kids to school; usually leaving one or two behind. Going to the gym for 2 hours, hanging out with friends for 2 more hours, coming back home and taking a nap, then going to pick up kids from school…..there’s about 6 hours wasted there. I think most people are understanding and don’t expect spic and span with children of those ages, but c’mon!! Do a little bit everyday and people wouldn’t have such an overwhelming mess to deal with. I empathize, but don’t agree. What if the bread winner in the household decided to use that same logic at the workplace? Sorry boss, I’m just too stressed out and have too much on my mind to be dealing with work. If you don’t like it too bad. Something tells me that would go over well. And let’s put it in perspective; now I don’t know you but from your house you look like you make a decent living. What about those out there who don’t and have multiple kids and still are able to make it work. Just saying. Not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, but we’re all about being real I just want to point out what a lot of people want to actually say. I understand the need for decompression and getting a break; I get it. But it’s how one makes use of their time. Now I wouldn’t judge you or not want to be your friend because there was a mess. That’s just silly, but I don’t buy the whole whoa is me act. Just being real….and if you can’t deal with that then I guess we can’t be friends. Friends who keep it real and tell it like it is; not just what you want to hear.

    • Nicely said Mommy blogga.
      I have a sxattered mind and I am teaching my kids not to ge this way, so I teach them to help me with house chores, pick after themselves (I had maids all my life and had problems with this skill). Of course things get crazy sometimes and it is ok, but I don’t want to teach my children to give themselves excuses for the mess.
      The problem here is that people are extremists and think that if I like clean and tidy I must be OCD (I’m not). I like a clan house, and want my kids to like too. Dont you enjoy that?
      PS. My husband is sick and home today so he just did 3 full loads of laundy… my 4yr old just showed me how proud he is of his basked of treasure maps (rolled up hand towels). Score for clean+quality time with daddy+we dont trip on piles of laundry+ I can focus on other things (like hangging out with my kids or studdying) because the mess is not getting on the way…

    • I totally agree with you!!! I too believe you should teach your children to clean up. I have a 13 year old and 3 year old twins so my house can look like a tornado hit it in literally 3 seconds but that doesn’t mean that at the end of the night we don’t all pick up our toys so we can find things to play with again the next day!

    • I agree with Sabrina and several others. Children ages 4, 7, and 9 can and should help keep the house clean. I had the privilege of having 9 children in 14 years and it was seldom that my house was unorganized. Of course moms back in the 80s and early 90s didn’t have facebook, Pinterest, and other computer activities to spend time on. After cleaning each day we still had time to spend with our children.

  66. This is a very sweet, funny and realistic article. The time is VERY short and you have certainly put things in perspective. Thank you for this! And to the people using this to make gross indictments on others Parenting skills or worth as a Parent… Is shameful. I support my fellow Moms! Parenting is challenging enough without all the high horse snobbery…that completely missed the point.

  67. Thank you for sharing this. It’s so important that mom know we all deal with very similar things and it’s ok to have a house that looks lived in. I appreciate your authenticity in this post and I agree whole-heartedly.

  68. Love this. Exactly how I feel. I used to spend so much time cleaning for other people to come over and then finally got it through my head that life happens in our house. No need to be apologetic for it.

  69. I personally wish I did not read most of the replies to this article because of the tremendous amount of bullying that I feel is laced throughout many of these threads. We don’t have to agree with one another, because when it comes to children and raising them it really is all about balance. Balance meaning it’s okay to allow your kids to make a mess, but you also should be developing your kids to clean up after themselves. After all, this will be a requirement when they enter school and one day enter the workforce. Your job as apparent involves a lot more than allowing your children to do whatever they want, whenever they want in the name of fun. Is it not part of your responsibility to prepare your children for life? In life, you can’t play all the time, you can’t have fun all the time. Sometimes you have to go what you don’t want to do, like clean up. What concerns me is that people are intolerant of other peoples views and comments to the point where we are calling names and questioning the intelligence of one another, and this ought not be so. Mainly because the solution is probably somewhere in the middle, but we are too busy bashing and judging one another to consider that there are both pros and cons to this stance and there is more than one way of looking at a particular situation. Do we really want our children to grow up and attack those who are different from them? To only value their opinion and shoot down the opinions of others?

    • I would greatly agree with you, however this is the place our world is at. It seems as though there’s nothing but hate in this world with criticism, judgement, violence, lack of love and compassion. Over what clothes you wear, football, girlfriends, boyfriends, drugs…………..so very sad the examples we are setting for these children that are our futures

  70. Oh, been there and done that. I think your home is rather clean and beautifully decorated for a place where preschoolers live and play and learn. I would love to see some wooden blocks and some other creative building toys out on the floor as well!

  71. That’s pretty clean by my standards – there isn’t even any jam smeared on the hardwood. The only person I tidy up for is the cleaner so they don’t have to push a bunch of toys around in order to actually clean things.

    But yes, if someone doesn’t want to sit in an untidy mess, they best not come visit. I have cooking and laundry to do while chasing a toddler around and tidying up is pretty low on the priority list.

    • EXACtly. I only wish my house were this nice. I spend hours every day cleaning up, and it’s not this nice. And I only have 2 at home – a 9 yo and 7yo. The house is gorgeous; the kind that people like me sigh at and feel a little less of a woman for. Explaining that your house is like this, and this is messy, makes us feel really bad about our houses. However, every one of us has that to deal with when we compare our houses to someone else’s instead of just focusing on doing a good job with what we have. Hope you keep it up!

  72. My Aunt Ginny told me ” I’ve come to visit you, not not check on your housekeeping!” I’ll never forget that, because that’s the truth

  73. I agree with you, but why the explanation? If it’s my own house, I don’t owe an explanation of it to anyone. If someone wants to come over to my house and complain, they are welcome to do one of two things: show themselves the door, or take me out to lunch at a nice spotless restaurant that doesn’t offend their delicate sensibilities.

    • Some of us feel the need to just explain because we don’t want to appear as if we don’t KNOW things are a mess. We just want our priorities to be, well… OUR priorities. We don’t want someone who feels differently to feel that they aren’t welcome and we don’t want to feel like we DO have to explain. I think the best thing would be to make a permanent sign for the door explaining JUST that and never waste another minute even having to think about it.
      There are TONS of reasons our houses are messy at times and unless you live with a person, you have NO idea what they’re dealing with.
      My kids are grown, although one of them has come home as a disabled adult and I’m a 24/7 caregiver to him. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t do things on his own, but he DOES leave a mess (again, not MY standard, but his own…even though it’s my house) sometimes and has issues that I can’t BEGIN to fathom living with. I’m also older and have some “invisible” ailments of my own that limit my time and energy: narcolepsy, fibromyalgia and bad knees as well as a NON-schedule, due to trying to keep an eye out and on my son. His hours are in fits and starts and cause the rest of the household’s to be, as well. Oh, and I’m not picking up TOYS… I’ve got the leather love seat turned upside down in the living room so I can treat it with an enzyme cleaner because one of the cats decided to pee on it! Too late to make a long story short, but suffice it to say, LIFE calls and we answer as many of the calls as we can, without sacrificing what WE put at the top of our priority list. That’s ALL! Period, paragraph!

  74. I’ve seen an onslaught of these types of posts lately—the “I’m not super mom, and real life is messy” posts. I TOTALLY get what all of these posts are saying. I agree that our goal should not be to achieve the status of super mom and to impress other people. It’s impossible.

    However.

    I am getting a tad tired of this idea that we should quit trying to maintain a life of order. Not in the military sense, but just in a general attempt to not let the natural messiness of living life get out of hand. My friends can keep their houses in whatever shape they choose too… I genuinely don’t care. But if you come over to my house—as an acquaintance or my bestest friend ever—I’m going to clean my house for you. And here’s why:
    1. Not only do I have a two-year old, I have a dog who has a habit of farting all over everything and a cat that digs around in her litter box and then jumps up on a counter. When I see these things happen, I disinfect. Immediately. And then I wipe down surfaces several times a day, in addition to spraying Lysol, for the times I don’t see what my child and animals do. This isn’t because I want to be super mom and floor you with glistening counters and the flowery scent of Early Morning Breeze Lysol. It’s because when you come over, I would REALLY like to avoid giving you listeria.
    2. I keep toys picked up off the floor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost died from tripping over toys in the doorway or slipping on glossy books. This isn’t because I want to impress you with my tidiness. It’s so that you won’t come over to my house, break your face, and then sue me for liability.
    3. And finally, the reason why—even though it’s extremely cumbersome—I will keep a clean house for both my guests and my family is because it’s just more comfortable that way. My husband has an extremely stressful job, and I do my best to make our home a place of peace so that he can just come home, relax, and enjoy time with his family. I clean up after my daughter, and I’m happy to do so. As a result, she has started wanting to clean up her own messes, giving me the opportunity to teach that it’s ok to make messes, but we clean them up too. And as she gets older this will all get easier. Don’t for one second think that I have a perfectly clean house all the time, because I certainly don’t. But I refuse to get comfortable with chaos.

      • It is nice actually! I love it, but I admit I was really surprised that it turned out harder than I thought. When I quit my job I was totally in the camp of “I must be entering into a lifetime vacation.” Yeah not so much. I also figured out pretty darn fast that keeping a clean house as a SAHM is actually harder… because we’re in it all the time. But does that mean I should quit trying? I liken it to the job I had before I decided to stay home. I was in marketing in a highly-regulated industry. My primary job was to develop communication regarding products and services. But secondary to that, we all had to keep our work organized in a uniform way that made it quick and easy to pull pieces and report results in the event we were ever audited or if other department needed stats about our efforts. Same thing now that I’m a SAHM. My primary job is to raise my child/eventually children with love and in a way that will (hopefully) produce self-sufficient adults. But after that, there are things I need to do to keep things peaceful and organized. I signed on to this life, and I can’t just throw up my hands and yell “it’s too stressful.” That didn’t fly in the corporate world, and it doesn’t fly now.

    • Yes!! Thank you. I don’t clean for company I clean because I really like having a clean home. It just feels like we are supposed to take care of the things we own

    • She has toys scattered on the floor… that’s it. Her home is not a sty. I agree about the chaos, but I would love to hear what you have to say after 2 more children. I felt the exact same way after my 1st was born. In fact, I nearly made her a OCD. She would use kleenexes to hold the handles of her little doll stroller. Check out all of the 1st born adults you know… TYPE A. Why, you ask. Because their moms had time to display & teach that behavior. Think of your craziest & messiest friend… my guess, a little farther down the line. Watch who you judge at this stage of life. Your crazy stage is just beginning. If you’re ok with sticking your kids in daycare all day & letting someone else raise & clean up after them, then you may have a clean house. My husband says, “If the house looks perfect when I get home that means my kids were sitting on the couch watching TV. I’d rather have a little mess than have lazy couch potatoes watching mind rot.”

      • I completely agree that my life is probably super easy right now with just one compared to later down the road. Oh I don’t argue with that a bit. And I too recognize that her house was actually pretty clean… there was like two areas of innocent clutter. It’s the “screw it” attitude that gets me frustrated. (In addition to the assumption that those who do keep decently clean houses must be neglecting their children.) Like I said in my original post, my house isn’t perfect 24/7. I mean it can get bad quick. But my point is, if I just give up—if I treat our house like something that can be trashed, and that’s perfectly ok, then what am I teaching my child? Even if it’s just a little clutter with toys in the floor, if I teach my child that she can bring all her stuff in the living room and just leave it there whenever she wants, then I am doing her a huge disservice. And as hard as it is with one, it’s only going to snowball from here. This isn’t to say that she is never allowed to bring toys out of her room or that I yell at her for messes. This is certainly not the case. But we are starting to talk about how after we have fun, we clean up. This also doesn’t mean I stick her on the couch all day to watch tv while I clean like a crazed OCD maniac. We play together and have a blast, and after that she either helps me clean up if it’s appropriate for a two-year-old, or I explain that mommy has to work for a few minutes while I get the bigger stuff. And if I see big messes getting made, they get cleaned on the spot. I guess my point is, keeping a decent house has absolutely nothing to do with proving a point to other people. It’s a service and it’s a teaching opportunity. I can assure you that if I have 20 kids, that will never change.

    • Thank you. No pets, but 5 kids, 3 adults calls for constant maintenance. I did not grow up with these ideas, but married an ocd military minded man. I stress in chaos. Clean says welcome. Even when my kids were tiny, it was the standard.

    • I think we’re in the same boat! In addition to the kids, I have a farting dog and another that drools on EVERYTHING. I could clean nonstop and never achieve perfection, so I’ve had to let go of my impossible expectations and be satisfied that good can be good enough.

    • This is a perfect example. So you are clumsy, have a little OCD, and allow a disgusting, germy beast to roam your house but you are criticizing some unfolded laundry and toys on the floor. It’s not just you… it’s all the negative posters here. It’s about priorities… we all have them. Some people’s are just more self-serving than others. My husbands mom was spotlessly clean… and all her children can’t stand her.

      • Yes it’s true. I am clumsy. The whole OCD thing… eh. Maybe. But I keep it at bay. And unfortunately we live in a society where it’s totally cool to kill your unborn child, but God forbid you hurt an animal. So there isn’t a whole lot I can do about the germy beasts at this point. My criticism is not with some toys on the floor and unfolded laundry. I have that as we speak. My criticism is the attitude. Yes, it is absolutely about priorities. My priority is not cleaning all day long. My priority is loving and raising my child WHICH INCLUDES teaching her how to respect what she is given. It includes teaching her that we can have fun and have our toys out and have stuff everywhere. But then we clean it up. And it includes respecting our guests— not asking them to push aside our mess and ask them to fold our laundry while I pretend that makes me a real friend and parent. That attitude stinks. My criticism with this blog post and others like it is “it’s all about me” and shows complete disregard to the message we are sending our children. I’m sure they think they’re making a sacrifice because they look at it as putting their children’s needs before the house, but might I propose that one of our children’s needs is to be told that we need to be responsible right now and then we can do the things we want?

        I dare say that your mother-in-law’s clean home is not why her children couldn’t stand her. I dare say it was because she yelled at them and taught them that making messes unacceptable. If I did this to my child, I wouldn’t blame her one bit if she grows up hating me. But I don’t. The process of cleaning your home is a teaching opportunity, not a punishment. It’s a service. And although it’s impossible to keep things perfect… or even decent… all the time, we shouldn’t give up.

  75. Amen!! except don’t come over to my house ever, because your picture of a messy house is still clean to me! :) no crumbs on the floor, jelly smeared on the wall, hand prints on the furniture and windows, no piles of things like papers, one sock, some hair things, coupons, a bill I need to pay, one earing, and a hair bow.

    • Her clean home is not the cause of her children’s despise, her unswerving attention to “order”, rather than spending time enjoying life with them, is. It continues in similar, but different, ways to this day. (She suggested that I vacuum when my baby cried to drown the noise. Yay! Kill two birds with one stone, she winked, upset that I hadn’t gotten to vacuuming my windowsills recently, omg.) Point, she put appearances and false sense of control of her world… and how she “liked things” over relationships. She was divorced after 45 years, so I guess the hubby didn’t really care so much about the perfect house. She couldn’t figure out why after being “the perfect wife” They never had anyone drop by, anyway… who would want to spend time with someone like that? My house always has a little lived in look going on (not talking crazy or dirty, for sure… well, some times, 4 kids at home all day) and I can’t keep our friends and our kids friends out of here. They know they are welcome and it’s not so perfect that they can’t breath… they can make food, play games and make memories. My experience has been friends who are so concerned with the crutch of “perfect order” on the outside have disorder on the inside. I think the point of this poster is that her relationships come first, before appearances. I dare say she, like me, probably has lots of friends that don’t mind one bit and drop over often. I’ve folded a few friends laundry myself and never felt put out by it, just a sense of closeness. Critics of this post are taking that to the extreme to say she is promoting some careless “pig pen mentality” and that is simply not the case. It’s just balance… and if you overreact on your hight horse at the thought of balance… well, you can extrapolate where you may be headed from there.

  76. Yes! I so agree with your last paragraph for the flip side. I had a friend who showed me nearly every room in her house that she’d lived in for just a few months. It was perfectly decorated, and as she opened the door to the bedroom, she told me, “Don’t judge,” as she had not had time to fold the laundry between preparing for my family of 5 coming for dinner and her own two young children. I was shocked that she would consider that I would think anything of a less-than-perfect appearance. Clearly, she had not yet been to our home! I’m trying to improve my efforts to stay on top of the housework in an effort to keep my own sanity (not because I’m naturally a neat freak but rather because it’s just getting too crazy now with my three little ones if I don’t, and I’ll be way too stressed about choking hazards when baby starts to crawl) and more importantly, to honor my husband’s desire to have a peaceful place to come home to. The balance is tricky. I certainly don’t have it perfected, but my heart is with my kids and not having a “perfect-” or even very clean-looking house.

    • Haha, I love you!
      You’re right. I’m the oldest of 7 and my mom NEVER put the house before us! I’m 55 and think these comments are so unnecessary. Enjoy your life and your children ladies. Stop the judging do what works for you.

  77. You know what I see? Two little children having fun, and getting along with each other. I don’t see a dirty, nasty house. Why must people be judged on the way their houses look? I see a mother who values her children more than labor. These children are going to grow up remembering that their mother played with them and loved them, instead of looking back and remembering a mom who ignored them because they have to wash the floor for the fifth time that day because their toddler just CAN’T clean up after themselves.

    I’m just glad that other parents have dishes piled in their sink, because its 2 in the afternoon, and I still haven’t done my dishes! I’m such a horrible parent.

  78. I loved this, and regret having spent time reading the replies that disagree with this sentiment. Fortunately, none of those people will be coming to MY house with their judgments.

  79. Great article and I totally agree! My daughters are ages 16 and 18 and I WISH we had more blanket forts than we did. My girls are amazing and they are able to clean and keep things tidy, so I know they can. But they don’t always – and they are role models for me as I live in this home with them…before they are gone. My house is clean – I will admit to feeling a little envious when I visit someone’s home that is impeccable. But that feeling goes away pretty quickly when I would climb under a blanket fort for a snuggle with snacks and flashlights.

  80. I work AND have kids, and my home is still clean and tidy. What’s the problem? Why can’t the children be taught to put their things away? Why are you expected to clean up after everyone? But by the same token, if you are a stay-at-home mom, then that is your JOB. It is an obligation and your choice. Husband works, wife takes care of the home. What if your husband decided he didn’t want to do his part anymore? Which is essentially what you’re doing but not keeping up your end of the deal.

    • and…your children aren’t in your house making messes all day long because they’re at daycare, right? That’s easy, you have nothing to clean up!

      • Not real sure if you are replying to my comment or not but yes my kids do go to daycare Monday thru Friday until 5 pm. Then they are home and I have them running all over thr house playing with their toys and in their bedrooms while I cook dinner and do laundry. And on the weekends they are home all day. Before I started working days I worked second shift and I was home with my girls until time for work. While I was home I was constantly cleaning up picking up after my girls but yet I still played with them because I made clean up time fun and we made games out of it. Yes both of my girls will clean up their own messes now, both help fold the laundry and put it away. Why you may ask? Because I have taught them that they have to be independent and what better time to teach them things they will be doing for the rest of their lives than when they are small and impressionable. I make time everyday to play with my kids spend time with my kids even if its washing dishes with them, letting them help me cook dinner (age appropriate) of course. My Mom raised us the same way and I have never been mad at her for not playing with us and maintaining a clean home as a matter of fact I commend her. She has always told me your home is a reflection of yourself and well I am a clean and organized person and I expect my home to be the same way. Do we have fun in my house yes we do all day. We play we make messes we make blanket forts the works but when we are done they get cleaned up and not left for days on end. I have a rule in my house one toy at a time when you are done playing with it, put it back in the toy box. My oldest tries to get every thing out at once and she has learned the hard way to put up what she isnt playing with when it takes hours to clean up her mess. So yes I do take pride in my home inside and out. And yes I do send my kids to daycare but my house is also lived in and we maintain it.

    • If your a stay at home mom then you are a stay at home mom not a stay at home housekeeper you contradicted yourself within a few sentences

    • And you know that’s the understanding her and her husband have how? I’m a sahm and keeping a neat and tidy house is not the top of my priority list.

  81. While I see where she is coming from I can’t bring myself to have a dirty house. I have two kids 8 and 3. Each one of them know that they have to pick up after themselves and they cannot leave a mess for Mom to clean. Yes there are times that my house looks like the picture and I have a couple of piles of laundry to fold but I try not to. Both my husband and I work full time jobs and we still keep our home clean all the time. We need to stop being so judgmental and start realizing what one Mom does may not be for us but for others just as what we do won’t always be for others.

  82. Thank you for writing this. I have 3 kiddos, 8, 6 and 1.5. I’ve mostly given up on the house. I clean like a mad woman when someone is coming over. I hate it. I just don’t have anyone over anymore. I have one friend that I trust to see our mess. In many ways I’ve just given up on having any friends.

  83. As a friend who has been to your house and seen your beautiful mess, I am thankful that YOU are a safe place to share my heart. :) Love you!

  84. Seems like every couple weeks I see another stay-at-home mom sharing a piece on facebook that attempts to justify a subpar performance at homemaking and/or maintaining friendships.
    Then I realize that this most-challenging period of childrearing probably comes to an end when the kid starts attending school. My question is: what do most SAHMs do when the kids start going to school for most of the day?

    • There’s cooking, cleaning, homework, parent volunteering, lunch making, carpooling, soccer, dance, music lessons, grocery shopping, PTA, ladies bible study, dropping off forgotten items, and if you can keep up, maybe a coffee break. Oh, and catch up on spring cleanings gone amiss for the past 6-15 years…

  85. This obviously is a well maintained home where children are playing. But there is a difference between what we see here and what some mom’s claim just as an excuse to let everything go and the house is truly a mess. I would venture to guess that in this home when those children are finished playing in the living room, they will put their toys away too.

  86. Oh my, what what obnoxiously snobby women we have commenting here… By far this house in the pic is NOT messy. I see two happy children playing… Enjoying their childhood… They do only get one chance to be a child… And you have one life. If you want to spend yours cleaning up a mess your children are still playing with.. Right behind them and follow with the swiffer after they eat… go ahead. Me, I’ll feed them lunch and finger paint with my babies who will all to soon be grown. I’ll feed them breakfast and take them fishing before I put the dishes in the dishwasher, why because those dishes will always be there. Waiting….. My babies won’t! They’re growing up and fast! And who knows what life has in store for any of us!! Get ur heads out of ur ass.. U clean to spotless because u don’t know how to let your kids play.. Or have fun with them. So stand their with ur vacuum and Lysol… I’m going to build a block castle with my four year old.. And play soccer with my 7 and 11 yr old! Judge if you want… You wish u could have this much fun. Your house is beautiful. All ladies… Don’t let these women with their panties in a wad upset you with their I’m so perfect blathering… They only put u down because their missing something in their own lives… fun.

  87. I can, in no way, relate to anything you talk about, being a single straight guy, but the way you wrote it, I was with you all the way. You’re a terrific writer and a great mom, from the looks of things. You got this dude to think a little differently. Thanks.

  88. I agree. Although if that is your messiest. I will not invite you over my house ever! Plus I somehow naturally repel people.

  89. Two things:
    A) I appreciate what you’re saying but that picture above is what my house looks like AFTER cleaning.
    B) We have a rule in with our friends that live close by “we don’t clean for neighbors”. It’s just too hectic to try and we’d never see them otherwise.

  90. This is all so funny to me! I’m retired and my house still isn’t all cleaned up all the time. It sure wasn’t when my kids were at home. But for nearly 50 years I’ve cooked most everything from scratch. So my kitchen can be a mess. Should I be judging you young mothers who use convenience food from time to time? My priority is great food. It is not a perfectly groomed house. When you visit, you will get a great meal or snack or drink. That is my priority. Why is “neat and tidy” considered a more noble priority than “great cook” or “hard working gardener” or “fabulous seamstress.”

  91. Amen!!!!!!!! I didn’t even notice the mess in the pic until I saw that was what you were writing about. I have two boys, and they want to touch everything at all times. I have two dogs who want to steal paper towels and socks and year them to shreds or guard them like they are babies: hiding them anywhere and everywhere. Mess is life, and life is mess.

  92. I can clean my house spotless (besides washing my floors-something that only seems to fully be done a few times a year since I do them by hand), not even 5 minutes after I’m done it looks the same as before I started. The only way to beat it would be to throw out everything my three little men love to do. I love watching them play, listening to the conversations my four year old has between all this toys while making that mess and my 1 year old grabbing every toy out if his toy box one at a time to try and stack everything. My 8 year old has never had that luxury and I would kill to be able to witness him make a mess on his own, or listen to the character voices he wants to make.
    I have a trick for getting my house clean with all three awake- Super Crazy Dance Party! Loud music, clean and watch the kids dance as you do it. They stay occupied and even begin to help clean:)

  93. Your house isn’t dirty, it looks perfect. There are toys on the floor that are being played with! It amazes me how awful people are. Why do I ever read the comments??? Excuse me, while I go “honor my husband” and “hold up my end of the deal” by scrubbing some baseboards. Jeesh.

    • Right! lol…. I know I don’t work half as hard as he does, but my job is 24-7 and he wouldn’t notice if I scrubbed the baseboards or vacuumed the floors or dusted the blinds…. The way you live in your home, if it’s not harming your family’s well-being or health in any way, is YOUR business…. it doesn’t need to be perfectly clean just for the sake of saying it’s clean and “I’m not a slob”.

  94. Few questions:

    So, you don’t have time to tidy up for me, but then want me to fold your laundry?

    If I don’t have children am I expected to clean up my place for you?

    Do you actually have friends who would mind a little mess so much so that you needed to blog about it? That sucks.

    • Right?! Is sitting there saying okay you’re pretending to be someone is dirty and organize because you think it sounds cool or something because your house is organized and clean compared to most people I know with LOs!!!

    • Love love love. I feel your pain. I always look around my mess and say out loud “this is a beautiful mess” repeat and repeat. Haha. I know when I clean I hve mini tornados following closely behind making new messes. I threw in the towel about a month ago. This made me smile. Thanks!

  95. How long did it take you to write this blog and read every comment. That goes for everyone who spent the time reading it, thinking about it, re-posting it, commenting on the comments.. commenting on the comments on facebook from the post. How many hours do you waste online blogging. You make time for what you want to do. Clean it up!

    • I would much rather she take the time to write this blog to encourage other mom’s in similar situations than spend her energy cleaning up every single tiny, little mess. I’d venture a guess to say you aren’t a mom, and perhaps you need to do some reflecting on this article and its point a little more. Make time for the things that are important. ;)

    • Why say “waste”? In actuality, cleaning every second of every day is a waste and insanity because it will look like this inside of 24 hours…if not, I feel bad for your kids. She is sharing a feeling that the real moms, the ones who play with thier kids and have people over spontaneously feel. Her words can change someone’s day…does an ever clean house do that?No. Pick it up and move on.

    • Anonymous you obviously are not a mother, and if you are then it has been awhile since you have had a toddler running around. Maybe blogging is her way of venting about her hectic days. We all need something that is our own, something that brings us joy. So if she needs to leave the unfolded clothes sitting on the couch for an extra 10-20 mins so she can release her frustrations so be it. The reward will be her sanity, which is far better than squeeky clean floors.

    • Ok first of all, most of us with kids can’t clean until AFTER the rugrats pass out. Make time you say? When? During the (hopefully) hour nap? Well a little FYI for you…the moment they wake up, tornado has struck any room they have been in. Ok, so clean after they go to bed. By then you are so darn exhausted from the day you can barely drag yourself to your bed and you pass out on the couch. Something tells me A: you have no kids or B: you have kids, but don’t let them play or lastly C: you are so obsessed with cleaning, your kids are not getting as much attention as they should. Oh, and my son is in bed and I took all of 2 minutes to respond to your comment. I will now leave the folded clothes on my couch, and go to sleep…. hopefully my son sleeps through the night so I can get enough sleep to do it all over again. :-)

      Signed: a happy mom of a 1 year old

    • Seriously u missed the whole point jerk. Anonymous. We all make time for the most important things in our lives children and being able to express ourselves is way more important that picking up toys. I use to stress over my house after kids were born. Then u wake up and realize that ur to busy yelling at them to. Stay in there room so u can mop that ur missing out on the joy of watching them grow.

    • You know, this post resounded with my exhausted momma’s heart. I have three young kids who are creative and energetic, for which I am thankful. They did not come programmed with the “clean gene” and we are working on that. So the house is a mess… I could push myself beyond my limits trying to keep my house in perfect order. But I think a better use of my down-time is to recharge my batteries so that I have the energy to deal with tomorrow’s messes. Reading this blog post made me smile and take a deep cleansing breath. The author just assured me I am not the only mom who can’t always keep up. She is reminding us of the importance of connectedness without fear of judgement. She is exactly the kind of friend I wish I had! So I say “thank you” to her for sharing her heart. If you have found a way to keep on top of everything in life why don’t you write an advice column with all your helpful hints instead of tearing down someone who is trying to be an encouragement?

    • Dear “Anonymous”. The beautiful thing about blogging is that it is a release. It is an opportunity to, God forbid, take the time to connect with your inner emotions for just 15 minutes, and graciously put them out there for others who may need to see that there is someone out there with whom they may relate. This post was about not being judged, which is EXACTLY what you did. I, too, have small children, a job I love, and a messy house. I clean what I can and wish I could do more with my day, but sometimes, taking a few minutes for myself to blog, or read an article on line is really therapeutic, when dishes really aren’t – and that’s really okay! If cleaning is what makes you feel whole and if that is where you find your peace, please have at it and we will not judge you!

    • Yes. You’re absolutely and unequivocally correct. We DO make time for what we want. You can make time for keeping your home in top shape, and some of us (those of us who have reached the level of understanding necessary to balancing demands of life with self indulgence) know the value in a few stolen minutes after the kids go to bed to read a blog. Or the value in expressing oneself, and how therapeutic that can be. Or that at the end of childhood your kids won’t cherish how tidy your home was nearly as much as the shimmering moments of pure uncontaminated joy, and memories of a mom who was happy and complete in those moments with them. This post was fabulous. Thanks for taking the time to remind the world that the little moments are really more than the things! <3 Much love from Imagineif

    • Her point was not that she NEVER cleans but that with kids her house just doesn’t STAY clean. As soon as she cleans that mess up there will be another one waiting. And who really wants to trail behind their kids 24 hours a day picking up every little mess they make? Sounds exhausting to me. I would rather play with my kids in a house that looks lived in than spend all of my time cleaning & ignoring what really matters. Who cares if there are toys on the floor?!

    • This is for other mothers that can relate, she took time of her day out to make sure every mother knew they weren’t alone. I wait till my kids are in bed than clean up the mess, knowing that it is gonna repeat itself everyday. I can not promise you during the day my house is perfect, but I can guarantee you my kids are happy. Every mother also deserves a few minutes to sit drink coffee, call a friend, watch tv, play on Facebook or whatever it is to keep yourself happy. So don’t put down a hard working mother that spends her time with her children instead of always cleaning. Your kids won’t be little forever.

    • Wow, how dare anyone sit down and relax after a day full of chasing feeding and otherwise caring for their children. That is exactly the kind of judgmental attitude that helps absolutely no one.

    • shut up! it doesn’t make sense to clean it up more than once a day, or it just gets messy again. You, apparently do NOT have young children.

    • Reaaaaaly commentor above….you OOObviously are not a mother, and furthermore will NEVER understand one. A shame really. You COULD learn something from a little empathy..its not a job for the light hearted. Looks like you know how to WASTE time yourself. Congratulations.

    • That is enough of that person. She probably reads her blog comments and writes her blog long after her kids are in bed and her house is cleaned up, but during the day it is too much to keep up with. So shhhhhhhhh, you can’t pass judgement because you don’t know what it is like for her.

    • So, we should have to spend our very minimum amount of free time making sure our house is spotless (which is an impossible task when you have young kids, no matter how much time you devote to it) instead of taking that time to do something for ourselves, whether that be relaxing with a book, blogging, talking to a friend on the phone, etc.? Yeah, while my house is never even close to unlivable, I don’t go out of my way to make it look perfect for anyone. I have young kids. Therefore, my house looks lived in. And, I’m okay with that. You’re not? Oh okay, well then I guess it’s a good thing I don’t give a rat’s behind what you think about it. :)

    • This post made me giggle. My husband and I really understood the whole idea. The post above me…..from anonymous ….well lets just assume she’s not your friend, nor anyone’s friend for that matter!

    • This is true! We certainly do make time for what we want to do. But consider: Jesus told his friend Martha that he wasn’t going to take away the blessing that Mary was receiving by learning from the Great Teacher,to do the tasks that could be taken care of later. And that was a lesson for Martha as she was not benefiting from Jesus’ visit cause she was too busy hosting when she should have been enjoying her special guest. He was with them only a short time. Too many times in life we let stuff get in the way of the most important things in life. There will be dishes to wash, laundry to fold, and floors to sweep tomorrow. Always more chores but never anymore time to spend with kids when they’re young, cause once their grown they will be gone doing their own thing.

    • ^^to the above comment we can’t be friends. This house looks fine it looks like people live here and make fun memories

    • Wow! You must really have your stuff together, based on your comment! I guess every facet of your life was prefect before you sat down to the keyboard. Bravo!

    • Ha ha. Apparently you have the time to read it and respond. I think loving your children is much more important than taking the time to critique others. Oops I guess I just took the time to do just that.

    • Dear “Anonymous”..
      As much as I appreciate your judgement (hah).. I don’t think you have a right to say that. Unless you actually know someone personally, you have no right to judge them based on the fact that they have a blog and respond to comments, then proceed to tell them that they should spend more time cleaning. If you said something like that to me, I would tell you where to go and how to get there.
      I spend every waking moment with my son (with the exception of the afternoon that he’s at school). By the time bedtime for him comes, I’m so incredibly tired I can’t even begin to think about spending a while cleaning. Every mom (and parent in general for that matter) deserves time to themselves at the end of the day. I try to clean as much as I can throughout the day (as I’m sure most parents do), but there’s only so much you can do to prevent the wonderful chaos that children, even adults, make in the house. For all you know, this woman could wake up at 6 am just to clean up the messes from the previous day.
      I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather spend the day having fun, relaxing, learning, exploring and being creative with my child than cleaning up every speck of dust that happens as the day progresses. Mind you, I guess you could be a super mom (or dad) and manage to do it all.. but we’re not all like that.

      I don’t know what you managed to get out of this blog. I happened to take it as a woman who was simply explaining that she’s not going to clean up for when friends come over, that she thinks people should accept her (and others) for themselves and not the fake picture everyone paints of themselves. There’s more positive things but I feel like I’m just re-writing the blog :P Nothing in the blog said to me that she’s complaining, by any means. Her life is complete chaos (as is any other parents) and she’s happy with it.. it’s a truly wonderful thing. So why don’t you stop judging people and maybe take a look at your own life? Figure out why you feel the need to judge others. Are you insecure about something and that’s why you feel the need to nit-pick about this woman’s blog article? Perhaps you’re not.. perhaps you were just raised to be judgemental. If that’s the case, I apologize, there’s not much you can do about it if you’re not willing to.

      Everyone deserves the right to “me” time. I need “me” time before I start cleaning up from the day, or before I go to bed.. depends on the day really, but I need it on a daily basis at some point. I’m sure you need “me” time also.. every one does. Maybe for the writer of this blog, “me” time is blogging.. maybe that’s what takes away her stress from the day.. so don’t judge :)

    • Really? You are just the judgmental person that this mom is talking about. I think she’s right. And I agree. I can’t be friends with someone who can’t deal with my clutter. Maybe you should be reading Martha Stewart instead of this blog. Really.

    • You obviously don’t have kids and must be a very superficial shallow person for making such a comment. There are a lot more important things to do and way more to life than having a clean house.

    • What a horrible comment! Good on you for taking time to blog if it gives you some enjoyment! Motherhood is full on and we really do need to take time to do things we enjoy. My house is often a mess too. You clean up when they sleep and as soon as they are up its a mess again!! Real friendship can see us at our worst, most messy and still love us! I loved your blog and found it honest and so true!! xx

    • You can most definitely have a clean home. Teach the kids to clean up after themselves. Some people are happy living like slobs. I love a clean house though it’s not an everyday all the time thing :)

    • Wow you completely missed the point! If we are friends we shouldn’t have to put on a front. Pretending to be something we aren’t. Like a perfect housekeeper or a perfect mom.

    • To Anonymous: this is a rude, distasteful comment. It is nobody’s place to judge others- kids are a blessing and are sooooo much more important than a spotless house. Please don’t pass judgement saying you find the time if you want to for cleaning: heaven forbid anyone decides to take a moment away from cleaning during a few moments of free time…bottom line- don’t say anything if you are going to pass judgement.

    • I don’t think her point was that she doesn’t HAVE the time, I believe she’s saying that she has better things to do (ie. play with her kids, feed her kids, teach her kids, interact with her kids).
      Everyone NEEDS some form of winding down/ or quiet relaxation time once the kids are in bed. Blogging may be hers & she deserves that. I, on the other hand, am an insomniac because I have my computer wind down time after the kids go to bed. Then when I get so tired that I know I have to go to bed soon, I get up & clean, do dishes, set out learning activities for the kids to do when they wake up, make the morning chart, throw something in the crockpot & do laundry. –getting me to bed around 4am, then waking with the kids around 7:30am. This lady is awesome! I wish I could be more like her.

      Soooo…. As I tell my children, if you don’t have anything productive to say, keep your mouth shut. Did this lady email this to you? If you saw this on someone’s post on FB, you have the option not to read it if it doesn’t interest you. Just my two cents.

    • Wow anonymous! Could you be any ruder!? Yes, you have time for what you want…she said it…spending time with her kids! Remember that childhood rule? If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all!

    • A classy response made classier by posting anonymously. Maybe blogging is her “me” time. Maybe she hasn’t had time to read every response. Maybe she has. Maybe you missed the point of her post?

    • Wow, Anonymous, guess you have your priorities in perfect order…guess we can’t be friends. Glad I’m not your kid. How many do you have??

    • Wow anonymous, what a biiiootttccchh. Either 1.you aren’t a mother or 2.you think you are superior to all and wreak of a rosie smell when leaving the ladies room. Either way you stink.

    • We do make time for what we want to do, and what feels good, and what matters. This blog will last, and go on to inspire others; activities with children may live with them forever. A clean kitchen will last about 15 minutes.

    • Anonymous, That Was Just Plain Ugly. Blogging is her other job. It’s like telling a mom who is also a part-time Doctor: “Gee, if you had your priorities straight and quit treating other people’s kids, you would have time to scrub your shower tile with a toothbrush.”
      If you feel she’s wasting her time writing about her experience to connect with others who may relate, then what the heck are you doing “wasting” YOUR time reading it for. Try to build others up instead of bringing them down.
      Personally, I felt liberated reading this! I’m not the only one who feels this way! Thanks for sharing, and for being so bold!

    • To whoever left the last comment, it’s called life and it’s meant to be enjoyed
      I hope my home looks just like this when I have kids!! It’s shows they have fun and life is not always about being perfect! Great post!!

    • Duh you obviously don’t have little kids. When you have little kids they keep making messes. Most moms I know spend lots of time cleaning it up. You kind of have to. But it won’t look perfect because there’s a mess waiting to be made every minute when you have little ones…

    • You’re not getting the point, anonymous. Try having 3 kids under the age
      Of 10 and see what you’re life and house is about….. Unless you have a full time nanny and housekeeper and cook!

    • Great article!
      Re the previous comment.. Says a lot when Pple comment about wasting time online and THEY themselves are commenting!! Please practice what you preach

    • Seriously? Even without blogging, reading, posting, etc…. There are still more important things a mom should be doing with her kids besides spending every second cooking and cleaning and organizing. Enjoy your kids, they’re only little and cuddly once

    • That is appallingly rude and unnecessary, but it’s easy to be unpleasant when you’re hiding behind an Anonymous. This post was lighthearted, kind and a simple giggle of familiarity for most women. Lighten up and speak kindly – you might even make a friend that way.

    • For the love of God please tell me you aren’t a parent! You simply do not go behind your children and pick up their toys while they are STILL playing. That’s like trying to sweep in a tornado, it does not work!

    • What we Do, Not what we Say, shows clearly what we Care about. And you should NEVER apologize for Caring about Spending Time With Your Children. The housework will wait, I promise! But before you know it, your children will be grown. Enjoy your time with them and don’t worry about the housework. I wish I could play CandyLand with my girls again!

    • You clearly don’t have children. Blogging and posing comments is done in the middle of the night, during breastfeeding, or while waiting at the doctors office for yet another ear infection. I assure you no mother is sitting on the couch eating a snack and blogging while her kids are running around or there’s yet another 5 loads of laundry to do. Some day, if you are blessed, and have three kids of your own, take the time to rethink your judge mental statement. Or better yet, don’t have kids and leave those who do alone.

    • i’m not surprised you left yourself anonymous. lol. harsh much? if she showed a scene from Hoarders, then I might understand. lol. yes, we make time for what we want… and obviously, a tiny pile of toys on the floor isn’t a big deal, and if you think it is, then well, obviously, you’ll never be invited to this cool lady’s house. haha. to tell her to stop blogging is like telling an artist to stop making art. how miserable do you want people to be? kid’s mess is like jello that just oozes around with them. if you tried to contain that every second of the day, you’d snap. and you wouldn’t be a very fun mom.

    • Life is about balance. Yes, in the time I took to write this comment I could have cleaned a toilet or conversed with a teen about whether or not Beibs should be deported, but sometimes, instead of doing for others, I need some time in my own head, with my own thoughts.

      • Everyone needs an outlet. If this the outlet that you chose, so be it! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and honestly, I can relate all too well. I have 4 children under the age of 8. I surrendered my RN career to raise my family. With that surrender came the surrender of every day adult conversation. Disregard the naysayers and keep doing what you’re doing. Because remember: good moms have dirty ovens and sticky floors but happy kids. And to the naysayers: it’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice!!!

    • I never comment on these, but wow, that’s harsh. She didn’t say she doesn’t clean, just that she wants her mom to pop in without drama or pretense.

    • Wow. Way to be encouraging. Sometimes people need a break from the constant chaos and taking 15 minutes to read and share a blog is needed. Cut people some slack.

    • I love the anon who makes a comment that’s so ridiculous. Obviously you, commenter, have never had a 1 year old. Or multiple children around the same age. I was a preschool teacher, & I’m being perfectly honest by saying it’s really not until age 3 that children grasp the concept of cleaning. And even then, if you’re going to clean between every activity, it leaves little time for deep exploration and experience. Carry on blogging mommy! Your priorities are awesome!!

    • Apparently you are not a parent. You clean it up and 5 minutes later is back to a mess. You clean it up again, and again and again. Sometimes a break to blog is what is needed. If you read her blog, you would know that it isn’t about cleaning or blogging, it is about don’t expect a perfect house when you come over because this is her life at the moment. It is also my life too. I needed to read this because I feel like my house has to be perfect to let anyone in the front door, and it is far from it. And it doesn’t have to be. It isn’t reality. If I walked into her home and saw this in the picture, I would know kids lived there and are loved.

  96. As the internet, I apologize for the rampant shaming happening in the comments here. I’m awful, and no one should be allowed to judge so harshly anonymously.
    100 internet points for a very nice post.
    - The Internet

  97. The nice thing about having your own home, is that it is your own home. If you are enjoying your little ones, having fun even though you want to hyperventilate every time they get another toy out, then you are doing OK. Besides, I bet you pick up before you finally lay your head down at night.

  98. My house is such a disaster since our daughter came! When she was just a month or two old, a friend came over when I was having a crisis over having such a hard time breastfeeding. My friend not only came over, listened to me cry, and offered love, she folded the laundry that was sitting on the couch. THAT is the sign of a true friend.

  99. as they say…don’t sweat the small stuff and at this time in your life as a mom of 1 or 3 or 6 or more…it is small stuff.
    sit with them and cuddle…soon they won’t let you touch them.
    cover them in kisses…you will wish one day for one more kiss
    tell them how proud you are of them,will be and can be of them.
    The world has a different plan of telling them how..
    they aren’t going to matter, much … compared to the next person…sad
    reinforce NOW while they still listen….believe me…they are listening to you at this age and will listen even more to you the older they get.:)

  100. I think your house looks fabulous, but the point is that it doesn’t matter what I think. Your house looks lived in as it should.

    I do have an answer for whomever inquired about what stay at home moms do when their kids all go to school. I wondered myself until my 5th and last went off to all day school this year. Let’s see. We volunteer because we can without needing a sitter. Heck, I not only work in my 6 and 8 year olds’ classrooms, I also work in kindergarten 3 days a week because there is just no way a teacher can give enough I individual attention to those cuties. When my kids are home I practice violin with them (4 players=lots of practicing) give a piano lesson, make sure homework is done, drive to swim and dance, and help other struggling kids with their homework. At night I study. To each his own. I won’t judge you for your perfect home and please don’t judge me that mine looks lived in. This blog hits the nail on the head. If you are real friends, be yourself.

  101. Anonymous Feb 4, you completely missed the point of the blog. So let me interpret it for you based on your comment; you’re the person who is so busy keeping up the facades that you will unfortunately miss out on true supportive friendships with other mothers.

  102. Is the comment above-saying the writer should take time to clean rather than write this blog entry-a joke?! If not, I hope the writer ignores it. If she had cleaned her house instead of writing this, she would not have had the opportunity to have such an impact on others with her honest and beautiful words. This blog expresses how many of us feel and I am grateful to have read this, and to know others feel the same way. With a two-year-old and a second baby due in five weeks, this was affirming for me. Thank you!

  103. Good article, but it leaves out the fact that friendship can happen in other places besides people’s houses. Why not meet for a walk in the park, a swim at the pool or beach, or a movie, or a cup of coffee or……the options are endless. A lot of gyms and pools have childminding services (I’ve never belonged to one that didn’t, outside of university), libraries have programs for children, movie theatres have kids’ movies that the kids could watch while the adults see something else, and as for parks and beaches, well, the entertainment is right there. In the wintertime, maybe a coffee date could happen at McDonald’s, while the kids cavort around on the play structure. My point is, friendships between parents and child-free people can work, and friendships between neat freaks and slobs can work, if people are willing to be a bit creative. If meeting at someone’s home is a must, then the best thing to do is to determine where the visit will take place, and just clean that room (plus the bathroom). Or, if it’s nice out, entertain on the patio if you have one. But, most of the time, the “public place” route just might be the best idea, until the kids outgrow the “messy” stage.

  104. Also, don’t buy your kids a Monopoly game until they’ve mastered the concept of cleaning up after themselves. Tiny plastic houses can get so easily sucked up into the vacuum cleaner.

  105. I loved your blog entry and thank you for sharing it. And it is unfortunate that the “anonymous” commenter didn’t understand the message that moms need to unite and stop judging each other.

  106. Teach your kids to put their crap away. Even a young child can learn this. Cleaning for them teaches them nothing. A clean house with small kids is a sign of self respect. Don’t play the I have kids so my house is messy card. It’s weak.

  107. Love this blog… Ignore the comments above. Some people can’t see past the end of their nose.. And completely missed the point! Loved, loved, loved this! :)

  108. Ha ha. Apparently you have the time to read it and respond. I think loving your children is much more important than taking the time to critique others. Oops I guess I just took the time to do just that.

  109. Shame on you for posting such an unkind and reproachful comment and, on top of it, hiding behind “Anonymous”! You obviously make time for negative commenting …

  110. Most of these comments make me sad. They remind me of things my mom used to say to me. I say used to because I don’t let her come over univited anymore. My house looks very similar to the one above. Obviously not trashed nor dirty but unorganized. My mom would come over to “say hi” but end up making me crazy because she would say things like “honey do you know there is a marker without a lid on the table???? Do you know there is a half eaten cheese stick on the table??? Do you know you can get ants if there are crumbs on the counter? What can I do to help?” I’d think to myself; nothing, mom, you can do nothing. Because all I need for “help” with a 6 year old and two 4 year olds is good, non-judgemental company. The rest gets scrubbed down when my kids go to bed….

  111. It’s funny, before even reading the post the thing I noticed in your photo was your beautiful bay window and hardwood floors, the gorgeous color you painted your walls, and of course, your happy kids. Loved the post! Agree with it all!

  112. Can we be best friends?! No, but seriously this is my first time reading your blog and I know I need to follow you on twitter. But I can’t find any of your info.

  113. I love this. My son is 15 months and Tomorrow I’m hosting a dinner party for 6. Between caring for my son, writing tomorrow’s recipe blog post, going to my fist interview post baby, and cooking for six, I doubt I will have time to clean my home… Well because the couples are very recent friends, and don’t have children (one of the ladies actually said to me being a mom is no excuse for my chipped nails) I had such anxiety that they would judge my messy, albeit not too dirty house, that I just cancelled it tonight.
    Also they asked to come at 7:00 which is right before my son goes to bed so that is another stressor trying to keep him asleep with talking and noises down the hall. Maybe it’s true that adults with children can’t be friends to adults without because I don’t think they understand that we go to bed shortly after he does because he wakes up early no matter when he falls asleep. Parents understand that mess is a part of the lovely package.
    The only thing relieving my stress is knowing that tomorrow I have the Cherry Cordial Chocolate layer cake with Cocoa Buttercream frosting that I made today for the cancelled dinner party.
    -Kate
    http://www.2chefs1home.com

  114. How sad there are so many negative people and responses to your post. I am a mother of 7 and completely understand. No I am not lazy, I am the first to rise and last to go to bed. I don’t have time for a gym membership, neither do I spend hours online ..only at night while rocking the baby to get her to sleep. I wish I had time to go to lunch and hang with friends but reality is a shared lunch with my 3 year old then playing dollies and reading books and coloring and in between playing with my child, I clean. For those who believe the “mom” should do it all it is her job ..whatever!! No job would ever require you to wear so many hats as a stay at home mom does. My 1st job is to raise my kids. They are always my first priority. My 2nd job is a Housekeeper. And 3rd is the grocery shopper and cook which is no small feat as I have a kiddo with life threatning allergies. Then there are all the other little things that need doing around the house not to mention being a wife. My house will always be clean underneath but the mess will not always be totally picked up as we actually live in our home. My hat goes off to all moms everywhere who are real and not afraid to show it!

  115. Being comfortable enough with a friend to not pick uo before their arrival is fine and all, but all of you that have nasty, filthy houses– don’t use this blog post to justify your laziness.

  116. Being comfortable enough with a friend to not pick uo before their arrival is fine and all, but all of you that have nasty, filthy houses– don’t use this blog post to justify your laziness.

  117. Well I commend you for MAKING time for a blog like this. It encourages others in the same situation and it beautifully records many precious moments your family will be able to treasure together. Well done. I’m enjoying it!

  118. Oh, please. That room would take about 15 seconds to tidy up.
    It seems me that the only problem is your false perception of being judged by neater people than you. I hope you can discover that your “friends” really aren’t at all bothered by your chaos.
    Confront your self-consciousness and keep your house the way you want it, and let your friends decide if they want to come over.

  119. Anonymous, I think you and I both know why you didn’t choose to put any identifying name on your comment. If you can’t be kind and civil and see the truth and beauty in someone’s post, but only something to satisfy your self-exalting attitude; if you can’t add anything into the world that makes it more beautiful and less hostile…then for everyone’s sake, keep your words to yourself, because this blog post was just what so many women needed today so that they don’t have to fear unkind and critical people such as you, and live to please them.

  120. to Anonymous…one of the ones who spent time reading…oh…and “wasted time” commenting and obviously thinking hard enough on it to have an opinion. Hellur. A) When you -do- get a break, whoooo on earth wants to clean? B) The other subtle point in her story – real friends shouldn’t care and should understand. C) I wouldn’t put money on her having you over for tea.
    —————————-
    Loved it! I completely understand. I have those days. Plus yours is not that bad.

  121. Wish it were so black and white but after seeing both sides raising seven children let’s stop judging ,cut each other some slack and strike a balance in life

  122. I got the heart of the matter at hand that you’ve boiled down what really matters in life and it’s stopping in the day to share valuable moments with your kids (AKA: love). I am a single mom of 3 young kids and totally get it. You do clean up the germs throughout the day but you’ve got your focus right when you can say; “enough is enough. Let’s take a break and build blocks together”.

  123. It’s all about choices, priorities, you see. And those are all personal, or at least so they should be. Myself have always, and will always, choose to enjoy all the fantastic relationships I have, and I will always priorities doing what makes me feel the best and the happiest at any given moment. Sometimes that means cleaning my house, sometimes it means cuddling up on the sofa with the kitties, because my son is now all grown up, and watch a film in the middle of the day. But no matter which state my house is in, it’s in it by my choice, and if it’s messy or even dirty is of no concern of anybody else. Just know that you’re in the house of someone that had something more importent than cleaning to do. I might sometimes wish my house was tidier or cleaner, but I am sure that when I’m about to take my last breath I won’t care about that. I will however be happy I spent so many hours of my life doing what made me feel great. Now, if constantly cleaning your house is what makes you feel happy then that’s what you should do, but if you feel that you would rather do something else than maybe you need to have a hard look at why you do it then maybe you need to priorities differently in the future. I assure you that your kids would prefer a happy house with a happy mum to a clean house with a stressed mum.

  124. You go girl! I raised 4 and when they grew up it was bad. We adopted, now I’m a 66 years old widow with 2 boys 9 and 11. I love it. Anyone don’t like my “lived in ” home don’t have to come over!

  125. For the person up above who basically wrote if you have time to blog you can clean… Seriously, just get a life. It’s not that serious.

  126. Wow, so anonymous just need to go jump in a lake. blogging is adult interaction that we need as well … i use it as a replacement for going to work so i can stay home with my baby. My house in sometimes clean, sometimes not. it,s just how it is. And if you’re my friend you won’t judge. Ever. Period.

  127. Believe me, when your kids get to the age that they can and should do their own cleaning up, you will become a bit OCD again. Then it will drive you crazy when they don’t pick up after themselves!

  128. To those of you who see this lady as a slob or lazy, I think your cleaning products are blinding you. It’s obvious that she cleans AND lets her kids play. What I’m hearing is that I/another mom can work hard keeping a balance of growing our children and cleaning and we get judged for one bad day! What if my house is immaculate and picked up 90% of the time but you see the 10% that it isn’t? Will you still judge? Cut the lady some slack, she obviously cares for her home AND her children.

  129. Not being snarky, just a heads-up for the future: it’s “ganged up.” Your kids ganged up on you, they did not gain up. Just an FYI.

  130. I actually think I put off playdates for my little girl because of how the house looked. Now I want to go back in a time machine and kick myself!

  131. I see kids playing with toys and it’s not dirt and grime! As long as you are comfortable though…question what lens do you have this picture looks awesome!

  132. Great post! My house is the same way!

    And for everyone else, if you disagree with or don’t like the post just don’t comment!

  133. Totally into the message of we don’t need to fix what’s working for us to please others. True friends love us even if we are not their idea of perfection and we should spend less energy on those who don’t. However, what’s pictured here is a small Amount of child play clutter in an otherwise tidy home. No problem! (neater than my home!) I’d hate for a blanket sentiment to apply to truly filthy homes. I’ve been in friends homes where I was just waiting to be struck down by some deadly bacteria. The kitchens- could not even fathom what I was seeing. Spoiling foods everywhere, days (weeks?) old dishes heaped on every surface, filthy floors that were caked with unknown substances. These were tea and snack events and I literally- although I strive very hard to be

    • Finishing comment above… I literally refused to eat or drink. I don’t relish listeria or ecoli or salmonella and politeness/ support of a friends lifestyle won’t make me risk them. Ugh! I don’t ask friends to pick up for me- and I’m trying not to be obsessed with doing so for them- but I’d like to not acquire a terrible infection at their homes either. Any argument can be taken too far. Although for this blogger inwould gladly hang out with a snack and tea and be real together while folding laundry and playing with her lovely children and their toys.

  134. I was recently told (paraphrasing) that because I choose to keep our house a certain way (somewhat tidy), people who don’t may not keep their house that way may not invite me over because they feel they have to clean before having me there. They don’t have the time or don’t want to make the effort (of the standard they put on themselves), so they’d rather just not have me over than exert the energy they think they ‘should’. So, I’m not seeing this article in light of how we keep our home; it’s more of how we’re ‘not welcome’ to others’ homes because, I guess, they think I’ll spend time judging rather than visiting. Such a shame that we will miss that friendship, bonding, and fellowship. So, for the author and others, I’d challenge you to please invite others over and let them decide if they want to be there. There’s enough loneliness in the world and it’s sad for me to think that if I was willing to change my standards that I might get more invitations. Isn’t that a little bit of a reverse discrimination? (BTW, my youngest kids are 10 and 8, we homeschool, and they are expected to pick up after themselves and do chores, especially since we’re home so much. I’m not the maid and have no desire to be one.)

  135. Beautiful :). I loved this! I am guilty of this…and my husband is worse. He never wants anyone to come over (not even the grandparents) if the house isn’t absolutely spotless! With a busy house of five, not to mention a dog and cat…that’s asking too much. Thanks for this very eloquent reminder that the house can wait…but relationships shouldn’t. :)

    • I don’t care howturned upside down things are. Seems like it was yesterday that that was my life. Call anytime would love to spend time together

  136. Omg i love this! When she was talking about pushing the clothes to the side and sitting down, all i.could think was “or help me fold them” and then she said it! It made me laugh. I love this and might even print it out, frame it and hang it in my house.

  137. That house is clean. It is just a pic taken in the middle of play time. There is not food bowls or cups sitting around. There is not food or crumbs on the floor. The kids are clean but most importantly the kids are PLAYING and HAVING FUN and not sitting in front of a TV or computer. I wish my messes I clean up many times daily were only that messy.

  138. This morning I totaltly tidied and cleaned in preparation for the arrival of the computer-man. Now I won’t be able to find anything for days, BUT my computer words, my GPS is upgraded, and he suggested that I dump my printer and get a new one. I didn’t need him to be my friend, just to rescue my sanity(:-

  139. That is not a mess… it may have a few things out, but it is not a mess. There is no dust. There are no wrappers or bits of bread or pet hair balls on the floor. There’s no crayon on the walls or dings or dents or stains anywhere. That is a clean house and I am offended.

  140. AMEN! sharing with my wife…. she takes pre-company cleaning to a new level, although I think the chaos has caught up to us both, as I’m about to pick my Mom up from the Airport and there are dishes in the sink, laundry piled high and crumbs on the floor! But I know my Mom does not care! She just wants to see her family. Thank you for this great post.

  141. As my great aunt used to say “if people are coming over to see how dirty my house is, I’d hate to disappoint them”.

  142. This also applies to my life with a 37 year old son living in my house….just like when he was 3 or 7. My OCD flew out the window years ago.

  143. This was bouncing around my Facebook newsfeed like crazy yesterday and really couldn’t have been more timely. A little over a year ago I started writing a blog for my local paper that deals with this very thing. Two weeks ago I started a challenge of sorts in which I journal every day and give the highlights on my blog of my REAL life. My hope is that by sharing how things really are instead of how I often try to portray my life, other people will realize that it’s okay to just be ourselves. None of us have it all together and by acting like we do when we’re around other people, we deny ourselves the chance to have authentic relationships. Keep up the good fight! I’ll help you fold your laundry any time ;) (If you have a chance to stop by, I’d love for you to join me in my journey. http://www.ohhonestly.bangordailynews.com http://www.facebook.com/ohhonestly )

  144. Where did you get that awesome coffee table that doubles as a kid desk!! Please help out another mom. I love your home!

  145. I love my kids messes: in the rec room, their bedrooms or the whole basement but not in our main floor great room/kitchen…I need an area that is fun to be in to play games, talk, watch a movie, that is not overflowing with toys, books, laundry etc… I do wipe my counters down before a friend comes for coffee, I don’t want their elbow to get stuck in syrup! lol… we can have creative, fun loving kids AND a semi-tidy house. IMHO, I am not superwoman, but always could entertain in a moments notice without shoving laundry to the side :) I do that chore in the laundry room…why move it twice? lol

  146. Very we’ll said… Children are only little for for such a short while let them play & enjoy but most of all experiment with things they are doing & learning!

  147. Wow! I wish more people were like you!..,,,, nowadays, it seems like there are so many superficial people out there, even some of my friends and family!..,,@ it’s sad to say that I wouldn’t feel comfortable having them in my house on a regular day because they are so judgemental…,,, my kids always come first and I don’t care what anyone thinks of me or my house ( sometimes, anyways!)…. The kids grow up too fast! You’re wise to enjoy them now!!!…..

  148. So true, I’m well past that stage and I still live in my home…it is a home, not a display. I see stuff lying around as evidence of people living their life and not fabricating a pseudo life.

  149. Although this is very sweet and I agree,, as a mother of adult children, I appreciate it when I feel safe eating the food out of the kitchen or when I don’t have to clean the shower before I step in. Moderation in all things! There is a difference between having some toys blankets and pillows lying around and just plain not cleaning. Even the children need to live and learn in a clean environment and learn the value of taking care of what they have.

    • I agree!! too many moms use having kids as an excuse for living in a dirty home. We should be able to control the mess, to a degree, and still have messy areas, but also areas where kids learn is a ‘safe’ zone of no army men, sharp lego pieces et al :)

  150. The message here is fine, you don’t have to impress a true friend. Got it.
    BUT, some people such as myself really value a clean home. I have 3 young children, and I find it stressful if my house is a mess. I have a clean home and my kids/husband/self still get attention. It doesn’t make me less genuine because I keep my house clean. It doesnt mean I am not a true friend because I don’t have an explosion laid out when friends visit. On the flipside, I am not offended when I go to my friend’s home and hers is an explosion. To each their own, lets not judge anyone for what they do or do not.

    • Well said Ronee…why is having kids a free ticket to not keep a tidy-ish home where everyone can use the space, not just the kids to over run the area with toys. My kids hand fabric from the ceiling in the basement (3m hooks) and build forts, pillow walls to protect them from nerf wars and crafts galore in the craft room…and can leave it that way until our tidy day! BUT, our great room-kitchen must be kept large scale mess free of toys. I am calmer. Guests are welcomed without warning and when my hubby comes home he does not have to move laundry. kids are able to play with toys for multiple days at a time left around in basement/rooms…it all works out!!

  151. Best thing I have read in so long……I would totally be friends, and those crumbs, the toys on the floor, and dust bunny or two will also be there…:)

  152. I feel ya girl, and I’d be happy to lend a hand. Being a mom is a blessing and these are the moments we treasure in life. Thank you for sharing.

  153. I think this is awesome. I agree that if you are best friends you shouldn’t have to worry about what your house looks like to have them come over… But there are sooo many lazy nasty people out there that do not clean but what just has to be done like dishes and laundry … Yes my house is not clean but I know that of u walk in my house you will not feel as if u need to take a shower after leaving and there are plenty of houses like that out there I think that is the difference ! We can’t control everyday messes but in a whole we keep it clean my sink does not have toothpaste all over it toliets are cleaned floors vacuumed yes there may be cruma in the table finger prints on my glass oh well!!

  154. I appreciate the point of the blog post, but I feel like I, as a mother to 7 who enjoys a clean house, get mocked because, well, I have a clean house. No, I don’t spend hours cleaning every day, but when I do clean, we do it together. If you come to my house and it’s clean, please don’t judge me and secretly think that I’m living behind a facade. Cleaning up after ourselves is a lifestyle, not something I have to wait until my kids are grown to begin. I’ve seen too many posts by ‘normal’ moms who make fun of ‘super moms’ for cooking from scratch, cleaning house, making homemade ‘whatever’. I am not a Supermom, but I also feel like just because I have “done more/different things” than others , it is a low blow to assume that I am not spending quality time with my kids or that I would look down on you when I come to visit if your house had toys on the floor. PLEASE…can we just keep our eyes to ourselves and uplift, encourage, and congratulate each other for a job well done. Because motherhood is too hard to point fingers and compare.

  155. The secret to a clean, orderly, quiet home is . . . college. (Of course when they visit, they still trash the place, but cleanliness is next to loneliness.)

  156. As parents of 4, with the still at home from ages 11 – 5. You made my beloved wife’s day. Thank you for publicly reminding people what is really important. Like Airplanes, Candyland, and Dance Classes – those will make far more difference in the life of a child than an organized linen closet. As you point out, the linen closet can be organized later – Motherhood is a one shot deal of limited duration. Get that right, and everything else falls into place on it’s own!

    Colin
    http://catholichusband.wordpress.com

  157. Wow I love your house it’s so pretty, mine seems so dark and gloomy compared to yours. Oh and I love your mess too lol. I wish I had the guys to tell people the same.

  158. I agree with several other comments on here about not judging others about their homes, or the condition, etc., but that please don’t judge me for having a clean house. My husband and I both enjoy a clean home….yep, there are a few piles of things here and there that need put away, but I love having the counter cleaned off and floor swept….I see it as a gift to our guests. Do I judge someone else for having a messy home, no….but I feel like we have become used to the “excuse” of “I’m a mom, so my house must be messy”….yes, we are creating memories with our children, etc., but….part of providing for them as a godly parent is providing a safe and happy environment….and part of that is keeping a clean (not necessarily spotless) home. Come to my house at different points during the week, and yes, it will be cluttered with toys/dishes, etc., but I try hard to keep it neat and clean as this helps provide peace and order to our daily lives as well. I enjoyed this article, but feel like people are then judging me for liking a clean house, and all the extra things I like to do. Thank you for sharing though….it was a great article and reminder!

  159. Absolutely love this post! This is my life too! I’m a SAHM who runs her own business and when I have the time, I don’t want to clean, I want to spend it with my kids. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!

  160. This is a great pic and it’s refreshing to know there are authentic moms like you in this world! Every mom should appreciate your honesty. I choose to enjoy these days because before you know it all the clutter and mess will be gone! I agree with you 100%…enjoy your children. They are a blessing from God

  161. I keep my house clean where everyone comes in. My bed room and the other bedrooms are always played in so try are messy. But to go to someone’s house where they have crumbs all over everywhere is a different story. Having a messy house and having a dirty house are two different things. I don’t expect people to clean there house for me ever. But I like to have a clean house so j feel comfortable.

  162. Love this! And I totally agree. I am working on it though, I like things neat and tidy, and want my home to be kept in such a way so that when people do come, they feel comfortable, welcomed and at home. It’s a balance I suppose. At any rate, I’m glad to see more and more of these types of posts letting us moms know that we don’t have to be perfect all the time. What a relief!

    In other news…please tell me where you got those curtains…I love them and have been looking for that exact style! Ha! Thanks!

  163. All I have to say is Gee Whiz, by looking at the photo and your so called mess, you make it sound like you are comparable to a hoarder. Your home does not appear unsanitary and it looks in good repair, so I am confused as why you feel there is an issue, unless you have extremely shallow friends, or you were once the shallow friend, who now thinks you are being scrutinized.

    • Gee Whiz right back at you. Perhaps she should have posted a picture of filth instead, to which you would have most likely commented is disgusting. I thought her post was a breath of fresh air. Most people would feel panicked if somebody stopped by and their house looked like the above photo. Even though it ISN’T that bad, that’s the point. We made a bigger deal out of the mess than outsiders do.

      • Hmm … I’d disagree that most people would feel panicked if someone stopped by and their house looked like the above photo. I don’t disagree with the message at all: somewhat of a mess should be entirely acceptable among friends. I just feel like the mess in the photo is a result of two children playing for 10 minutes on a Pottery Barn set. If your house looks like that on a daily basis, I applaud you (and I have some friends whose houses really do always look like that). If your house looks like that, plus some yogurt on the rug and some stray Cheerios here and there, I feel you. Either should be acceptable to friends. And if not … then they are not real friends.

      • Agreed Ashley!!
        Love this post! Couldn’t agree more. My boys are 3 & 5 and I absolutely hate working all day to come home and do housework when they, literally, do want to play candy land or color with me or play with playdoh and splash in puddles. Thank you for posting!
        Danielle

  164. Really? I look at that picture and don’t see a mess at all, but two kids seemingly playing Nicely together. That’s what I want!

  165. This room looks pretty good to me. It looks a little messy, but clean. There’s a big, big difference between nasty and messy. Still, I agree 100% with your post and found a chuckle or two.

  166. My only regret when my kids were little is my OCD n my moms voice got to me. If hot wheels n legos or any other toys got mixed together we dumped them all out n rearranged them. n i was like this with my whole house, but doing it with the toys i feel now was just to much!!!
    See my mom did it all so I had to to, although she worked pt when we were young n I worked full time, n I had kids with health problems I still had to live up to the supper mom theory. It wasn’t until 8yrs ago my health took a dramatic turn I’m barely able to care for myself. I’m lucky I have a 17yr left at home n my 24, n 21yr old are out on their own. I 2 half kids 10, n 7 That i didn’t give birth to in a non conventional relationship that I have 50% of the time. Sometimes more sometimes less. I was taught to do it all n it’s very hard now that I can’t. I’m a woman that can change a tire, roof a house, do plumbing, but also can do hair n make up,cooking,cleaning. N I never left my bedroom without being fully put together. Well this new life of not even being able to bathe myself n only getting a shower every 3-4 days. At The most is unbearable. I still try to have holiday’s or family dinners but pay for weeks n even as I type this on feb 4 my Xmas tree n decos r still up. It’s not a choice or a lack of being able to schedule my days it’s lack of ability, then u add I married a man 8yrs ago that is a great step father n has a good job but has no skills other then being a truck driver. He can’t even put his own clothes in the dresser or make meals for our family, n forget about household problems like a clogged drain or the grass needing mowed or snow needing shoveled! So I find myself in a very bad nightmare I want out of! I only wish I could go back to work 50+ hours a week n come home, mow,cook, n do laundry, n have friends stop in! I let a aunt come over to see my sons new baby n she left n posted how much stuff I have n how unorganized I am. Which did not help! I can’t tell u if I’m madder at my husband for not caring or myself for caring to much n not being able to do a thing about it!! So although this is cute n for some I can see, for me there is no way I wasn’t raised that way n that’s y even when my BFF says it don’t look bad or I should see hers etc its all I can do but not spot something that needs done!! How do u stop that when u r so behind you will never catch up!!

  167. N also that is a 5second clean upon this picture the realty would be mail, jackets back packs on the couch n cups n bottles etc on the table. Some shoes laying around maybe some clothes from a little one changing just for fun or because of a mess, some food so on n so on

  168. I guess my question is, why are you so offended by others who like order and a clean house. I personally find that a lack of order is bad for my husband, me and my children. Everyone likes things in order even if my little ones struggle to keep it that way. We don’t obsess about it. The key is temperance, not saying “screw it, I don’t care and I can’t be friends with people who do.”

  169. I’m totally OCD about clutter and mess but pregnant with my first child, I bet I’m going to have to learn to let go of a lot of things and embrace chaos more often. Beautiful post! :)

  170. I don’t think she means ‘we can’t be friends’ literally. I am a first time Mimi, with a clean house, and personally, my grandson’s things have invaded every room in the house. I love it! When he’s hard at playing, creating, pretending, rough housing stuff is ‘messy.’ Isn’t life a beautiful messy? There will always be a time and place to be ocd…which I am. Our babies will not always occupy our time and our space. Enjoy! Get messy! There’s always ~ sorry about the mess, we live here!

  171. My theory is that by keeping my house messy, I am helping my son’s friends appreciate their own, less messy homes a bit more … and their hard-working, neatness-obsessed mothers A LOT more. :-)

    I help my BFF out with her laundry and dishes and she helps me out with my overflowing dining room table and playroom floor. Our relationship works.

  172. Let me tell you this, even when they grow up and move out, they still leave a mess and if I can accept it so should anyone who wants to come over, the older you get the harder it is to be organized and the truth is the less you care, life is NOT about linen closets and dust bunnies. Life is living, my goodness how these women today would handle it if they had to have dirt floors like our fore mothers had to, and no automatic dishwashers oh dear. You don’t take ANY of that with you when you leave this earth the feeling that you had when your children and grandchildren looked at you with the love they feel in thier eyes when you took time out from cleaning to spend it with them, that’s what goes with you. not the towels or the organization.

  173. Love it! So true! I feel lucky to have friends who don’t care if it is a mess! I think everyone who has a kid can relate to this. We are all just doing the best we can with what we got.

  174. The range of comments are funny, they show the real problem: people have such different ideas about what’s an acceptable level of mess. To me, this looks staged, like a very recently clean house with a few things tossed around. The essay would be far more meaningful if the photo matched the words. But I agree with the sentiment; and my favorite friend to visit is the one with the messiest house.

  175. I don’t agree with the “I know you’re an amazing…” part. Being a good mom is important in a mom friend, of course, but wife? And housekeeper?? Um, doesn’t that defeat the purpose, telling them you know they are actually a good housekeeper deep down, just reinforcing the idea that is such an important quality? Yikes.

  176. Perhaps I was raised differently but you take pride in your home and it’s appearance. I just would lose my stuffing if I had this going on in my house. When company comes to visit, I clean my house. I make sure my sink is empty and bathrooms are neat. I put things that are out of place, where they belong. I take out the garbage. I vacuum, sweep, mop and dust. I refuse to let someone into my home if it’s unkempt. I have pride in myself and I don’t slump around in sweats when people come over either. Friend or not, it doesn’t mean you can be lazy. Being a mom isn’t license to be lazy either. My mom raised 8 of us kids and she had an immaculate home of which we also kept neat and were raised to be neat and orderly and we had our chores that we had to complete each day/week. I do hope you instill that into your kids so they don’t become entitled brats. Sorry, but we would not be friends and I am good with that.

  177. I’m a dad, not afraid to say, at the same stage, and my wife and I live a happy life without worrying about what others think or want, we love our kids, our home is their safe heaven and we’ll keep it that way :) thnx for posting, thnx for sharing :)

  178. I am sorry but I did not want to read weird stories with hidden meanings…. You cant even love a woman not even as a friend – unless you are a gay woman and frankly nobody likes them !
    stop using the word love as it is something like that!
    disrespect again , everywhere you go.

    • Danjel, the English language has just one word to represent all the different types of love that we feel.

      The Greek language has four words to represent love.

      Just because you are you too small minded to comprehend that one can love someone of the same sex without feeling a bit of eroticism, then go far, far away to the place where all the other ignoramuses live.

      Heavens’ sake. Nimrod.

  179. Thank you so much for this post. It speaks so much. I wish I’d written it myself. I’m in a new city, as a new mom, trying to make new friends and this is my heart.

  180. Thank you thank you thank you, for sharing, for being vulnerable, for being strong, and for setting an example. We so need women to step up and speak against the unspoken expectations we hold each other to, as silly as they may be. This is a thought that runs even deeper than most of us think about. You’re onto something, Cari.

  181. I loved this and am a little shocked by some of the not so nice comments. :-( We moms should stick together. I’m there with you in my messy house too sister! I think some people are taking it more literally than it’s meant to be taken. To those people: I don’t think she meant you couldn’t be friends if your house is always put together, she said if you spend 3 hours cleaning your house before she comes over, stop. She loves you and your messy house. Also, just because she posted this picture doesn’t mean this is the extent of her “messy house”. This might be one room, or a picture she found online because her house didn’t have the right lighting for a good pic ;-). Either way, chill and keep the negativity to yourself. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

    • I was also shocked by the cruel and bizarre comments. I guess the Internet is the wild west, but mothers and parents ought not to be so quick to judge. I wondered if maybe it was because this particular mess is still so neat! Maybe people are envious? I am!

  182. best thing i’ve read in 5 years. i’m a papa of twins, 4 1/2 yrs. old, they are my work and i totally identify with this post. thanks.

  183. Wow women sure are lazy today, clean your freaking house and whining about it! Get off facebook and do some freakn’ work.

  184. I have 4 kids, 7 and under, and this is what our clean looks like. With my husband going to school full-time plus him working 30 hours a week, and us homeschooling, it gets much dirtier much quicker than one would assume. My friends come over, lay me down for a nap, and watch my kids while they clean my house for me. They are friends without little kids at their home. It is a stage in life, after all. That’s about once a quarter. All the other hundred days or so I spend long hours just trying to maintain what we’ve got, including a ton of cleaning, that’s whether we have company or not. That picture is not a mess, but there is a point to not missing out on the good stuff. I did have a play date one time where I just had my 4th, and the garbage hadn’t been taken out before she came. We haven’t seen them here since. Sorry, but it matters, especially as an example to your kids. In our home they also spend lots of time cleaning, so they are also part of the solution. This is a major gift to them as an adult, as I am giving them the standard and the solution at the same time, also helping them to master the skills so it will come easy to them and never be a burden later. We do that together, making memories- it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

  185. I believe it’s important to remember what kind of message we are sending to our children when we pass judgement on those we call friends or even those we don’t know so well. There is a saying do unto others as you want done to you need I say more…would you want someone to critisize you or judge you based on how messy or not your house is… it is not my life or my house to clean and orgainize…I am the kind of person who would help in any way I could for my friends. A clean house is great but those of you are lying if you say you have never had a surprise visit and your house be in perfect order! Let’s just say that this was a mom’s point of view and she didn’t ask for much, just a friend that could look past the mess and crazyness to be a friend. Some of you would be awful friends! You should be ashamed! Let me just say children are beautiful blessings but not their messes. At some point they need to grow and learn to pick up after themselves…end of story!

  186. “People do not like gay women”? As a mom of three happily married to another woman—I am offended by that comment.

  187. this is the best thing i’ve read in 5 years. i’m a papa whose work is our kids, i’m a more sane person living this article.

    thanks and take care

    david

  188. Would you mind me using your post at our next MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group? This years topic is ‘A Beautiful Mess’ so your post is perfect.

  189. To me that photo isn’t messy. Rather, just untidy. I personally cannot handle anything out of place and my young children already know how to be ultra clean. It is about taking pride in your home. A house ‘lived in’ is fine as long as there’s no filth. Though I’m ocd with cleaning, it doesn’t bother me in the least visiting friends who are untidy.

  190. Reblogged this on All The Way To Crazy and commented:
    I love this post from Dugans InCahoots! 2 weeks back at work and school and my house looks like a bomb went off – again! But I’m so tired all I want to do when I get home is have a nap and pray no-one wants to come over to my house – ever. We put so much pressure on ourselves to keep it altogether, all time time – sometimes you just have to put the chaos off to one side and enjoy a cuppa with the real friends in your life.

  191. This crazy high standard of cleanliness and love of judging others is why so many kids have allergies and related immune system problems today. A moderate amount of dust and dirt makes for a healthier home. And there are so many more important things in life than how your house looks.

  192. I think her point is to say focus on your relationships because that’s what is lasting. My MIL bragged and bragged about how her home was always neat and clean, and constantly criticized my home not being spit-shine. It got really old. With kids and cleaning, you often feel like you take two steps forward, only to take one step backward. This is not an excuse; it’s reality.
    I have a quote for my home: “Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy.” I’m not going to panick if there are dishes left in the sink by the time I fall exhausted into bed. I feel privileged to stay home with the crew and my husband still loves me even with a little clutter.

  193. Let’s face it….we as human creatures do judge, and to say you don’t is a lie. We are by nature sinful, and yes, judgement is one of them. Even good, close friends do judge as well, but a good friend will either jokingly say something or just help out! The article is saying not to judge my messy house, that you are busy making memories, but let’s face it, if you are playing with your kids every second, then you do have time to pick up throughout the day. Since when did the phrase “Excuse the mess, we’re making memories” come about? Our mothers, grandmothers, and so on have been keeping a clean house, so why a change now? I personally feel it is cop out for a person who is messy. For once, I’d like to walk into someone’s house and they say “Sorry I’m just messy.” I’m personally somewhat of a clean person (I don’t have stuff laying everywhere, but dust doesn’t bother me) but admit I def have my days of crafts or being sick to where I do t pick up, but my kids (4, 7, 8) will pick up for me. I started them at a young age to take care of their things, and that means putting their stuff away. If we just let our kids run wild, what are you teaching them? Whether a toy cost $2 or $20, teach them to appreciate their things by taking care of them and putting them away. Our society has everything at their disposal, so if something breaks due to careless behavior, we just go get another one. I’ve read many excuses on here about how they don’t have time to clean….but like I said before, if you are a stay at home mom and you are spending every second making memories with your kids, then there is no excuse. Put the phone down, turn off the tv, get off the computer, and change your priorities to include picking up first. I’m not saying I’m a sper mom by any means, but if I can homeschool 3 kids and have my husband working a military schedule, then you can do it too. Get your kids involved in helping out too….they lead by example. I’ve also found that a tidy house makes for a sane house. Again, I’m not saying clean moms are better than moms that don’t pick up as often, but stop making excuses by saying you are “making memories” with your kids. Even if it’s just 10 min of picking up, that’ll be a big difference! Kids are a blessing to any parent, but our blessing to our children are to instill core values to make them better people when they grow up, and one of those values is appreciating our surroundings and being thankful for what we have.

  194. Umm…. You have time to blog but you don’t have time to clean? Your husband will probably be home soon. Get dinner started and start cleaning before your husband leaves you.

  195. Bill, that’s disgusting. I bet your wife wants to stab you in your sleep. Real men help clean. Right ladies? You’re not a real man. Women love to clean and make supper, I agree with that. It’s in our genes but your a real prick for not helping. My husband works all day and my job is to make him happy and I do a wonderful job. I feel it’s my duty in life to cook and clean but men should help.

  196. I love this, I love the way you manage your people and your home. I remember when your elders were teeny and I was always so impressed at your ability to organize and encourage your kiddos to clean. I loved the way you didn’t fill your house with all the unnecessary items that many parents allow to take over their homes (myself included!) and keep the air and attitude of your home comparably peaceful. I’m sure now with three busy-bodies it is harder and more chaotic but I am still impressed with you and The Man’s ability to work together to create a happy, comfortable, safe place for your kiddos. You amaze me.

  197. Love it! My only hope is that your livingroom is the tidiest room in your house – that picture’s similar to mine, but mine’s only in such decent shape because the kitchen/dining room/rec room/bedrooms/bathrooms look like they should be condemned, most of the time…it never fails to amaze me that within minutes of *actually* cleaning, my tornado of a family whirl through and ta-da! Back to square one. Dusty floors, piles of laundry, and Monster High parts/crayons/cars/stuffed animals/trucks/books strewn everywhere in the living room/rec room/bedrooms (shockingly! regardless of the plethora “organization” bins, etc.); crumbs/milk/dishes/general stickiness in the kitchen…this post was a breath of fresh air!

  198. I am sure with this article you have offended your dearest friends. As for me (childless) I never expected my friends to clean not even a minute before I arrive… I’d be just as happy to sit and fold your laundry while chatting with you and enjoying that you share your life and family. If you feel the urge to clean, then don’t blame others. As your friend I would be cautious to visit you, as you clearly have a strong apprehension toward childless friends.

  199. f you have time to write this post, you have time to clean. I don’t get anything out of what you’ve written, other than my consideration that you must be an immature young lady who thinks she has something to say. If I was having company, the house would be clean, and the children would help learning to pick up after themselves in the process. You sound like someone who didn’t have to clean or tidy up growing up, and so now that you have to…you think you have something to say. No, we would not be friends.

      • No, not condescending or mean spirited..just honest. As much as you are offended by my honesty, I found the post a bit selfish and reeking of a certain self importance. In a manner of trying to be clever (“we can’t be friends”), it simply wasn’t and was in it’s own way off putting. Who has a right to invite or insist of anyone to help with housework as a condition of friendship, because they are not as meticulous as someone else.

      • Some people
        Can’t feel good about themselves unless they criticize, analyze & direct someone else’s life; only then are they able to sleep without their bitterness swallowing their miserable selves whole.

      • Amen to your comment Jenna…geeze always someone wanting to bash other people. …….ugh…….people can be so rude and mean…

      • Lol She’s not saying she doesn’t clean. She’s saying her house is lived in and she doesn’t pretend its something its not and that’s real honest talk not an excuse to have something to say and sit on the computer my goodness. There is a BIG difference in kid toy clutter and a dirty home! I can relate 100% to what she’s saying she spoke the words for me. I too have OCD and am working on not cleaning up the toy mess 10 times a day rather than let it be and enjoy your kids while there kids that lil mess can wait your kids cant. :)

    • You could easily have read this, decided it was not for you, and just left it at that. There is no need to belittle another wife and mother because she shared her heart. As someone who struggles regularly with getting my home clean and organized, let alone keeping my home that way, I appreciate what she is doing here. She is saying ‘let’s be honest with each other about who we are and how our lives are lived’. I have acquaintances who will never know the depth of my struggles with the house, but my friends know and love me anyway.

    • You come across as someone who is very condescending and judgmental – not exactly someone I would want to be friends with. Maybe she wrote this in little snippets between snacks and naps. Just because you have a clean house you think you have something to say, but a clean house is not what makes you a good mother or a good person. You may have been taught to clean when you were a child, but you must not have been taught to be nice to people.

      • Katie examine your reactions closely – she has a good point, if she is right – then you are a more cunning writer than you think. You should try ads – I mean this seriously! You could be right on the cash money with your persuasion!

      • Ok here is my two cents lol I believe in the way a person is and not their home! It’s nice to have a clean home but it doesn’t make you better then someone that doesn’t lol I would rather hang out with someone that says I will finish that chore latter!!! Then someone that can’t hangout because she has chores to do all the time!!!

    • You are an IDIOT. And you don’t even realize that reason you think this way is because you have been conditioned to think this way. The best revenge is that people like you will remain ignorant and stick to their miserable ways of thinking until they die. Good day. Please carry on.

    • your kids will grow up to not like you at all, you have missed the point and put objects and impressions above your relationships with your children and others

    • Why would she want to be friends with a self-righteous snob anyway? And the post wasn’t insisting on help as a condition of friendship, only as a way to show your comfort and ease with the chaos that parents (admittedly the imperfect, immature and lazy ones- not you, of course) deal with daily.

    • I don’t think she was implying anyone help her with folding clothes but that she would fold them as they talked! I have friends who would never mind me folding my clothes in front of them!

    • Wow you must just be the best mom ever. I applaud you for having your shit together. Because obviously you are just soo much better than the rest of us so good for you lady! You go on doing good in the world, judging people and teaching your perfect children how to be judgemental! I hope one day I can be as judgemental and mean hearted as you because you are obviously so much better then me. Good for you bitch, enjoy your long happy life of being an asshole :) while you are busy being so idiotic and judgemental, I will be enjoying my time in my messy house with my son, but you enjoy your clean house and your snobby kids :)

    • First off, the only part of this I found rude was that it was directed at “moms” When it should be directed at parents. I am a single dad and i go through all of the same things. I scramble to work two jobs raise my son and in the midst try to keep a home I hope to be proud of for both me and my son. Although I get the idea that it is difficult at times and there are more important things, . I do think that this is a bit whiny. You can’t keep up with the house and a couple of kids perhaps you should’ve chosen a different life. Obviously it bothers you enough to have Taken all of this time away from your family, kids and cleaning to make a big deal about it. I would say if this is how you are thinking, you likely judge others although you don’t want to be judged. True friends and family will not judge you on how tidy your house is. I would spend more time worrying about what you’re happy with and stop thinking about what others think of you and your home. If you and your family are happy and cared for then smile and know that all is good in the world.

      • My point exactly, many of these responses seem to be from people who are confusing honesty with being rude, bashing, judgmentalism etc..which is a problem with a younger generation. Anyone who doesn’t agree with whining is a “bitch”. It’s just so typical, and I think that is one reason why I even replied to this in the first place. I’m not troll, nor do I claim to have everything together. And, my family is quite happy and well adjusted. The bottom line, is I found the original post off putting and judgmental in it’s own way, and I even responded as such in another reply to clarify this. But, no one is replying to that one. :-)

    • You are an uncaring bitch who needs to take a long look and pray to God that your children don’t turn out like you. My name is Anne and if you want to vent some more, write back or get some help.

    • I’m sure she means if someone is going to stop by unexpected. For one, that picture is not a huge mess and for another, I’m sure she picks up for major gatherings. You are missing the point. If she feels that she had to have a spotless house just for someone to come over or they will judge her, then she doesn’t need them in her life. I agree 100%!! You don’t know if she has the kids helping and all that. She isn’t saying screw it and going all out hoarders style. Wake up and stop being one of those judgmental people. I for one found this blog because of this post and it really spoke to me as well as the other posts I have read and I am now going to always be a full time reader!!

    • I agree with sigridr fully! Also, I can’t believe how mean everyone is just because someone has a different opinion. People are not trolls, or bitches, or awful because they have a different opinion. I am embarrassed how all of the mothers have responded.

    • I agree with sigridr fully! Also, I can’t believe how mean everyone is just because someone has a different opinion. People are not trolls, or bitches, or awful because they have a different opinion. I am embarrassed how all of the mothers have responded.

    • Wow…everyone has a right to there opinion..however I guess you never got the lesson in childhood if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything…I’m a mother of 3 and one on the way and this post hit home for me I have a beautiful home but I will play Barbies before I clean anyday because that’s why I became a mother…to enjoy my children and let them be children and not mini slaves they clean up like a child should buy cleaning is not the most important lesson in life for a child…thanks for sharing

      • My friend saw this, tagged me and shared. It hit home for both of us. There are def days my house looks like that lol. Full time school, two kids under 4, I do try and keep up, they are simply faster than me lol! One of the biggest lesons im working on is letting some of it go. Id rather my kids remember me for playing with them then having a floor you can eat off. I loved that she wrote this!

    • You sound like a bitch who spreads negativity and toxic energy who if your comment was directed at me I wouldn’t wanna be your friend any…….. Cest La Vie!

    • Are you a working mother (outside of the house)? Do you get any kind of governmental aide? Better yet, do you even have any children? So very curious on these answers of yours.

    • Sometimes creativity also takes precedence over a clean home. Creativity regenerates and energizes in ways that cannot be discounted. And writing for this blogger is likely part of that creative side of her. If you don’t encourage your friends in their creativity and to spend time with their kids at the expense of impressing other people, then yes, you are likely right in saying you wouldn’t be her friend. I am not sure you are able to truly be a friend to any mother of young children.

    • If you have a look at the picture the house maybe messy but definitely not dirty! There is a huge difference. She obviously cleans! But let’s her kids have a bit of a life also. But quick you better get off here you have cleaning to do.

    • I’ve just encountered my first TROLL on a blog post. Wow. A first for everything. sigridr, we’re all gonna just assume you’re just a troll, trying to stir up the pot. Plus, this blog doesn’t really apply to you because with an attitude like yours, there’s just no flippin’ way you have company anyway. No one wants a rude, judgmental bully as a friend so enjoy your immaculate, perfect, and EMPTY house.

    • OK, Sigrid. We get it. You’re one of “those moms.” You know–the “with it” moms. The ones with the spotless homes, clean cars and empty laundry baskets. Good for you. Honestly. BUT for you to call the author “immature” and to judge her for what she wrote on HER blog…sheesh. That’s just rude. Learn some manners, Sigrid. And enjoy that super clean house because with an attitude like yours, I can’t imagine WHO would want to come visit you.

    • Well, that was quite rude. You claim that you’re just being ‘honest’ while criticizing someone who, like you, is also being honest. Calm down, will ya?

    • The room is clean but Play (kids’ work) is in progress. There is a difference. When my girls were small, I would bleach countertops, wash the floor at least once a week (the kitchen floor more often) so that the kids could be creative. Nothing in that rooms looks like it couldn’t be swept into the chest at short notice if a member of the White Glove brigade waltzed in.

    • The beautiful woman who shared this blog, is the most compassionate human being I know.
      You want to comment on how she grew up without doing a single chore? Ha! Quite the contrary! This woman has worked hard everyday of her life, from the time she could do chores. She has come to a point in her life, where she sees priorities for exactly that…PRIORITIES! Her children making memories is priority over making sure the floors shine.

    • Two years ago my son died. I am so glad that I did not view things the way you do. I did not stress out if the toys where out, and things where not perfect. I would not stress myself and my children out just to impress others. I completely agree with the writer of this note. If people can’t come to my house just to spend time with me and not inspect my house keeping skills. they can stay home I don’t want them as a friend anyway.
      Your children are much more important then a perfect house. The cleaning can wait until they go to bed or school. I am not saying that they should not be responsible for their toys or the mess they make, but stop stressing.
      I am glad I didn’t have any regrets when I buried my son. He was a happy, friendly young man, and those who knew him loved him.
      So keep your house perfect and stress your children out for your company. I hope you don’t one day regret it.

    • I find life very interesting. I have had many adventures. Almost right out of high school I joined the Navy.
      After I got off of active duty, I started college and went for a year.
      I married a wonderful man I met in the navy.
      You see, I have very few close friends. I find that people are very judgmental. No, my home and my life have never been the same after I started having children. Our oldest was diagnosed as fully autistic at 4 years old. My house has never been clean since. My focus has been my children and my husband. That’s why our oldest was mainstreamed in high school. He is now 24. I consider people more important than a spotless house.
      Even my family is judgmental. My mother, told our 19 year old, our second child, that he and the rest of our children should never have been born after we found out our oldest was disabled.
      Its the same thing my sister has said for years.
      I would bet money, that right now you would not be capable of living the life I lead now. My family and I are homesteading. We bought 5 acres of land. There is an old barn on it and a cinder block building on it that is app. 11 feet by 22 feet. 8 of us have lived here for more than a year. We don’t have electricity. The power company wanted a large deposit that we didn’t have. We shower at the Y. I don’t have a kitchen. I’ve been cooking on a charcoal grill, outside for more than a year now. I’ve learned that at 30° or less, you must put a lid on your skillet when cooking pancakes. As the bottom cooks the top freezes. Its very important to us to stay away from the governmental dole, if possible.
      Life can be very entertaining though. We all lead different types of lives and what’s important to me is obviously not important to others. You’ve made that very clear. Sorry this is a bit jumbled. I’ve been working to install a wood burning stove today in temps around 14°, and all of the piping. My brain is ready for bed. So ill say good night. Just remember, judge not least ye be judged.

    • Wow! Your mom didn’t teach you if you have nothing nice to say. Say nothing at all . Iam a grandma of 7 and I believe a house should be lived in not a muesem were you can’t touch a thing. Yes children should be taught to clean up.Which iam sure the above mothers kids know how .we could be friends I know chatos.

    • Errr, what planet do you live on?? Well done for allegedly being wonder woman and also for having your kids regimented at such an early age…. all ready for working hard and being boring little workforce soldiers of the future. Kids are meant to play, get dirty, cause trouble and generally have fun with life. We bring them into this place to play without consequence; to do as they please whilst learning about life and also to know, before we even have kids, that we will have a lot of hard work on our hands if they are to be allowed to play and stay innocent in life. You sound like a strict, boring mother that has her kids clicked into place with what you want and not what they need….. well done in raising such sheep.

      And for the record, i’m a father not a mother and i look after our daughter every day. She is polite and curtious which is all off her own back, not because she’s told to be. She does as she pleases when she plays but is never naughty as she doesn’t need to be. She has a wild imagination and she plays hard like kids are supposed to. Instead of setting routines and rules, try letting your kids just BE kids without the added pressure of having to be so controlled as a result of playing.

    • Rude! Obviously this is a lady who can’t have friends unless her house is immaculate! Have fun with those friends. Us down to earth real people who would rather spend our time nurturing and loving our children while leaving our house a mess for a bit will find each other and be the best of friends! I used to have anxiety because after I had my kids I thought my house had to look the way it did BC (before kids) every day. This is impossible and will only cause you to need medication! That is just nonsense. Life is too short! Live Laugh Love!

    • Complete self-absorbed bullshit. You have time to be on the computer blogging, then you have time to clean the crumbs off of your counter. And if you said you have a 9 year old, then she should be helping you clean. Children should always pick up after themselves no matter how old. Sure you can have some laundry unfolded, but keep it out of the living areas. I have a 15 month old, and two 7 year olds… my house may not be perfect, but I keep my living areas clean, and the kids make sure their rooms are clean before bed every night. It’s called parenting.

    • sigridr, if you’re a mom, start putting away money for teen pregnancy, your counseling (because you’re inevitably going to be stressed if you choose mopping over dancing with your kid) and your kids counseling. I’m one of those moms who’s crazy about cleaning, but it’s stressful. I think your post is awesome, I’m going to try and temper my OCD to have a little more fun with my husband and son (men are sooo freaking messy lol)

    • Wow. You’re truly a bitch. This is what is wrong with female relationships – SO JUDGEY!! If we would unite as women instead of being the first to sink their claws into one another.. you are the epitome of what is wrong with female relationships.

    • My home is clean and organized.this doesn’t mean that I spend hours cleaning or that I dislike people who don’t have a tidy home.I keep my home organized because that’s how my family functions.none of us do well if things are messy or out of place.I don’t mind people having things the way they want since it is there home.just remember I would like the same respect right back

    • I was thinking the same thing. How long did it take you to write and edit this post? Probably the amount of time it would take to wipe down the bathroom sink or do a few dishes. My mom raised 4 kids and our house was always clean. I also had to pick up after myself. If people spent less time on facebook and the internet they’d get a whole lot more done.

    • I understand what the author is saying. I am not trying to start a fight but what house takes 3 hours to clean. I can clean up a kids area in 10-15min. That’s a long time to actually be picking up things if you time. I can clean our whole house from top to bottom in about an hour to an hour and a half. Looking at the pictures on your blog it rarely seems that your house is messy. The last things is it felt like if I enjoyed a clean house or was raised to respect the things I have and put them away etc… That we can’t be friends just because of that. I don’t understand why you can only be friends with people that are “messy” or don’t spend hours cleaning. That seems pretty limiting. I have friends of all kinds. Some with clean houses some with “messy” houses but I don’t judge them. It’s their house, their rules, their kids… But I am not going to tell someone to clean their house or leave it messy just so I can personally be ok and feel no pressure. Clean and messy are relative terms as well. Travel to a third world country and you would probably say everything is messy when in reality it is clean to them. Travel to a more strict culture that values clean and organization and you would probably not be friends with them. I am a middle class American as well but I also understand we all come from different backgrounds and were raised differently. I hope none of us miss out on people just because of the way their home looks be it clean or messy.

    • sigridr I feel sorry for you. You seem more worried about appearances than spending time with your kids as they grow. I fear you will have regrets. Besides, didn’t your mom teach you that if you can’t say something nice to not say it at all?

    • Well, the writer could always be my friend. I’d love a friend whom I could just pop over and see if I have a rare semi-free 20 min. I won’t judge. I’ll bring a snack and my own tea. It is definitely good for morale.

    • It’s pretty obvious you didn’t “get” what the article is really about! Stuff isn’t important; relationships are. No hidden agenda, no need to put people down… man…

    • Just want to say it looks really good just like that. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I agree with the message. We homeschool so we have a whole library here, science experiments in process, craft projects drying and kid art all over. Now that mine are 16 & 13 the mess is less but trust me it can get so messy with little ones.

    • sidridr. It is all about priorities. Blogging seems like a great way to keep a journal. Which to many is important. There are even studies that say that keeping a journal is important for mental health. And I would say that good mental health is important for being a good mother. Wouldn’t you? And if journal writing doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean that you know what works for everyone. That is quite impressive that you are always able to have your house clean whenever someone comes over. But for some that is just not the priority. In order for me to accomplish that, I would have to have my house tidy 100% of the time, because often my friends just show up unannounced. And I love that they feel comfortable enough to do that. I for one am grateful that women like the author of this post spend the time to help encourage women like myself. She is doing more than raising children. She is using her experience to make a positive difference in other women’s life instead of tearing them down. It’s a shame you would not be friends with this author. It sounds like she would make an amazing friend.

    • Wow, I would take the friend with a kind heart and a messy heart, rather than the clean house and mean spirit. Thank you to the author for being real and reminding us to be real!

    • Lady whose life isn’t determined by the state of her house: Would you call her an IDIOT to her face? Or is it easier to do so because there is a computer screen in front of you? I am all for a difference of opinion, but name calling is not necessary.

  200. Wow, I would rather a fries with a messy house and a kind heart than a clean house and mean spirit. Thank you to the author for being real and reminding us to be real. There’s a saying “those that mind don’t matter, those that matter don’t mind”!

  201. No, not condescending or mean spirited..just honest. As much as you are offended by my honesty, I found the post a bit selfish and reeking of a certain self importance. In a manner of trying to be clever (“we can’t be friends”), it simply wasn’t and was in it’s own way off putting. Who has a right to invite or insist of anyone to help with housework as a condition of friendship, because they are not as meticulous as someone else.

    • She didn’t say that a condition of friendship is cleaning her house, it’s a best friend is someone who’ll talk while you fold your washing… Like your OWN washing, they talk – you fold. Makes more sense? Especially when play dates can eat into housework time, it’s stressful knowing there’s things to be done and feeling like you need to “entertain”, but it’s a non-issue with close friends, like the other day I had a friend I’ve known for over a decade visiting and I asked if she’d mind coming outside as I needed to hang out washing – whereas I couldn’t do that with someone I didn’t know so well.

      But I DO clean before people come over, I find I feel very vulnerable if someone sees my “mess” I do clean frantically before someone arrives.

    • sigridr, I think you missed the point. the point is, please don’t judge a person because their home is messy. just enjoy the person’s company and understand that spending time with her kids and her friends is time better spent than cleaning up a mess that will never be clean.

      • Also, mommy blogs are a way of relieving stress so you don’t take it out on the kids. That is way more important than worrying about how clean her house is because someone like you might come to visit.

    • Judging by your username, sigridr, I am guessing you are German. If I am correct, your directness is a product of culture. I have to say that you do seem very judgemental and offputting from my cultural perspective but I will take your word for it that that is not what is in your heart. As to the post-having young children is a very busy time of life-we cannot know what other responsibilities she also has. I’m a grandmother-from my perspective, a cluttered house is not the worst thing in the world if the priority is spending time and energy on the children. And what is clutter to one person might not be to another.
      I get what she is saying and I agree with it.

    • When you say you’re being honest, that has nothing to do with whether you are being rude and judgmental. The problem is not that you typed what you (honestly) felt. The problem is what you felt. Do you think most people who say something rude are lying? No, of course not. Just thought you might find it helpful to learn that what you are saying to defend yourself is completely irrelevant/tangential to the problems others have raised with your post.

      Also, you may not know this, but every child is completely different and unique. Please do not assume that what you are able to accomplish with your children at home has any meaningful implication on what others (who have different kids than you have) are able to accomplish with their children at home. Remember, some children are just simple-minded, compliant kids who go through life following directions without any ability to think critically or for themselves. Other children are brilliant and question everything they hear, perhaps coming across as less compliant and perhaps even leading to messy houses. With that in mind, you might consider resisting the urge to brag about how clean your house is.

  202. i think you have a beautiful house, and with that much space the mess don’t look bad at all. in houses like mine that r short of space a little mess looks like a disaster area! x

  203. Tx for sharing. It definetely made me feel better and put a little smile of recognition on my face. Not to say that my place is messy all of the time as I do make an effort tidying it up every evening again. Also the nanny helps out a lot on that front. The idea that the messiness will continue well into their teens is a bit daunting though… (As they are 5 and 3… So plenty to go still). I try to get the kids to help clean up their mess but get distracted for a moment and they’ve opened another few boxes of toys and you’re back to square one again. Anyhow… All the help you can get is welcome and non judgemental friends are the best! Times are different. My parents hardly spend time playing with us while nowadays we seem to believe we have to be supermoms, great wives, employees of the month AND great housekeepers… All fitted in a 7 day week… Get real!!!

  204. my grandmother once told me that the secret to happiness is good times with your children and that no adult has ever said ” my best memory´s in life are that when mother was cleaning” Lets make happy memories with children playing and making mess :)

  205. Wow. Gotta say that it was a shock to see such a strong negative comment regarding this piece. If you can’t identify, that’s ok.No need to dissect the author and fold up the pieces like rows of ironed undies. We all have to remind ourselves of the actual human beings our words may hurt. Peace.

      • I have actually told new acquaintances this when we are in early friendship stages and I am still friends with every one of them. If they can’t handle the kid mess, then I don’t want to be friends with them because they are clearly too judgmental! I would rather leave my kids’ blanket tent up for days than have a tidy living room!

  206. It is so disheartening that the ‘trolls’ of the internet are everywhere, ruining a perfectly good and honest post. I can really really relate to this, thank you for posting it. My mother cleaned all the time when she wasn’t working full time. I am 40 and have a distant unhappy relationship with her to this day. I don’t remember anything relaxing or fun about my childhood but if she thought more like you I’m sure that would be so different. My house is a complete mess with my toddlers here right now and I am ok with that!! xo

  207. Feom my wifes nanna “Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow… For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow… So quiwt down cobwebs… Dust go to sleep… I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep!!”
    Ps i wish my house was as clean as yours.
    @sigridr you are truly ignorant to the story and please stop apreading your poison, learn how to smile and spread cheer.

  208. I loved this post! It’s all about being real and turkey authentic. I am a very clean person but it’s so true about friendships. I don’t need to impress you if your my real true friend.

  209. Never feel the urge to clean just because friends are stopping by, they come to see you, not your house. Offer tea/coffee and kind words, that is the greatest need of every mother, we need to be encouraging each other because the world is ready to tear you apart for choosing the best part of life, a family .

  210. Wowsers!!!!!

    Firstly – love the post!!! It’s like something I could scream from The roof tops!
    Secondly – to the wonderful first commenter – time to zip your lips I think, I am a very busy mum to 5 kids, we homeschool and I study, and work from home, we are as busy as all hell, and I’ll be honest and say my house usually looks worse than Cari’s, I clean, they clean too… But it only takes a matter of minutes before the house resembles a bomb blast regardless of how much cleaning is done by anyone!!! We choose to spend our spare time with the kids having fun rather than yelling at them to work! This in no way says we cannot handle the number of children we have, it just shows that we would rather enjoy time with the kids than making it all about house work!

    And no I’m not raising kids who don’t do work, they have daily jobs, this is why the dishes are done daily and the kitty litter is cleaned, and rubbish taken out ect…. It’s the table full of arts and craft that they wanna use in the morning or the 5 boxes of lego left of for days cause they are building stuff when they are not doing school work… Or hell the 2 yr olds collection of ball pit balls and duplo all over the living room floor that we don’t stress over, once a week a big clean gets done, it enables the floors to be done and that makes me happy,!, if you come to my house, be prepared for it to look like I described, I might even have a sink full of dishes as I was thoughtful enough to cook some yummy treats for our visitors (yep lets just say that … Makes the unexpected visitor feel more welcome! Lol) and the kids, . Oh and if you find a bag of wet nappies tied the the front door it’s all good, it just means I have been running around with the kids all morning and havent stepped out the door yet to take it to the bin, in fact you might even get thanked for reminding me to take it to the bin! , we won’t discuss washing…. Cause it’s an evil enemy in this house… Lol but the kids have clean clothes… Even if they are in piles in my wardrobe!!

  211. I am almost 30 years old and no, I don’t have kids. Instead, I have two cats and a (very) messy boyfriend and that is more than enough for me right now. Although I am a Corporate Recruiter now, I worked as a Nanny many years for an absolutely amazing family. It’s hard work and I agree, Mom’s out there do not get enough credit – but not all Mom’s have the luxury of having a full-time Nanny, nor the ability to be a stay at home Mom.

    After coming across this blog, and more specifically, this post, I have to say that while I may not agree 100% with the purpose behind the post, I was so much more dismayed, bothered, and all-around disgusted by every single comment above.

    Each, and every single one of us (yes, all of us) is entitled to our own opinion. Can you imagine what a boring world it would be if we weren’t allowed this ‘right’ as human beings?

    Despite how many people posted scathing, rude, and used uncalled-for “flowery” language (by which you’ve set a great example for your own children by using by the way – don’t forget you can’t erase what once has been posted on the internet!), what bothered me the most was how horrible, we, as women, treat each other. Each and every one of you (you know who you are) should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. What do you get from calling another woman horrible names simply because she expressed her own opinion?! No person, or woman in this case, should ever have to defend her opinion to another. I give sigridr accolades for having the guts to say something when she knew it wasn’t the “popular” belief. And I say shame on all of you “Anonymous” users who refused to stand to their own name. What right did you have? Did you know when you pointed your finger you had three pointing right back at you?

    “Judge not, lest ye be judged”.

    What is it going to take for we women to have eachother’s backs -REGARDLESS of our own beliefs, morals, and opinions?

  212. Balance is the key, don’t you think? If you are not “dirty” and the kids are happy…if your friend is not uncomfortable and neither are you then no prob.

  213. What a great love letter to all my mom (and non-mom) friends! Seasons of life must be taken in and appreciated/accepted as they are, and motherhood with young kids is one of them. This goes for pet-ownerhood too ♥

  214. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. I think that if someone is meticulous and the other is not that is not a reason to be friends or not. It is all about accepting one another as we are and loving each other for all those reasons. Who gives a $$^^(*(&* who is neat and who isn’t, nobody really cares in the grand scheme of things. Life is too short and friendships are too valuable to care about such things!

  215. From a Mom and Grandma, wife, mother in law and friend……. Love and accept the woman who desires a clean house for company or one who just can’t or won’t, or doesn’t care at that point or ever in her life about a clean house. We are all in different places and different stages and of different opinions. If you love the woman, you love her. If you don’t you don’t. It NEVER has anything to do about how messy her house is. Ladies, relax. Be yourselves. Your friends will be your friends no matter the state of your house. What is unacceptable though is, judging another for being different, or having a different opinion than you. That’s not ladylike! :) <3

  216. Who really cares what your house looks like, that isn’t what life is about. If someone was a true friend they wouldn’t give a $%^&*(). Life is too short and if you have to worry what your friend thinks then you have something else going on. Some people are meticulous and some aren’t but friendship is all about accepting each other for what we really are and loving each other for that. Life is way too short and friendships are way to valuable to worry about such small shit. Love, live and laugh, accept me for me and I will love you for you not for how clean your flippin house is.

  217. Wow I’m surprised at the comments about this innocent post. I appreciate the sincerity of this post. This is photo of a clean home with a few scattered children’s toys lying around. This is by no means a filthy hoarder’s home — not even close. If it was — then I can see why someone would post a negative comment. But this is a very clean home with a few scattered toys. I keep a very clean house — but I can completely relate to this post because this is what my clean house looks like after my kids come home from school EVERY single day. As a mom who works over 15+ hours a day — seven days a week, who helps her kids with their daily homework, who makes dinner, and who cleans her house daily etc. etc. etc. – I can appreciate this post. Because I used to keep a “perfect” house. One with not a thing out of place (that is — when I had more time to be an extra-clean freak). I was brought up that way. So for me it was natural. And I’m not just talking about surface clean — I’m talking about under the refrigerator clean. Everything super-sanitized clean. Maybe even crazy OCD clean. But now that my time is more limited — I’ve grown to understand it’s o.k. to not have that “perfect” of a house. Because I just don’t have the time. And that’s not because I’m sitting on my butt — that’s because I’m running around doing a million other things that have to be done. I can’t remember the last time I “sat on my butt” to relax. So I can totally relate to this post. With the judgmental world we live in — I can relate to her saying “It’s o.k. – I’m doing the best I can. And please don’t judge. Just be my friend and know there’s only so much time in the day – and I’ve chosen to make the most of it by prioritizing.” That’s an innocent enough statement. I value it — and I can relate. Especially when you know damn well everyone is judging — it’s what we humans do. I do it. We all do it. And it’s ever-so apparent from the comments about this post. So I appreciate this post. It’s a reminder to us all to slow down! Live in the moment. And appreciate the little messes — and if you happen to visit a friend who has a little mess — don’t judge. Just be.

  218. Too much attention given to the nasty folks. Let’s forget the name calling and focus on the author. I was thankful for and smiled at this post as I read itn!! As a single mom of four girls- two of which are ages 1 and 2 my life can be overwhelming. I absolutely love a clean house but I love my children of course so much more and realize there will come a day when they won’t want to snuggle , chat or play games with mom. Childhood is short. I also related as I have someone In my life that comes over often and always has to comment. Relationships are so much more important. And my house is a happy mess not a filth hole..so play on there will.e a day when we busy moms will have our clean houses

  219. Well said!! Real friends think nothing of coming over and helping fold some washing while you have a chat. If they are more concerned over a messy house than your company you need better friends.

  220. Wow ! Obviously ur a bitter person ! Good luck pushing all your fake friends away you clearly don’t have any REAL friendships , because if you did u would no EXACTLY what she means in this ! I actually think u cud be a man in all honesty cos I don’t believe a real mum wud have them thoughts , anyway here here ! I love this !! Hahaha the moral is if u r truly friends I don’t need to pretend and to b friends we need to b real with each other NOT FAKE , I am a busy working mum !! Unfortunately I do have OCD so between work and th kids an the house I have no time for much else I also have really good relationships worth my kids we have a lot of family time playing/snuggled with films/goin out/craft days/baking+cooking obviously not every day but we do a lot my kids so help me with th house too BUT my friends accept me my kids and my house AS WE ARE ! Wether my house be a mess or wether they r following me round with thir brew as I clean they don’t care ! They certainly wudnt think twice about helpin me fold. Basket or two of washing ! Cos quite frankly they love/like me so WANT to help as we sit gabbing an Laffin ! A friend DOES NOT judge u an wud tell u to stop worrying they r there for a catch up with u not to score how ur house is looking ! And another thing ! Ur friends your true friends ! Would rather see the children they also care for ( because hey love u they love/like ur kids) to be happy and playing a child can’t play with no toys around haha I love this post so much haha well done hunny I wud he your friend ! Cos ur obviously REAL ;) xx

    • I posted last night, but was too cold and tired to post much than a brief outline of my life.
      What I was attempting to share with all of you, is that life tends to throw us curve balls. Its not that we have challenges, its how we deal with those challenges. Its who we share our time with and how we share that time with them that is important. As one poster put it, thank God she spent good quality time with her son before he passed.
      I have 5 children. Each child is different in extremes. Our middle child keeps reminding me of a Valentine’s day event that I created for my family when she was very young. We had very little money to work with. I took red felt and cut out heart shaped place mats. I bought a red and white checked table cloth on clearance. I bought V-day cups at Walgreen’s, 8 for a dollar. I made homemade spaghetti for dinner. I set the table with presission, the way I learned from my grandmother. We all had a lot of fun and it made my family feel cherished.
      We also would have tea parties. I found demitasse cups on clearance and bought cookies. Its very easy to teach kids proper table manners when you are having a tea party.
      My husband and I would take the kids on adventures. We would take them hiking at parks all over, within range.
      We would have a spring and fall bon fire and invite the neighbors over to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.
      When our kids were older, we had to drive 2 old cars, but we took the kids to Philadelphia to see the Liberty bell and Independence Hall, Christ Church, Benjamin Franklins museum, etc. We ate chili cheese dogs on a street corner. We went to Shawne State park and hiked 4 miles. Part of the trail was the road George Washington road from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh on horse back. We made many, many other fascinating stops along the way, too many to list. It was a blast, even though we had to sleep in cold cars and eat the snacks we brought with us. That trip was a week long adventure and our kids got a history lesson most kids don’t get.
      We did all of this with a special needs child.
      I’m sharing this with you to give you food for thought. What ideas can you come up with to show your family how important they are to you?

  221. Friends don’t notice the mess. Life is life with little ones, and when my kids were young, my friend and I sat down and folded clothes or washed dishes together. Happy, happy, happy!

  222. This is women at their worse. The reaction by most of those above to a difference of opinion is disgusting, especially the post that implies children who listen to their parents stupid. Hopefully your children don’t follow in your steps when faced with differences of opinions.

  223. I get what she’s saying. I think she was trying to make the point that if the only time her friend might come over is if her house is spotless. And she was saying that with three kids its not going to be all the time, its just not. Yes be tidy of course but spotless no. And doing some of her housework wasn’t a condition of her friendship with her friends, she was just saying if the unfolded clothes bother her friend at the moment then by all means fold them if she wants to. And she was also putting her friend at ease that its okay for her house to be a little unkept sometimes, she wasnt’ going to visit her friends house. Everyone needs to stop bashing each other on here. You don’t have to agree but no one should be mean for anyone’s opinion, the author’s or the commentors. Come on moms we got enough to do during the day!

  224. I don’t feel like there is anything wrong with looking at your kids and saying, “Ok guys, *friend* is coming over and we are going to have fun, but first we need to pick this up.” Kids learn responsibility and pride in themselves that way. My mother believed that houses should be immaculate when company comes over. I try to have a happy medium attitude with this. Haha! Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But my 9 year old picks up his room, his toys, his 1 year old brothers stuff, sweeps, puts away dishes. He helps. And my house (and life) is more organized, because we teach him the importance of having this and other responsibilities. Let me add my disclaimer now: I’m not saying the writer of this post doesn’t engage her kids in tidying and organizing. I’m not saying she’s wrong in any way. This is just how I would approach the situation. Not better, not worse, just different. And that should be ok.

    • I may be mistaken but I gathered from the tone of the article that this is a stay at home mom. Surely she can find an hour a day to tidy up. I managed that while working full time outside the home, even if I had to do it at 11 p.m. when the kids were asleep. It’s called being a responsible adult. Not rocket science.