Real Homes Look Like…YOUR Home
I read an article recently about what a “real” home looks like when you have kids: laundry everywhere, dishes in the sink, toys on the floor…
The purpose of the article, I’m sure, was to make us moms feel better about the condition of our homes and to help us realize that it’s not the end of the world if our home looks lived in. I appreciate that, because my house certainly looks lived in!
But the author also seemed to be poking some fun at those moms who have clean homes. Reader comments on the article pointed fingers at “clean freaks” and “OCD” and some critical comments even implied that mothers must not have their priorities in order if their house isn’t a mess. The tone of it all just started to feel a little “judgy” to me. I wondered, “What’s wrong with having a clean house?”
The Pendulum Swing of “Don’t Judge This”
I think most of us have come far enough that we can agree you shouldn’t have to apologize for your messy house- but my goodness, has the pendulum swung so far that you now need to apologize for your clean house?
Now, I wouldn’t say my house is necessarily clean. (That’s not really an issue of mine!) But I am going to admit something. The very first article I ever published on grkids.com was about why I was choosing to take a step back from Facebook. And the impetus for that decision, which I did not choose to include in that article at the time, was an article that someone had posted on Facebook earlier. It was poking fun at the moms who spend a lot of time on birthday parties for their kids, and based on the comments, a lot of people were in agreement with this author.
It kind of struck a nerve with me because I’m one of those birthday party moms. Birthday parties are pretty much the one thing I enjoy “going all out” on for my kids. It’s a fun creative outlet for me. But suddenly I felt embarrassed about it, so I ultimately decided I didn’t need social media making me feel bad about myself and thus stepped away from Facebook.
I’ve been seeing and hearing this attitude among my fellow moms more and more and it bothers me.
Is a Talent Something to be Ashamed Of?
I was talking with a few friends recently and we were discussing the chaos in our homes that morning as we tried to wrangle kids and get ourselves ready and kids ready and everyone out the door.
One of my friends turned to me and said teasingly, “Knowing you, you probably already have dinner in the crockpot!” I didn’t. But I could have. I know she was just teasing, but would that have been something to be ashamed of? And then, the next week I was at her house…and she had homemade soup bubbling on the stove at 9:30 in the morning! I admit I thought, “Well, who are you to talk?”
I recently heard a speaker share her message about “being yourself” It was a great talk, but she made a comment about, “those moms who have to get up early just make sure their hair and makeup and outfit look perfect.”
The woman seated next to me turned to me and said, “Ha! I don’t care at all. I just rolled out of bed 15 minutes before I came here!” I looked at her and thought, “There is no way you roll out of bed and look like that!”
So why did she feel like she needed to say that? What are we as moms and women saying to each other that makes us feel like we need to make excuses for putting forth effort any more? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look nice! If someone wants to get up earlier so that she has time to do her hair and makeup, I don’t feel like that is something worthy of judgment- or something she needs to apologize for- or pretend like she doesn’t do.
It’s as though we still want to do things right or be put together, but we can’t let people know that we are actually putting forth effort because then we’ll look like “that mom.”
Not Judging is a Hard Pill to Swallow
I can be guilty of the judging attitude myself.
I posted a status on Facebook last February about how I hate Valentines and think they were just invented to make non-Pinterest moms feel bad about themselves when they see everyone else posting pictures of their adorable homemade Valentine-making sessions with their kids.
It was obviously a little tongue in cheek. (Although I stand by my opinion that Valentines cards are annoying and pointless!) But still, I wasn’t being fair. There’s nothing wrong with making Valentines with your kids. It doesn’t happen to be my thing, but who am I to make snide comments because you do? It’s wonderful that you do!
So why do we do it? Are we jealous? Secretly insecure? Trying to justify our own actions (or lack thereof)? Maybe. Probably.
I read a quote this morning:
[quote] “I’m realizing you don’t need to change anything about yourself. This is who you are, and it’s okay. That’s daring.” -Uzo Aduba[/quote]
Who We Are Is Okay
Who we are is okay. If you haven’t mopped your kitchen in four weeks, that’s okay. You’re in good company. If your house is immaculate, that’s okay too. If you have food in the crockpot and makeup on your face every single day, that’s okay. If you plan dinner at the last minute every night and haven’t purchased mascara in ten years, that’s okay. We don’t need to apologize for who we are!
And more importantly, let’s consider our words and our attitudes so that we can encourage all types of moms to be content with who they are.