You know what really gets on my tits? (though after two kids, I am not sure I can really claim I have any…small udders maybe?)
This sentiment isn’t new, it’s annoyed me for a while. But today especially when it popped back up on my news feed after a morning spent cleaning the bathroom.
It’s just so passive aggressive. So loaded with judgement.
Basically, the cleaner your home, the more miserable a child. The more neglected. The fewer happy home memories they’ll have. Because you were too busy dancing around with your Swiffer mop.
What a load of crap! Since when is happiness and love measured in laundry piles and dirty dishes? Do you love your child more if you can write their name in dust on the floor?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not Monica from Friends, I don’t deep clean my house every day. But I do tidy it every day whether I am working or not (luckily it’s not that big). Because my brain doesn’t work in clutter. It simply collapses. I can’t think straight, get organized for the next day, and I can’t relax if there is a mess to clear (at least since I hit 26 anyway). So, I do my best to make my kids put away their toys as they go (one in, one out), I tidy up as I go, and by the end of the night, when the kids are in bed, our lounge is calm and kid-clutter free. The kitchen is kid breakfast-lunch-dinner-and-snack mess free. And the floor is swept and clean. Call me anal. Call me a neat freak. But don’t call me a bad mom.
My kids still get my love. And my time. A lot of it. We hang out together and play together, but they are creative, independent little beings who also like to go off and play in their own imaginary world – leaving me time to tidy if I need to. And call me crazy, but I have this insane theory that even when you are tidying, you can still be talking, singing or engaging with your child (if their current imaginary world allows). Hell, sometimes even Maia wants to come and help me tidy. She loves a broom! So this domestic neglect theory drives me insane! I have a clean house and my kids are very happy. I grew up in a clean house (with fancy hand towels ‘only for show’! Ha!) and I was very happy.
So stop it with the narrow definitions of ‘good moms’. You can be a wonderful mom in a messy home, or a fantastic mother in a tidy home. Stop breathing life in to the comparison culture that is unnerving so many parents. We all have our own way of making it through this parenting ride. And we all know what makes our own kids happy. Your way is the right way for you, but not everyone.
What actually keeps me sane is having an organized-not-over-the-top-clean space around me. It keeps me relaxed and feeling in control. It keeps me top of my parenting game. And that makes me happy.
And isn’t that what makes good moms? Happy moms? It’s happy moms that make happy kids.