Saturday, April 5, 2014

Project Real Life- My House

     I had a great conversation with a friend the other day. She had invited some other moms and I over for a get together with the babies and she was telling me about how stressed out she was over getting her house in order. And about how stupid she thought it was that she was letting it stress her out. We are all moms, we all have messes, and we are all friends. What did she feel like she had to prove? I do the same thing. When I have people over I am frantically cleaning for at least two days before and straightening up until the first person shows. But why? The condition of our house is good enough for us to live in day after day, surely our friends can survive it for a few hours. But I'm sure most of us will admit that we would be embarrassed if people saw our home on a regular day. And why? Who cares?

   I get it. A clean house is supposed to be part of the package. Right along with cooking healthy homemade meals and having a color-coordinated wardrobe. But come on...haven't we moved beyond this June  Cleaver ideal of what it means to be a good mother or woman or person? Does the state of your house really have any bearing on your identity or worth? Obviously we're not talking about basic levels of sanitation and hygiene. What we are talking about is a particular aesthetic, and more importantly an aesthetic that is not necessarily appealing to ourselves but that we adopt because we feel it is expected of us. So I'm calling bullshit.

   I'm a messy person. I always have been. I *know* that it's easier to put things away as I use them and clean as I go, but I am still going to set whatever is in my hands on the kitchen island every. damn. time. Every now and then the mess starts to make me feel anxious- so I clean it up. Then I feel better. Then I make the mess again. And that is completely fine because it's just how I roll. In years B.P. (before Perrin), Joey and I cleaned the house top to bottom every week. Every Saturday we picked up, mopped, vacuumed, dusted, and cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. But it only took about 24 hours for the counters to become cluttered again. Now that we are in A.P. (after Perrin), we're lucky if we mop the floors once every two weeks. And Perrin eats off those floors (to be fair he also eats dirt, so I refuse to beat myself up about some dog drool and floor Cheerios- organic floor Cheerios I might add). I don't think to clean the bathroom until the shower curtain get mildewy. At first it drove me insane. But now...I have accepted it. It won't last forever. And even if it does- so what? We are all happy and healthy, what else really matters? Why should I stress myself out over something I couldn't care less about?

   Sometimes I find myself rationalizing it in my head. Perrin is really high maintenance. He lap naps. We are just really busy. If things were different, our house would be much cleaner. But the truth is, I don't think it would be. And I'm sure I could find the time to stay on top of things if I tried harder. I spend a lot of time cruising online home improvement stores. We don't have to go to the zoo AND Children's Museum AND library AND park every single week. But I want to do those things. I like doing them. I like laying in bed with Perrin and snuggling and watching the animals chase each other.  And who knows- maybe some moms are able to do all those things AND have a sparkling clean home. I guess I just don't want it bad enough. And that is ok.

   So the purpose of this post is for everyone to see the different variations of a normal household. Some are minimalist and sparkling. Some look like a tornado hit. But you know what? I doesn't make a bit of difference. Some people are just really good at the house keeping thing. I'm not one of them. I'm good at building things, but I don't expect my friends to build elaborate arbors and remodel their bathroom every time I come over. So here are some pictures submitted by some wonderful friends. We openly and unapologetically invite you into our homes as we live in them. No explanations of why we clean or don't. No lists of the things we do instead. No good intentions. Because we shouldn't have to explain ourselves. We don't owe anyone some arbitrary aesthetic lifestyle. So here is the clean and dirty.  Enjoy.

    We don't make our bed. Ever. I just don't see the point. I don't plan to ever start making my bed. I've read that you sleep better if you do, so I tried it for a little while. Meh. Not worth it. But it looks like I'm not the only one!

Sarah Harris would like to claim her fame for this snuggle fest.

Have I ever mentioned that I HATE folding clothes?

Oh my God! These living rooms look LIVED IN! The horror!

It's like they have baby or something!


I guess I have to own this one.

And then there is the rest..
This will be Perrin's day.

I will set it on the counter. 

Another lovely example from the Harris household
Oh my god Sarah, you can keep a baby AND a plant alive?!

Rodgers in the house! 

So there you have it! Real life in a few of our houses. Feel free to continue sending me pictures. And don't feel bad about leaving those dishes in the sink. Unless you want to wash the dishes. Then go for it! 

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