Just Because My House Is Always Clean, Doesn’t Mean I’m Ignoring My Kids

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Moms get it from all ends don’t we? If you work then you are a bad mom for not spending those early years with your baby. If you are a stay-at-home mom then you are selfish and putting your family at risk for financial failure.

If you had your kids young then they must’ve been accidents. If you waited until your 30’s or 40’s to have a baby then you put your career before having a family. 

Every single mother that has walked this Earth has had her mothering criticized in one way or another. 

From the first women birthing babies in caves to your grandma and your mom too, we’ve all been ridiculed or questioned by someone in our social circle, our children’s educators or even strangers on social media.

Even the best of us do it to other moms at one point or another. Can you seriously look me in the eye and tell me you never rolled your eyes at another mom in the grocery store checkout while her kid screamed or another mom at the soccer game who only feeds her kid organic snacks? 

We’ve all done it. If you haven’t then your medal should be arriving via carrier pigeon in the next day or so. Congrats!

There are a lot of judgments that chap my ass that get thrown my way as a mom. Whether it’s the way I’m parenting my son with special needs or why my two year old isn’t in a preschool program already. Of all them, you want to know what drives me the most insane?

My House is always clean, yet I feel like I’m being judged for it.

When people come over or I tell them that I just got done cleaning, they look at me like I’m some kind of alien or that I must be on some kind of special energy drink that they have yet to learn about.

The reality is I just like to have my house clean. I like structure and order (and not in a Sleeping with the Enemy kind of way, just schedules and predictability). I like knowing where that paper is that my kid needs signed for his field trip or that my favorite coffee mug will be clean and waiting for me to use the next morning.

The question is, just because my house is always clean, does that make me a bad mom?

The short answer is no. Yet, in current “mom culture” it sure as hell does. Head on down to your favorite department store or hop on Amazon and you will see signs like, “Excuse the mess, memories are being made” or “I’m good at a lot of things, housekeeping isn’t one.”

Something like that. And hey, I love a good snarky sign placed strategically where company can read it and realize that I have a sense of humor, but I also hate being made to feel like I’m somehow an asshole for vacuuming my house a few times per week.

And hey, if cleaning or orderliness isn’t a huge priority to you, then that’s fine too. 

I have four pets. Two dogs that shed like something fierce and two cats that like to puke right on the four feet of carpet we have in our home at least once per week.

I’m the mother of only boys and have a husband that likes to leave crumbs wherever he goes. I find for my own sanity (Type A overachiever in the house!), and for the harmony of my household, keeping up on dirty dishes in the sink and most of the dog hair off the floor works for us.

And before your mind wanders to that other stigma against clean house moms get a lot; Yes, my kids get the majority of my attention.

There is laughter, learning, talking, eating, playing and sometimes they are left to their own devices while I do some chores around the house even. But, my kids will have memories of me spending time with them. 

Cleaning is not a thief of memory making. I promise you this. 

Do you think this was even something your grandma had to worry about? If she’d be judged by her neighbor for mopping her floor instead of throwing the baseball with her son in the front yard?

Maybe, just maybe she taught that same son how to mop the floor and throw the baseball out front too? So he went on to show his daughter the importance of keeping up on daily house chores.

And some grandmas didn’t bother with wiping the table off after dinner, but she spent one day a week doing her family’s laundry. That’s cool too. Her friends probably didn’t give her any shit about her method either. 

So, the next time you tell your friend that she is superhuman for having a house that smells like Febreeze and home baked cookies or you sister admits that she washes the clothes and the dishes every night before tucking her kids into bed, can you just stop a minute and remember that just because it’s important to her doesn’t make her a bad mom.

Just like you wouldn’t be one for not doing any of these things all the time either.

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