I recently visited a friend with a toddler and upon my arrival, the first words out of her mouth were, ‘Please excuse the mess. You can barely see the floor through the toys!’ Luckily I wasn’t there to see her floor – I was actually there to catch up with my friend! To be honest, when I walk into a home that has toys on the floor, a washing basket of clothes to be folded or dirty plates in the sink, I don’t frown upon the housekeeping skills of that person, I actually think, here is a home. A place where people live, where mess is made and where people are juggling responsibilities. I feel like it is a glimpse into their real life, not the shiny sanitized version we would all like to portray to the world.
I think a true sign of a good friend is someone who looks past the mess knowing that although there may be crumbs on your kitchen table, you have managed to get your kids off to school and hang out three loads of washing! A good friend doesn’t walk around with a white glove checking for dust on your windowsills, instead they know their way around your kitchen to make themselves a cup of tea while you put your baby to sleep.
Anyone who is a parent knows how much work is involved in caring for kids and apart from the few with OCD, we all know that having kids in the house means mess. It reminds me of the quote “Excuse the mess, my children are making memories!” but I truly don’t think you should have to ask people to excuse the mess. Maybe a better mantra would be “Embrace the mess, my children are making memories!”
Of course in a perfect world our house would stay clean and tidy, but realistically kids create mess and a whole lot of work for us. Once our children are grown and have finally flown the nest, we will have all the time in the world to have sparkly clean houses. For now, let’s focus on being there to support each other and give our attention to our nearest and dearest. After all if people come to visit, they are there to see you, not the floor or the kitchen bench!