I Don’t Apologize for the Mess and Neither Should You!
Momma, some days are a struggle, but why is there a temptation to apologize every time we fall short.
There are days you will struggle to keep up with the toys on the floor, the dishes in the sink, or even the laundry piled up waiting to be folded. There are days when you think you’ve got it figured out and things are going well. I find the later thought is few and far between.
It can be overwhelming when those bad days hit you like a Mack truck. I sit here knowing it’s nap time and my living room looks like a toy explosion took place, I have dishes in the sink, and laundry sitting in the washer needing dried. Yet, I know those things will wait for me to get the big priorities out of the way first.
The brand new mom struggle
Having a rough pregnancy, dealing with sky high blood pressure leading to preeclampsia, I was very limited in what I could accomplish. The weight restrictions and moving in the 3rd trimester was rough on me. I was really struggling to keep up and my (now) husband could only do so much after working 10 hour days, and our home suffered.
After the move there was a pile of boxes that lasted for months because we only worked on unpacking for a few hours at a time. Things weren’t perfect, but we were coping.
A few short, sleepless nights after we got home the flood of family and friends started visiting to see the new baby. I was so embarrassed. How could I let people into my home with it like this?
All I could imagine was all the horrible things they were thinking about my housekeeping skills. Of course I had offers to do the dishes, which I graciously accepted. I also allowed my aunt and cousin to do a big clean of the house right after getting home.
Although my family knew I wasn’t allowed to stand more than 5 minutes, had all restrictions from having a c-section, and was still dealing with high blood pressure, I felt the need to apologize for the mess. A mess I couldn’t do much to help or fix.
In the weeks following
As the restrictions lessened, and I was able to enter a sleepless groove, I still found myself apologizing every time someone came over. The mess had progressively gotten better as I was able to keep up, yet it wasn’t up to my pre-baby standards. I wasn’t used to the extra baby clutter.
Then I had a friend come over to meet baby and see the house. Each room we entered I would apologize for the mess. Sure, there were things piling up, laundry and dishes are always never ending. We still had that pesky pile of boxes to contend with. Yet, each and every room we went into I would apologize to her for my mess.
This is a friend I have known since grade school. She is someone that knew my exact situation. Someone who had seen my teenage bedroom… yikes!
Why did I feel like I had to apologize at every turn? Was every room really that bad? It as probably cluttered and could use picking up, but I doubt it was dirty. I’m sure I had dishes to do, they are the bane of my existence.
That moment has stuck with me over the past 18 months. It’s something I have reflected on many times. Why do we feel the need to apologize for not having an instagram worthy home 24/7?
I refuse to apologize now
Now, I know things won’t be perfect. If I want that insta-ready picture I will probably have to move stuff around to hide the ugly. I won’t apologize if you come over with no notice to pick up.
Here are my top reasons for not apologizing.
- We live here, and our focus isn’t always on cleaning.
- Our daughter lives, learns and plays here. Her toys will be out. The size of the mess will be determined by the amount of time that has passed since we last put them away.
- There will probably be dirty dishes. This is almost a guarantee. We eat, I cook, and dishes pile up quick around here, much to my dismay.
- We will have dirty laundry somewhere. Laundry piles up as quick as dishes.
- I work from home. This doesn’t mean I have all day to focus on my home. I make sure to give myself a solid block of working time. Which means sometimes I have to ignore what is going on around me and get what I need to do finished first.
- I don’t have the time or energy to keep a perfectly clean & tidy home. If you do, that’s amazing, and teach me your ways! It’s just not my priority.
- If you choose to drop in on a weekend, know our weekends are for family time. Which means I focus my energy on my family and save housework for the week, excluding those pesky dishes and laundry.
One day my house will be clean again. There won’t be an explosion of toys everywhere from the days play. The carpet won’t have crumbs from a toddler eating a snack.
When that day arrives, I will miss having to clean up the toy explosion multiple times a day. The mess from a days learning and play will be gone, and I will miss those special days.
I wont apologize anymore for living in our home. We know that those picture perfect homes have some area not shown that would reveal the imperfections that come when you have a baby or toddler in the home.
Right now I will hold on to the notion that one day my house will be clean, and I will miss seeing my little girl playing on the floor. My house will wait… and I’m not sorry for the mess.