I have read the sentiment over and over in other mommy blogs, on Pinterest, and various cutesy signs. They read something like this: ‘Excuse the mess, children are making memories’ or ‘Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, and happy kids’ etc.
Its time I come clean. I am a mom with a [generally, usually] clean home. And, *gasp*, I think I might actually be an ok mom too! And I am fairly sure my child’s brain will be able to function enough to make memories in clean surroundings as well! So what happened here? Why did someone feel the need to create these signs? To defend herself against all the clean-housed mothers of the world? To feel like she has to publicly comment about the state of her living room? I am willing to bet someone made her feel bad about having a dirty house. And maybe it wasn’t her mother-in-law or her perfect best friend. Maybe it was herself.
Ah, the art of comparison. The game of measuring ourselves up against everyone else to see how we measure up. The , “At least I’m prettier/thinner/happier/healthier/a better mom/smarter/more successful/funnier/____ [insert any comparison here that you can possibly think of that will make you have the upper hand in some way] than her.”
Whyyyyy? I have a lot of theories. But what it comes down to, I think, is believing we are ok. Not just saying ‘I’m good enough’ but really believing it. When we know we are ok, enough, we are less likely to need to defend ourselves. Less likely to need to tear someone else down. If we are truly ok with our choices and priorities, does it really matter what your neighbor is doing?
I am Team Mom. I want you on that team, mom with a dirty house. I think there is plenty of room for both of us, and the team is better when it has a little diversity. I think we do the best we can. And lord knows we can’t do it all perfectly.
Mom who excels at all things Pinterest, I hope you want me on Team Mom too, even though the thought of putting in the time and effort into making homemade ANYTHING is enough to make me REALLY crabby. Mom who makes healthy eating a priority – I am not you, but I think you are awesome. Mom who is loving/gentle/creative/strong/patient/energetic/disciplined/compassionate … you have strengths I admire. Your life priorities may or may not be on my list. You are a DIFFERENT mom than me, but neither one of us is better. Or perfect.
My house is clean because I need it for my own SANITY. I function far better as a mom, wife, and HUMAN BEING when I am able to look around my home and not see clutter and mess. However, I could not care less about how clean your house is. Because I don’t care about your home! I only care about mine! I am incredibly self-centered in that way. So please don’t think I spend one second judging you (or probably even noticing), mom with a dirty house.
Happy kids and memories are not made only in messes. Happy kids come from happy moms. Lets forfeit the comparison game. Lets be happy moms.