I am terrible at this, this is an area I’m always striving to improve on!
(picture of our garage before we cleaned it out)
A while ago, after I posted this post, First Two Weeks Home with a Newborn, I linked to a Gypsy Mama post. After reading the Gypsy Mama post, I received an e-mail from a reader. She was saying that she struggles daily with keeping up appearances and what I thought.
The Gypsy Mama post really helped her because she had read a post a year prior about a lady who went to a friend’s house. This friend always seemed to have it all together, she dressed well and the public parts of her house were clean and put together. This day the lady happened to go to a nonpublic part of her friend’s house and was appalled that it didn’t “match” everything else.
(my sink after a freezer cooking afternoon)
My reader asked how I balance everything and what I thought. Here was my response:
*people are going to judge me no matter what! If my house is immaculate then they will judge me and think that I don’t spend enough time with my kids
*if my house is messy then they will judge me and think I’m lazy or spend too much time with my kids
I’m trying hard to not care, but it doesn’t work very well. I say the perfect balance is something I (& my family) can live with, whatever that happens to be on that particular day. There are days where I’d rather clean than have to deal with the kids, so on those days, if allowed, I’ll clean more. Other days, I don’t want to mess with my house so I don’t do as much and focus more on the kids. I do try and make 2-3 goals a day to get to. Usually one for the house and one for blogging or me. If I get them done, great, if not, there’s always tomorrow! I don’t know the answer I’m still struggling, but people will judge you no matter what, but unless they’ve been in your shoes, they don’t know the whole story. I find that I am less judgmental when it comes to people’s houses now that I’ve had kids, but more judgmental on their parenting since I’ve had kids. As long as you can take care of your family and they are healthy most of the time, then that’s what matters to me!
(Look in the background, one of our problem areas in the house, and that’s how it normally looks! But who cares with that pretty smile to cover it up?)
I still agree with my response. I still struggle, because I came from a home that was overly clean. My mom was constantly cleaning and on the weekends, my mom, brother and I would clean for at least two hours. We had a nice sized home, but nothing huge (3 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, living room, computer room, dining room, kitchen, 1 car garage, and a small loft area). When I got a home, it was a struggle. I’m not very organized and I’m very sentimental, so getting rid of things is extremely difficult for me.
I was used to a very clean and pristine house and I just couldn’t measure up. When my husband and I were first married, I would ask him to help me clean and there were many times when he would have to ask me how to clean it because he’d never cleaned it before and never saw it being cleaned (not that it wasn’t cleaned, he just hadn’t watched)! I was always stressed out about our home. I finally sat down and had a conversation with my husband about it. He said that he would rather me be a good mother and focus on the kids. He didn’t want to see me killing myself over our home. He said that if it got so bad that it bothered him, he’d be sure to let me know.
This is what matters to me!
So, with much coaxing from my husband, I’m slowly learning to relax a bit and try not to care. It’s still a struggle some days.
What advise would you give this reader?