Kaycie is out on a date with her dad at the movies and I am revelling in the silence while Knolan is napping. Sometimes a quiet house is so very relaxing. I will say, though, I will love every loud minute of Kaycie stampeding into the house to report on every detail of her outing. The quiet just recharges my batteries, know what I mean?
Anyway, I am so thrilled because there seems to be a theme going on in my life this week. I think someone out there wants me to be at peace with my messy house (besides my mom - she's always encouraged me to stress less about it). I think that unconsciously I've always tied my self worth to the cleanliness of our house. Our house isn't always a complete disaster, but it is very rarely the way I'd like it to be. Let's put it this way - most of the time I'm a bit worried what people would think if they just showed up unannounced at the door.
But this week I had some revelatory moments. Not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR people said things to me that made me think that it isn't so awful to have an imperfect house.
I had a couple of days where friends and their kids came over to play this week. The first one I actually cleaned up for, but I didn't get a chance to clean my "Shelf of Shame" - the one I've been wanting to clean and organize for about 9 months now. I decided that instead of worrying what my friend Jen would think, I would just made a joke of it. As it turns out, we joked about that shelf most of the morning, and Jen confessed to a few problem spots in her house too. This brought me much comfort, as Jen's home is so lovely and peaceful and organized... if she has some trouble spots then it must be normal and ok!
The second visit from friends was completely unexpected. We had taken our kids bowling and to the park, and then attempted lunch with the kids at a local restaurant, only to discover that it was no longer a family friendly pizza parlour, but is now a fancy schmancy restaurant (In hindsight, we kind of think we were politely encouraged to leave! ha, ha, ha). With none of us loving the idea of all going home to make our kids lunch, I invited everyone to my house which was super close by, and we brought pizza from another restaurant back with us. Secretly, the whole way back to my house I was frantic. Did the cats barf on the floor while I was out? Are there underwear in the front hall way? Why haven't I changed the Christmas wreath on our front door!?!
When we all arrived at the house and I offered my customary excuses for the house being kind of a mess, we all just sort of fell into a comfortable afternoon of pizza and playing - the kids were a bit like elastic bands, stretching to the far corners of the house and then periodically checking back in. Both of my friends at some point in the afternoon made some comment about how it was great that I didn't mind having people over without worrying about the house being perfect. I can't remember exactly what they said. It wasn't a comment on the state of my house. It felt more like they could both relate to that pressure we put on ourselves when it comes to the state of our home. Wish I could remember what it was they said, but I felt a bit like a superhero after that for just letting people past our front door!
And finally, yesterday I shared a video on my Facebook profile of our daughter while I was pulling a St. Patrick's Day prank on her. After I posted it, I lamented in the comments section that everyone on Facebook could now see the sink full of dirty dishes that I hadn't realized was featured so prominently in the video. In response to this, one of my childhood friends commented: "Kirsten, it only makes the rest of us feel better! Thank you for the dishes!!!"
Huh?! Am I actually inspiring people with my messy home? I guess when I really think about it, how many homes actually stay pristine and clean for very long once they're clean. After all, a house is a home, not a museum. I'm starting to feel grateful for all of the life and laughter in my home - if the mess is a signal that life is being lived in this house, then I think I should be less embarrassed of it.
So, I've decided today that I am going to inspire all of you and share with you some of spots in our house that I've been most embarrassed about. Instead of being embarrassed, I've decided that there have to be a few people out there in blog world who will feel better when they see this! I'll still strive to clean them up, but I think that from now on whenever I walk past one of them I'll stop berating myself and thinking I'm the only one who lives this way.
Because no one judged me this week - everyone could relate! If I'm not the only one, then it can't be all that bad. :-)
So, without further ado, I present to you, "Our House - The Unedited Version":
|The Shelf of Shame - to be known as "Creativity Central" from now on. Full of arts, crafts, books, markers, paper, and lots and lots of googly eyes and glitter pens!|
|Picture of our Christmas Village - taken on St. Patrick's Day. LOL I don't care because my kids love to play with it and I still can see snow on our lawn in one small corner of our lot, so winter can't quite be over yet, right?|
|Our toaster oven. This picture does not do it justice - it is simply laden with crumbs and burnt cheese and dried up olives. Now, all I see is a history of meals made with love for my family. Bwahahahaha!|
|The ever-present pile of crap on our stairs.|