Confession: I’m not a perfect mama. I don’t get it all right. My house isn’t immaculate. Sometimes my daughter gets sent to the sitter in dirty clothes. We used a Superyard for months so we didn’t have to worry about Margaret getting into the junk strewn around our house. For the first year or so of her life, only 1-2 rooms in our house were baby-proofed, so we used baby gates to keep her in the rooms that were safe. It was far from ideal and certainly not how I imagined myself as a new mama.
But life is life. Jeremy and I make the best of things and make sure our daughter is safe. We eventually got around to baby-proofing. Here and there we’ll be cleaning out a room or moving things in our house and it gets pretty cluttered.
Look at the picture above. That’s my beautiful daughter, standing in front of a microwave that sat on our floor for weeks before we found its final destination in our kitchen. There were piles of junk in the room taller than she was. The suitcase in the background was likely from some trip several weeks prior, if not longer. Our awesome new rice cooker sat in its box on the floor for months before we opened it and used it.
If I was to share this picture on Facebook back then, my post probably would have said something like this:
“This girl loves her daddy!! (Yeah…you can just ignore the mess in the background).”
Seems fairly harmless, right?
We mamas have to stop apologizing for our messes. For being imperfect. For being human. For being amazing, loving, and compassionate. Might our positive traits come at the expense of a pristine house? Sure, but who cares?
Social Media is full of posts of adorable kids that are accompanied by explanations like:
“Let’s pretend that pile of laundry behind her isn’t there.”
“Sorry about the mess!”
“Check out this cutie! Never mind the disaster of a room lol.”
If you feel like you need to explain yourself when you post a picture of your kid in his messy room, pause for a moment and consider this quotation:
You don’t have to explain yourself. You are an awesome mama, whether your floor is so clean you could eat off of it or you can barely navigate through the piles of stuffed animals and LEGOs.
I love seeing mamas embrace the messiness of life. I love when I see posts of adorable kids in cluttered rooms with no explanation or justification. Our vulnerability and messiness is what brings us together. It’s what allows us to connect on a deeper level.
Give yourself some grace. Don’t feel like you have to portray yourself as being on top of things all the time. The only one who expects that from you is you.
Our kids aren’t going to remember if there were crumbs on the floor pretty much all the time (guilty). Or a pile of laundry that sat on the couch for 2 weeks before it got folded and put away (guilty). Or if some of their bedroom furniture wasn’t assembled until months after they were born (guilty).
Our kids are going to remember the times, snuggled up on the couch next to that pile of laundry, that we read to them. Wrestled with them. Giggled with them. Loved them.