What My Clean House Doesn't Tell You About My Life

Recently I was talking to one of my best friends. This friend is also a mom of a very busy young toddler. She keeps a neat home, cooks supper regularly, and works outside of her home. She said she went to a playdate and came home feeling so much better about her house. Does this make her a bad mom? No. Does this mean those others moms aren’t doing their jobs? No.

My house is clean, most of the time. I can’t leave with dishes in the sink or piles or laundry and toys out for all to see. I just can’t. I try to stay on top of cleaning and my daily duties as a stay at home mom. But, recently I started to get annoyed when others would make comments about how clean my house is. So, here are some things that my clean house doesn’t tell you about my toddlers.

They have parents who play with them--A LOT.

When someone comes over they assume I must spend hours a day cleaning my home. No. I just know it’s important to me to keep things tidy and have a place for things. This doesn’t mean I neglect my kids. Sure they watch tv. Sure they can play independently, but they have parents who play with them daily and don’t pick chores over quality time. Doing a little bit of work each day helps me stay on task.

My kids love to help clean.

A few years ago I discovered Norwex products and my cleaning routine was eased and changed forever. My kids love using the microfiber cloths to help me dust and clean. They think taking turns to make bubbles in the toilet is fun. My kids are involved in our home. My older daughter helps make beds, put away toys, and helps me unload the dishwasher. I don’t do everything alone. That’s not my job or fun.

I teach my children that people are more important than things.

We don’t have a playroom. I won’t lie. I’ve always wanted a big house with extra rooms and a playroom to spend countless hours in with my little ones. But, we don’t have that. We have a three-bedroom house and five people. My kids have plenty of toys, but they are in their rooms. If there isn’t a place for something or it’s not being played with, we donate to local charities like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. My kids know that toys don’t define their happiness.

We spend plenty of time using our imagination.

Clean floors and empty hampers may make it look like we are home daily doing chores, but we have fun at my house. We play outside. We go to the park, the play land, and many days Starbucks. We create. My daughter and I recently made a bear cave for her school project, and we had a blast. My son loves to play Paw Patrol with his Daddy. Life isn’t boring here; it’s just tidy.

So next time you walk into a mom’s house and think about how clean it looks, just remember there could be things shoved in closets. Or, she could just be a type-A mom who needs it to be clean for her sanity, for her children, and for her own peace of mind.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Northeast Arkansas who does like to clean with some good music turned up loud.

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