Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Won't Clean for You...

...Will you return the favor?

I read a great post last week on Lisa-Jo Baker's blog about the things we moms can do for each other. And, while I appreciated the entire thing, there was one sentence which stood out to me above all others.
What can you do to encourage another mom?
How about "Not cleaning up before she comes over."

Does that statement resonate with anyone else as much as it does me???
I mean, seriously. I don't believe I am the only mom who struggles with feeling overwhelmed in just about every aspect of life. And when I go to another mom's house and it is spotless, well? Let's just say I have to really kick the positive self-talk into high gear.
*It's OK that your kitchen is cluttered, Karen. That doesn't make you a failure mom.
*Don't feel bad that your floors aren't free of dog hair. You aren't a loser.
*Ignore the perfectly arranged family room. Your worth comes from Me, not from your home.

But when I go to a friend's house and there are dishes on the counter, and toys on the floor, unfolded laundry in a basket in the hallway, and maybe spots of dried milk on the kitchen table? Well, I feel relaxed and comfortable.
I feel like she understands me.
I feel like the pressure's off.
I feel like it's OK to be me.
I feel like giving her a hug and saying, "Thanks for not cleaning up for me!"

I am totally not opposed to cleaning my house.
But if you come over, and the house is cluttered? Please know it's because I love you and I don't want you to feel pressured. *wink*



Anonymous said...

Then there is the woman that comes over after you've been cleaning all day and say "oh, don't worry about straightening up, it looks fine"! Expect cobwebs when you come to my house...it gives the place that homey feeling!

Great thoughts...we are too hard on ourselves and sometimes each other.

Karen Hossink said...

Deborah - If someone said this to me after I just cleaned - "oh, don't worry about straightening up, it looks fine"! - I think I would curl up and cry for an hour. Has that seriously happened to you???
I'll bring tinsel to decorate the cobwebs. How's that? *wink*

Sara K. said...

I agree, Karen! Actually, I am a "recovering neat freak" -- or something like that. Once I had children, I had to let go of my perfectionistic ways (when it comes to maintaining a spotless house). Now I go for "organized chaos" and don't worry too much about dust bunnies. :) And I especially try hard NOT to go overboard with cleaning if a friend is coming over... after all, it's a FRIEND, right? Surely she'll still love me even if my house isn't spotless... :)

Karen Hossink said...

Sara - When we started hosting our small group, I used to clean up before they arrived, lit candles, did whatever I could to make the house look nice. And after we got comfortable with each other (and I was really busy this particular night) I didn't even straighten up. Our friends arrived and I said, "I didn't clean for you! That's how comfortable I am with our friendship!"
And, what do you know? They kept coming, anyway! :)