Friday, 18 April 2014

How Clean Is Your House - I Don't Care!


Hello, my name is Lynn and I'm a neat freak. It's likely that if you arranged to come and visit me the carpets would be freshly hoovered, the kitchen floor would be mopped, glass would be cleaned and cushions would be plumped. It's just what I do.





Yet I'm annoyed. I recently read a blog where someone suggested they could never be friends with someone like me, a mum with a tidy house (apologies - I couldn't actually remember who wrote that original blog post). I've read posts on Facebook too, berating people (especially mums) for having a clean and tidy home. Apparently if I take time to tidy my house I'm missing spending quality time with my child. Apparently I'm not fun.

I know it's daft, but statements and blogs like this make me feel I have to justify myself. So I'm going to. First of all, I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting your home to be nice. That's all I want. A nice environment to live in for my child, and for me. However, to say I prioritise housework over the care of my child is utter nonsense. Every single day my daughter and I read, draw, paint, bake, dance, visit the park, sing, play with toys, play hide and seek. You name it, we do it. Where possible, I plan my cleaning around my daughter. So if she is napping or having a snack or after she's gone to bed you will most likely find me completing a household task. Sometimes when that's not possible we'll do some housework together. Holly loves to help me with the washing and think it's a great way to help teach her colours too! She also loves to help me dust and often asks to do it without any prompting. I think it's good to get her involved in housework now because when she is older she will be expected to do housework to earn her pocket money. Doesn't sound like such a bad thing really does it?

For the record though, even though I have a tidy house most of the time it does get messy with a toddler. Of course it does. How could it not? You'll find every floor strewn with toys. EVERY DAY. You just won't find dishes in the sink or cobwebs in the corners. Then when it's Holly's bedtime the toys disappear. They are stored away. I like to turn my house into a nice adult place to relax in the evenings. Again, I don't see what's so awful about this?

There is some suggestion that because I have a tidy house I judge others who don't. I think that's really what the whole thing boils down to. Well I can honestly tell you I don't. Not at all. You're not me, and I'm not you. I've always been a neat freak, I've always been fastidious. Just because I became a mum that was never going to change. It's part of my personality, a trait ingrained in me. I do it because I want to, but that doesn't mean I expect anyone else to. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so, but it's part of what makes me, ME. It genuinely upsets me that someone would judge me for having a tidy house. Judge me as not worthy of their friendship. Would dismiss me, without knowing anything more about me than the state of my home. I would never do that to someone else. Reduce a person to one part of their life*. It's narrow minded and I most certainly think that is far worse than than being either messy or tidy!



*Well unless they were something hideous like a serial killer in their free time.



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14 comments:

Suzanne W said...

You sound like just the sort of person I would like to be friends with - I'm exactly the same! In fact I do find it difficult to be a nice mummy if my house is a tip and there is loads of cleaning to be done - I just find it too stressful. As you say, it's important to find times when we are not depriving our children of one on one time, but it's easily done. I kind of think it's silly for someone to even suggest that you can or can't be friends with someone based on the state of their house or cleaning habits - nonsense! #pocolo

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Sorry I clicked enter before I was done! I'm probably the opposite to you but it surely isn't something that matters? Your house isn't your entire person just like your child/ren isn't your entire person - you can be lots of things at once!
Oooh did you see this article on The Huffington Post the other day? It made me jump with joy :D - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/claire-mccarthy-md/my-house-is-messy-and-i-dont-care_b_4853787.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp

dean said...

Well done! I wish I were more of a neat freak too, but I've given up what with a three year old in the house, I'm sure you know what it's like. Having said that, I still DO clean a lot and like you, I love a clean house :) #PoCoLo.

Caroline Elliott said...

Well said! If anything I wish I was more like you. I definitely prefer to have a tidy house but in truth I think I'm a bit lazy and struggle to find the time to clean when there are more enjoyable things to do while monkey naps (blog, cook, read, sit down). I don't live in a hovel though, everything is cleaned regularly, I hate cobwebs and all toys are put away when Monkey is in bed.... but I know I could do more! It's just that it is neverending, I clean, turn round and I swear it needs doing again!
I don't judge you for having a tidy house, I am just ever so slightly jealous and feel a bit, erm, guilty (?) that I am not more like you! As with anything parenting though there is always someone ready to judge you for something, you can't please everyone all of the time, sadly! great post :) #pocolo

thereandbackagainamotherstale said...

Totally agree, I can't trust until this place is 70% clean and tidy but friends tell me I should drink coffee and chill, I just can't relax til its done but I enjoy doing it too!

Victoria Welton said...

I have to say that I totally agree with you. Personally I think that there is a difference between messy and dirty anyway! Plus, to my mind, all things in moderation! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

Sonya Cisco said...

I am a terrible slattern as you know, but I wish I was more like you! I would gladly visit your house, then you would be glad to see the back of me so you could tidy away the mess that I create everywhere I go! xxx

Marilynn said...

Thanks everyone. Good to know I wouldn't be shunned by everyone for my obsessive tidying! I definitely can't relax until I know the house is tidy. It really makes me anxious!

Madeline Miller said...

Thanks to neat freaks like you who share their daily cleaning experience, badly organized people like me manage to do their chores! Thanks for that!

Kate Bristow said...

I wish I was more like you! Thank you for sharing your cleaning tips , so I could try to be more organized! You are awesome!

Sarah Walsh said...

Your cleaning tips are great! Thank you for sharing them!

Faith Grant said...

Thank you for sharing this post! You inspired me! I'm not really good at cleaning , but I'll follow your advices. I hope I'll become better at that! Thank you!

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