If you are like me you couldn’t give a flying flip what your friends house looks like for a playdate. When you walk into their home only to see cereal poured out all over the kitchen floor, it gives you all the freaking warm fuzzies that you are in fact not the only one that cleans crap up all the day long.
You went there to catch up with your friend and maybe have a mid day beer. Let the kids go wild outside while you complain about your mom bods and intend to do nothing about it.
Am I right?
Lets reverse roles here. You are the one hosting a group of women. You are frantically trying to make your house look like Southern Living magazine, when in reality ten minutes before guests arrive you still have a wet towel on your head from your shower that you took five minutes ago and only one eye has mascara because you dropped the tube and now you cannot find it FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
You put this pressure on yourself to present this life that isn’t real. Tiny people that have tiny fingers that make big messes make your house look like an episode of Hoarders.
In this Season of my life I’m learning to let my guard down. To allow women to see that I am just one big blob of Mom. They can hang out with me and be one big blob of Mom too. I am the blob. Half the time my friends and I just sit in silence because we lack quiet. We nod our heads if we need a refill of wine. Yes, I love you. Yes, I need more liquid.
There is a part of us as women that takes pride in a clean home, I know I do. When my house is a huge mess it makes my day even more stressful, so I tend to clean more often that I have in the past. This isn’t what I am talking about.
I’m talking about stressing ourselves out trying to make our homes spotless before having a guest over. Guess what? That friend, if she is a true one will feel more at home sitting on your mountain of clean laundry sipping her lukewarm coffee, than she would in a museum of clean diapers and perfect throw pillows. Maybe she would even help you fold while you cried about how your baby hates to sleep. Or hates you. Whichever.
I walked into a friends house the other day with all four of my kids in tow. They were in rare form after school. They were hangry. I was just angry my birth control didn’t work. I was hot and lacking laughter, so I knew I was at the right place at the right time. This friend makes me keel over with belly laughs that I someday hope to receive abs as a gift from. They keep trying to resurface but I keep eating cheese.
I watched as she vacuumed up spilled snacks on the floor and I remember thinking to myself:
” Oh my gah. Just leave them , my baby will just crawl right over and clean those up. Don’t be so hard on my friend. She’s great.”
And so I said it outloud, and so the babies did eat them off the floor. Because they are both fourth children. They do everything for themselves. Just the other day I passed her 14 month old on Main street. It looked like he had picked up an Uber job on the side. Someone has to pay for College around here. Fourth kids just take the wheel. Pun intended.
Until my friend couldn’t take it anymore and started cleaning up again. I watched her spray cleaner onto the coffee table and clean up leftover whatever.
I thought to myself again, hey be easy on my friend there.
She’s a fantastic Mom. She strives to love everyone she comes in contact with. She’s a fighter, in a righteous way. She fights to keep her marriage Godly and her children in check. Her relationship with Jesus first. She’s an encourager. A giver of all things , big and small. She can see what I cannot when I walk into a room. She can see a need and meet it to the best of her abilities. She can make you feel seen and heard and give you one of the best hugs on earth. She’s my friend.
She’s more than her perfectly scrubbed kitchen table or her home cooked meals.
I love her for her, not for her clean house or her perfect life.
These are things we place on ourselves that no one gives a s#%^ about.
I think these are things we forget when we are awaiting our guests in our home. We forget that they are aware we are Mothers too. Our lives and busy from sun up to sun down and in between. We are tired, constantly. We all strive to do our best and sometimes that means leaving those dirty dishes in the sink to pick up your toddler and dance in the kitchen.
They came for the chats and laughter, not for your bleached sinks.
Next time you are hard on yourself for the way your house looks or the roots that are six inches overdue for color, tell yourself :
” Hey. Don’t talk about my friend like that. She’s more than those things. She’s awesome.”
And while you’re at it , tell yourself too.
” Hey. Don’t talk about me like that. I’m trying.”
Photo by Amanda Sutton