A Messy Home Is No Reflection Of Your Mothering

Your children don’t believe so. Why should you?

Adelina Vasile

--

Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash

If all goes well, tomorrow evening I’ll have three children under three in my home. My sister is coming to visit us and I’ve been spending the past week or so moving things from one place to another, to free up a room for them. My house has been messier than ever. I’ve been more stressed than ever, with my son jumping on every single thing I was trying to put somewhere. And he has been yelled at more than ever. I’ve been hating myself for it. And then it hit me. We, mothers, put so much pressure on everything we do, from what we choose for our children to how we keep our homes while trying to raise those children. When did motherhood become more about housekeeping and less about raising decent human beings?

Every time I try to keep my home sparkling clean and go against what my body tells me I can handle, I transform myself. I’m not the parent I want to be. I don’t model the things I want to model for my child. I’m this witch obsessed with keeping things at their place and not doing any mess. I flip at the smallest mistakes my kid does. Mistakes messing with what I just cleaned up.

Is my clean house a reflection of how good of a mother I am?

The more I think of it, the more it seems to me that a clean house is a reflection of how bad of a mother I am. If keeping a clean house means overtiring myself to the point I snap at my child for the stupidest things… Telling him “not now” until he falls asleep… Putting him in front of the TV so I can have some uninterrupted time for an obsessive deep clean session… Then I guess yeah, a clean house is a reflection of how good of a mother I am. Not a very good one, for sure.

Cleaning up in anticipation of my sister’s arrival, I bumped into lots of things my toddler was using when he was a baby. Clothes he can no longer wear, toys he no longer needs. I feel baffled at how these almost three years passed. And how many sweet moments I forgot.

With or without a clean house, time flies. My child grows. What I do each day, whether I will remember it a few weeks/months from now on or not, shapes him. And I don’t want it to be housekeeping.

--

--

Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself.