In a Sparkling House With Spotless Clothes, Kids Can’t Be Kids

So, I’ll never have a Pinterest home.

Adelina Vasile
5 min readMar 16, 2022


Photo from Pixabay

I dreamed a dream in times gone by that I would have a sparkling home. With everything tidy and bright, including the smiles of my child.

Then, I had a child, and I forgot even what day it was. It didn’t get easier as time went by, but the guilt grew bigger and bigger.

For a long time, I felt guilty about the clutter.

Cleanliness, it’s been on the table. But everything else felt misplaced.

Am I a bad parent for having a messy house? I tried so hard to keep everything together.

Then, I became overtired. That’s when I realized obsessing over a tidy house was actually making me a bad parent — tired, cranky, never in the mood to play, always with a short fuse.

Something had to change.

Change meant not doing anything

We do a weekly, sometimes bi-monthly semi-deep-ish cleaning — take everything from the floors, vacuum, and mop.

We wash the dishes, sometime during the day.

If we see ants somewhere in the house, we study them, but only for a bit. Then, we do a deep clean, so they won’t have a reason to come back there.

And we’ve put away the things we rarely use. But other than that, it’s not tidy.

I often step on lego pieces and practice my skating moves on the shiny flooring (never skated in my life).

Move aside piles of children’s books to clean up the bed for the afternoon nap.

Hold my breath while transporting half a meter of lego train that I really can’t sleep on.

Or shove all sorts of random items into our Creativity box — a dumpster for all things, that we sometimes take out to create helicopters or whatever out of it.

Photo of a “helicopter” made by Matthew and me from water balloons, rubber bands, a small lantern, and old broken wood toy parts that I would have thrown away long ago I were a tidy parent.

Sometimes, my house is both tidy and clean



Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself. Check my Substack here >>