the myth of the perfect house

One of my friends posted a photo on Facebook recently of what a real house looks like when you are home with the kids.

It generated a number of responses from other mums, all acknowledging the reality of their house, and the desire to let go of the myth of the perfect house.

I know that there are a number of things more important than cleaning house, but it got me thinking as to why the house takes preeminence in a mum’s life.

For me, I was nowhere near as house proud before children, and conversely my house was a lot tidier!

So here are my thoughts on the subject:

  • I spend a lot of time in my house so I notice the things that need doing more
  • I spend time on the floor playing and notice things from different angles. For example I cleaned the underside of the window sills the other day – go figure!
  • as a mum I have people over more often. Either for playdates, or because it is easier for them to come here, than for me pack up the whole family and go to them
  • often visits happen on the spur of the moment  – “my two are awake and your two are awake, at the same time! Let’s catch up”
  • and we can’t escape the fact that children inevitably create mess, simply by eating, or gluing, or playing with 53 different toys at the same time

So yes there is an element of letting go emotionally of the myth of the perfect house, and yes there are definitely more important things to do than tidy and clean. But there are also a number of practical reasons why the house takes such an important place in a mum’s life.

On that note I’d better go tidy up!

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