There’s a saying that goes “Trying to clean with a kid in the house is like brushing your teeth and eating Oreos.” Unless you enjoy cleaning as a hobby (and kudos to you if this floats your boat), you might be one of those people who feels like their house is an absolute disaster.
In fact, you might think your house is an absolute disaster even if you enjoy cleaning as a hobby.
There’s a trend towards perfectionism these days, and it’s stupid. We see spotlessly clean kitchens and living rooms in magazines; food that has been doctored by photographers with tweezers, spray bottles, glue, and bubbles to look fresh and amazing; immaculate yards, difficult to obtain body standards, fancy cars…
It’s bullshit. Every person who has ever spent days scrubbing their homes inside and out before inviting people over because they’re afraid of judgement, every parent who has refused to invite kids over for a playdate because they’re afraid their homes are too dirty, every adult who has been afraid to invite someone over for a plate of spaghetti because they aren’t Giada De Laurentiis knows it’s bullshit.
And it’s isolating.
The parenthood wars already have us afraid of our peers and comrades-in-arms, and the drive to have the perfect large, clean home, the perfect body, the perfect life for ourselves and our kids means that we’re now forever separating ourselves from others. We can’t be near those who might judge us for our inadequacy or who might cause us jealousy for what we perceive they have. It’s causing us all huge stress.
We don’t have enough time in the day to achieve these unrealistic standards of perfection in our homes, our jobs, our bodies, and our children’s lives. You’ve seen the joke memes that joke about how moms can’t find a clear spot in their calendar for a get together until the year 2020? It’s so close to being a painful reality.
We don’t have time for other people when we’re chasing these things that aren’t real.
You know what I say?
Oh, you got some dust? Bitch, please. I haven’t vacuumed beneath my bed since the toddler years. I won’t go examine and judge your trouble spots if you don’t. Oh mah gawd, you have dishes on the sink? HOW DARE YOU EAT? Yeah, that’s a pile of papers sitting on the end of my table, and I know you have one, somewhere, exactly like it.
Oh, you feel like you don’t have time to cook and entertain? Pour us all glasses of wine and we can work, side by side, in the kitchens while the kids scream and break things together in the basement, as long as we can have something that actually resembles an adult conversation.
Oh, you’re not Chef Gordon Ramsey? I don’t care if it’s just spaghetti and canned sauce. Do you know the last time someone else made me anything close to a home cooked meal? My husband made me a grilled cheese when I was out for three days with the flu. Made by someone else = haute cusine.
I will help you, not judge you. Heck, woman, it’s just a relief to know that your life looks more or less exactly like mine.
We’re lonely. Let’s relax.
Chill the fuck out and invite your friends over.