Do you ever have Messy Mom Envy? Do you even know what I mean?
“I’ll be there in ten minutes!” “Yay! Just come on in when you get here!” I turn the knob as I put my hip into the door shoving the rug along with several piles of shoes out of the way as my kids trample over me to get into the house. I hear you holler from the back of the house, “I’m so happy you’re here! I’m changing the baby…be out in a second.”
There I stood in the middle of her living room alone. My kids had already disappeared upstairs into the playroom with her older girls. Fits of giggles immediately funneled down the hallway. I just stood there. Mesmerized. The left side of the couch was overflowing with what I could guess was this week’s batch of clean (wrinkled) laundry. Her walls were covered in literally every picture that had ever been taken of her kids. The dog was scratching at the door and the floor may or may not have been vacuumed this year.
[bctt tweet=”I just stood there. Mesmerized. #moms #motherhood #momlife”]
I caught a glimpse of her sashaying through the doorway with her newest edition clinging to her hip. Her hair was tied up and she was wearing a fancy version of pajama bottoms that she deemed mainstream enough for everyday wear. She looked so effortlessly beautiful. She greeted me with our usual hug and then scolded me for the significant time lapse in visits.
With a laugh, she motioned for me to sit down on the small portion of the couch that wasn’t covered in laundry. She didn’t apologize. She never does. Just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Ehhh…I will eventually get to that!” She wasn’t the least bit embarrassed about the current state of her house and I was in no way offended. I laughed as I noticed a sign that was hanging in the dining room. Please excuse the mess, our kids are making memories. All of the sudden a wave of envy flooded over me and my heart got heavy. I want to feel fashionable in pajama bottoms. I want a clothes covered couch. I want an absurd amount of pictures cluttering up my walls. I want to be that mom.
[bctt tweet=”Ehhh…I will eventually get to that! #envy #Imtooorganized #moms”]
Our kids are similar ages, our husbands have similar careers, but our homes look nothing alike. We live in layers of beige colored walls. My floors are almost always free of toys and typically still have lines from the vacuum. My fridge does have two of the most recent masterpieces, but only two. When play dates land at our house, moms ALWAYS comment on how incredibly clean our house is. Those words used to make feel accomplished, but now it seems more like an insult. It’s not possible for a mom to maintain an immaculate home, be an amazing cook and have blissfully happy babies. I had excelled at one of those things…the only one that didn’t matter.
I started to fold some of her laundry out of sheer habit while we swapped this week’s crazy toddler stories. In route to the kitchen for a drink, I made a pit stop at the restroom. Whilst hovering, I couldn’t help but notice the nearly fifty colors of fingernail polish stashed in all the nooks and crannies, last summers package of swim diapers and the best friend’s picture that was hanging on the wall. I gave that to her twenty years ago and she still found a spot for it in her home. (Why?) Because she treasures things that are important to her. Seeing that picture on the wall only reinforced the fact that “I am important to her.” Is this what little kids feel like when their creations hang on the walls for everyone to see?
I walked into the kitchen to grab a drink out of the fridge, but paused to find the handle. No less than five years of Christmas cards, birth announcements and artwork hung over every inch of what I could only guess to be her white fridge. It was simply one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. I can only imagine how proud her kids must feel each time they walk into the room. My friend had chosen the correct categories to succeed at. She is an incredible mom.
I can’t imagine laying awake at night feeling remorseful for not scrubbing my floors. But the brokenness of not spending all of my spare moments laughing and playing with my growing babies, I know too well. So I am kissing the Pottery Barn catalog goodbye and embracing the national disaster created by my children. I want to be the mom with the messy house. Because a messy house is where happy little people live. Where the hallways constantly funnel giggles… a place where memories are being made. Where everything that doesn’t truly matter…can wait. So if you show up at my door…Please excuse the mess.
Diana Kane is wife, mom, and frequent companion to coffee and chaos. She is a proud supporter of ice cream cake for breakfast and perpetually struggles with being on time. Diana blogs at Mama Needs a Cupcake, where she writes about the less than perfect version of motherhood and recently published her first book, “Mama Needs A Cupcake.” Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.