Riddle Her Spotless – Imperfection and clean kitchens.

I’d like to talk a second about the current state of my kitchen.

It’s clean.

That’s it. It’s clean.

Now, I have friends who have messy kitchens. And I’m totally cool with that because, quite frankly, it isn’t my kitchen or my business what state any part of their home is in – unless of course there’s a massive health concern or safety concern. But, barring any life threatening concerns, it doesn’t really matter to me what anybody’s kitchen looks like but my own.

My floors are also clean.

My stove isn’t spotless, but I wipe down the flat top every night with cleaner and pull it out from the wall every few months to clean under it.

Now – I want to say something about the time I spend with my kids.

It’s a lot.

End of sentence. I spend A LOT of time with my kids. I stay at home with them and I have many hours in the day to fill with mind numbingly boring games of Legos and seven thousand trips to the park. I promise.

If ever there were a circumstance in which someone was holding a knife to my back and insisted that I choose between a clean house and time spent with my kids, I would undoubtedly choose time with my children.

That has yet to happen. So far, for me personally, having a clean house and spending time with my kids have not been mutually exclusive.

Here’s the truth – I really like cleaning. And, you can ask my mom, organizing things is a hobby for me. Seriously. One year, when I was seven or eight, Santa brought me a desk – fully stocked with folders and paper and pens and labels – and I LITERALLY collapsed to floor in excitement.

When I was 22, my friends chipped in and got me an Office Depot gift card for my birthday.

I have trouble sleeping when things need to be done. I will toss and turn all night.

Maybe there’s some deep seeded emotional scarring that took place when I was a kid that has caused this. Like maybe a stranger came up to me and slipped a No Doubt CD with subliminal messaging about cleaning in it. Maybe it told me that if I didn’t clean, the whole world would be burned to the core and the fall of the world would be on my shoulders. It’s possible, okay?

But the point is this – moms who love their children are the best moms.

No kitchen can determine a mother’s love for her babies. Whether her floors are dirty or clean has no implication of her love for her babies. And if her stove is a mess, she probably loves her babies just as much as if it were spotless.

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What happens when we begin to think this way is we create a barrier between moms. We start to divide where no division was necessary. In an attempt to make moms feel good about their piles of laundry, we shame moms who have all their laundry done.

I KNOW! That wasn’t the point. The point was that perfection isn’t necessary. The point was that, no matter what the house looks like, when kids are happy – that’s all that matters (although there are plenty of times my kids are unhappy because they’re tired, they’ve been disciplined, or they are two and hate the world – and I think I am still a good mom). I get it.

But my clean kitchen is no indication of perfection. I have a clean house and happy kids and an imperfect life. Imperfection is my most favorite thing about life, actually. Because it is the imperfections in my life that remind me why it’s important to keep striving to better my family and myself.

Some days, I wish with all my might that I wasn’t so concerned about dishes. I wish that I could just go to sleep – like my narcoleptic husband who can seriously sleep anywhere and it’s unbelievable. He has been known to fall asleep mid-sentence. And one time fell asleep at a party sitting by a bon fire with loud music playing….

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah. I just think that it’s time we really started to love those things about other moms. Your way isn’t my way, but you love your kids and that’s stinkin’ rad.

Good moms love their kids.

Period.

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