How to stop being ashamed of a messy house

Our third Mum Shame guest post comes from the very wise Vicky @vflb2011 on rethinking her messy house shame and letting go of show home envy.

So, I've been asked to write about my own Mum Shame and to be honest it was hard to choose which one to write about! I'm sure I'm not the only mum to hide these little shames, which we really shouldn't get so hung up about, But we do, so here I am!

So here's my secret shame..... 

I was never brought up in a show home environment where we couldn't play for fear of making a mess or roll around outside and come home covered in mud, feeling like we were in major trouble once our mum saw the mess we were in, that just wasn't how it worked at home, if we made a mess, My Mum would have us (try to) help clean up..... and dirty clothes! who cares? It will all come out in the wash!

So I don't know why I feel so guilty looking round my own home now, to see the same sort of environment, over-flowing with toys, piles of clean washing, things on the stairs out of little hands reach and the odd cobweb here and there. But I do, I see other peoples houses who have kids and there's not a speck of dirt to be seen or a toy in sight and I get a little pang of jealously ...and then a major pang of guilt. 


                                               Vicky's Balloon of Shame

Firstly I think...How on earth have you had the time? do you not sleep? and then I think I must be doing something wrong, because a perfect house just seems like an impossibility to me. There's just no way it's ever gonna happen and here's why.... I'll pick playing with my child over cleaning anyday, anytime.

You want me to read a story? Sure go get me a book and I'll read it, this bit of dusting can wait. You want me to colour and draw shapes with you? OK, I can mop the kitchen floor tomorrow. You want to put music on and do silly dancing? Oh yes... I'll just put this hoover away. 

You see, my daughter will only ever be 2years 7months and 11days old ONCE.

Tomorrow she'll be that tiny bit older, a tiny bit taller and probably a lot more cheeky and smarter! These are days we can only live through once. If I go to bed knowing she's holding her crayon more like she should instead of clamped in her fist because I've spent a hour showing her, then to me, that hour was worth it, even if it means I've got a pile a dishes to wash when she finally gets in bed, because she's learning, and as a Mum I feel that's the most important thing.

It doesn't, however mean that I don't go to bed with a list in my head a mile long of things I'd I REALLY need to get done sometime, and here's where the guilt sets in.... but thinking about it, I don't know if it is guilt or could it just be that I'm jealous?

Yeah they may have an immaculate house, that's actually decorated and be able to have people come in the house without feeling like you just want to run and hide when people see the state of the place, but here's how I deal with it...

I think about all the things my little girl can do, how many fairy tales she knows, colours, letters, songs, shapes, her beautiful manners and I smile because I'd much rather have a child who can do all those things, than an immaculately presented house.


You might also like:

Overcoming Mum Shame by @storyofmum

Dealing with birth experience shame by @hisfeministmama

Mums talk shame by lots of different mums


We'd love you to join us at story of mum:

Burst some shame you don't want any more with a quick Balloon of Shame

Share your story of being (or having!) an Embarrassing Mum with us. 

If you have a deliciously messy house like us, you'll like Photograph Your Chaos too...