Today, I was in my typical mommy mode when my sister stopped by as she does most days to say hello to the kids and see what treats linger in the pantry. She walked into a total war-torn, disastrous, toy covered living room, complete with a big box I had yet to open and everyone in their pj's (it was only 10:00am, haha). This very familiar scene doesn't faze her in the least; she steps past all the mess and says, "Who wants a treat?!" as she scoops up one of the little ones.
As we make our way into the kitchen and the boys go wild telling Favorite (yes, my sister has the kids trained to call her Favorite - they don't even know her actual name) which treat they'd like and how many, I follow behind trying to clean up a few of the toys left behind and clear the path. The kids enjoy their treat and Favorite searches the fridge for something more substantial. Finally, she looks up at me and says, "Why do you even bother cleaning up after them all the time? They just make more mess. Just leave it!" "You are right," I say, "I've been thinking all I do is chase the kids around most of the day trying to clean up and get them to clean up after themselves. It's a lost cause."
As afternoon went on I did manage to clean up the living room, vacuum and sweep the floor, along with a couple other minor things. Side note: when I told Liam to help me clean the living room he asked who was coming over! I thought to myself, "Does anyone with three little kids actually have a clean house? Is it even possible? Am I striving in vain? How could anyone really keep it all clean for more than a few hours?"
Here's the thing - no one is perfect. Why do we try to pretend to be? Why do we think that our homes have to be in tip top shape if we are ever going to have anyone over? Why do I panic when people randomly drop by? Why do I think they will think less of me if they know my house is a mess? WHY DO I CARE? Well, that opens a whole new can of worms.
We care because we want people to perceive us a certain why. We want them to think we are someone that either we are not or that we aspire to be. The truth is that other people are probably well aware that we aren't perfect and they've chosen to like us anyway! No one likes someone who is actually perfect because they don't exist! And if you think they do, I'm telling you, it's only an act.
Instead of striving for perfection, let's be real. Let's talk about how hard it is to keep up with housework and 3 little kids. Let's talk about how we'd rather do 100 other things besides clean the house (hello, that's me!). And let's show some grace and love when we see each other's flaws because we all have them! A little honesty and grace go a long way.
Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to post a picture of our daily chaos, but today is not that day. Good night!