I just read an article by “Scary Mommy” titled “What Normal Looks Like”. I have to start by saying that I LOVE her blog and I know the intent of her post was to empower fellow moms and to let them know that they are not alone. That being said, I was a tad insulted.
The blog post pretty much started out by making fun of a mom with a clean house and then giving all the examples or how “normal moms” have cluttered, messy homes. Ouch. My house is pretty clean most of the time so, if I’m not normal, than what does that make me?
This isn’t the first time I’ve questioned my love of a tidy home. It’s not just the many “Real Moms Have Sticky Floors” posts on Facebook or the way the media portrays women who like cleaning as “neurotic and overbearing”; it’s comments from friends and family that are the worst. “I wish my home could be this clean, but my kids are my first priority”. OK…is that a compliment or did you just call me a crappy parent? I’m going with the latter. News flash; Moms with clean homes still love and cherish their children – we also suffer from the same mom guilt that you do, so cool the nasty, k?
Recently, I was told, “I have better things to do with my life than sit around all day and clean the house”. I get it, cleaning the house isn’t my favourite way to spend my time either. I mean, I agree with you, but when you say that after you walk in my clean home for the first time, it kinda seems like a jab.
My response to these type of comments is always the same, I get flustered and stammer “I don’t spend all of my time cleaning, I just do a little bit every day before bed and…” and why the heck do I feel it necessary to defend myself? Here’s the thing, I like having a clean house because I freaking like it, ok?
Everyone has different things that make them happy, so why, oh why do we continue to measure ourselves against each others weird and unique strengths? I like a clean house, I also happen to like cookies and have an aversion to sweating. The mom with the rock hard abs and no clean clothes except one pair of yoga pants is like bizarro me. I’m not going to make her feel bad about being healthy by saying “I’d workout too, except I couldn’t stand to let my house become a pigsty”. Some people just enjoy different things and live their life accordingly. Judging her against myself is crazy pants…it’s apples and oranges.
Hate housework? Cool, I hate exercise. I have mom friends who are amazing cooks, decorators, athletes, business owners, musicians…I mean, they all have different ways they rock it and equally different things they suck at. Why do we insist on only measuring faults against strengths? Why do we tear each other down instead of realizing we are all at the same level, just standing on different podiums?
There is no such thing as a “normal mom”. We are all weirdos. When we try and make a group of weirdos feel normal by bashing another group of weirdos, it’s only fueling the mommy-war fire and making us all feel worse about ourselves in the long run.
I don’t want to feel guilty about having a clean house and I don’t want anyone to feel guilty about having a messy one. I’m not judging your home, I just feel anxious when my house is cluttered, so I clean it everyday. I don’t clean it for other people, so repeat after me “the state of my house isn’t about you”. You don’t go to the gym so that I feel bad about my body; you do it for yourself. Trying to be healthy isn’t about showing off or getting attention, you workout because you enjoy it and it makes you happy. This is why all of us have different strengths and passions.
So, let’s celebrate each other and acknowledge these strengths for what they really are; our uniqueness. Want to know what “normal” really looks like? Me neither. Let’s just agree to stop the judgement against other moms once and for all; because we all judge ourselves enough as it is.