I try never to judge other moms, no matter how bad their behaviour may seem. I am far from a perfect mom and I totally believe in that whole “people in glass houses” thing. Being a mother is hard and a constant, emotionally demanding and draining job.
When I read in the news about that poor family whose two-year old wandered away from their unfenced yard and drowned, I couldn’t help but think, “that could have been my son”. When Milo was just 18 months old, he got up from his nap, opened the front door and walked half a kilometer down the middle of our busy road…in just his diaper. Accidents happen. Accidents do not make make you a bad mother.
I feed my children too much junk food and my toddler rarely eats anything green. I yell way more than I should and I’ve fallen asleep and forgotten to play the tooth fairy…twice! I buy my kids too many little toys and treats randomly, which makes them expect something everytime we go somewhere and I don’t spend enough time teaching my three year old his alphabet. Despite all of this, I am not a bad mother, but because of this, I never judge other moms.
I try my best, I really do. I make sure we sit and have a family meal every night at the table, where we all take turns talking about our day. I spend hours of my day, everyday, driving all three of my kids to their various activities 5+ times a week and I cheer from the sidelines or wait patiently in the car. We have weekly Friday Family Movie Night, and I spend hours each week playing board games or doing crafts with my kids (whether I feel like it or not). As a stay-at-home mommy, my life revolves around my children and my sole job is to take care of them and to keep them healthy and happy.
The truth is though, I can’t be a good mom if I’m not happy. Sure, I can go through the motions, but kids are intuitive and if I’m not happy, then neither are they.
This may be why the saying “Good Moms Have Sticky Floors, Messy Kitchens, Laundry Piles and Happy Kids” makes me super angry. My house is clean; I like having a clean house. This “cute” saying is basically implying that because I have a clean home, I must be a bad mother. Having a clean house makes me happy and guess what? It doesn’t make my children unhappy. In fact, numerous studies have shown that a messy, chaotic environment has negative effects on children.
This is why I started this post with the whole “I’m not judging” thing. Having a messy home does not make you a bad mother, but it certainly does not define you as a good one either. Why is there a stigma attached to moms with really clean homes? “They must not spend time with their children”, “they must not let their children have fun”, “they must be overbearing, militant, cold mothers”. I call Bullshit. Having sticky floors, piles of laundry and a messy kitchen stresses me out and a stressed out mom is not a good mom! Having a clean and organized home actually allows me more time to spend with my family and it allows our home to be a relaxing haven where we can focus on having fun, not the mess.
So next time you want to “pin” or “share” that “Good Moms Have Sticky Floors” post, think of how super insulting it is to all of us “clean floor” moms out there!