Mom Confessions: My House is Messy and I’m Okay With It!

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messy house with kitchen sink full of dirty dishes

It’s my dirty secret,- literally and figuratively-, that my house is messy. I have ADHD and a toddler who really enjoys art projects, so at any given time you are likely to step in some dried playdough when you come over. Growing up, I was taught that a dirty house is akin to disaster, but I have outgrown that and I’m going to tell you why you should too!

Acceptance is the First Step

So this is something I have begun to unlearn, and I’m here to tell you that it’s changed my life. I grew up really struggling to keep up with my chores and keep my room clean. My backpack was always messy and my clothes were shoved into my drawers. Somehow, I assumed that when I was a mom, I would just change. Well… that didn’t happen. I’m just as messy as ever, and my partner definitely gets annoyed with me when I stuff clothes in our drawers. Now we have a child, and he is messy. 

A Messy House is not a Moral Failing

When I was young, my mom would be ashamed and upset if our house was a mess. Now, I struggle with that same feeling while also feeling inadequacy over the state of my house sometimes. But a TikTok named Domestic Blisters changed my perspective on house cleaning forever! On the surface, KC Davis’ videos look like tips for house cleaning with children. But dive a little deeper, and you will see their videos are designed to reimagine how we interpret cleaning. In fact, her message is that a messy house isn’t a moral failing, it’s just perpetuating your anxiety because it’s not functional.

Changing Your Perspective

Think about this, your dirty house doesn’t make you a bad person, but it isn’t practical. Davis’s advice for her followers is this: figure out a way to make it work for you. For her this includes, closing duties and viewing your chores as cyclical. For me, this looks like working on the areas that provoke me the most. Listen, if my living room is covered in toys, I am not as fun to be around. If I step on an old playdough bit or swipe my hand on the table and it is sticky, I will have a bad day. But you know what doesn’t bother me? An unorganized basement, a cluttered patio, or my son’s room being a bit messy. 

Clean what Makes you Mean!

Instead of feeling awful because my house isn’t as clean as the Instagram moms I admire, I clean what makes me mean. I moved most of the toys from the living room and put them in the basement and my son’s room. I put a tablecloth on the kitchen table because then I can just grab it off when it gets sticky. My toddler’s room is still cluttered and my basement looks like a daycare storage area, and that’s ok! I’m happier because my house is functional and works for me. My partner gets annoyed when I leave my clothes on the ground or the kitchen cabinets are perpetually left open, so I clean what makes her mean too. 

Toys cluttered and strewed about a living room
This was my real-life living room before I moved all of this clutter to the basement

Taking from Davis, I have been able to deconstruct the idea that a messy house makes me a bad person and figure out what works for me. As someone with ADHD, my house won’t ever be perfect, but I won’t beat myself up about it anymore. My house is messy but it’s functional.

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