Why I'm Over Unrealistic Show Home Standards

Saturday, 29 June 2019

It's half past midnight as I'm sat here typing this. There's a pug or two fast asleep at my feet. There's an empty glass still sitting on the coffee table. My toddler is fast asleep in bed. There's still toys scattered around the living room. I haven't even thought about doing the washing up, and the other half is taking a shower so I'm half expecting to find a damp towel dumped on the bathroom floor when I go to bed.

And I absolutely do not give a shit about any of it.

I follow a lot of house accounts on Instagram and I'm also a part of a few cleaning groups on Facebook. And you know what? I'm sick and tired of seeing show home worthy pictures plastered everywhere which suggests that that's the state their house is when they wake up and go to bed. It isn't. It's lies. It's all absolutely staged and prepped before those photos are plastered on the internet for everyone to drool over and then immediately feel guilty because why doesn't my house look like that?

Of course, people only ever want to show the good side of their lives on social media. No one posts photos of the pile of clothes sitting patiently forgotten about in a corner that you were meant to put away this morning. No one posts photos of their bathroom after their kid's bath time because HEAVEN FORBID that strangers on the internet saw that your bathroom floor has water on it. No one posts photos of their half-made bed because you simply couldn't be bloody arsed to spend 15 minutes this morning making sure all those pointless, decorative cushions that you throw off the bed at night time anyway are perfectly aligned.

I get it though. I get why people feel the need to showcase their homes as completely immaculate ALL. THE. TIME. Since the whole Mrs. Hinch / Zoflora fiasco went a bit nuts, the amount of people joining these Facebook groups has sky rocketed, and the bigger the audience, the more pressure there is to constantly portray a perfect home. I'll even go as far as admitting that I somewhat fell into this trap about 6 months ago. I would deep clean my house about 3 times a week despite the fact that I work full-time and have a daughter to look after. I would spend hours on a weekend scrubbing skirting boards and shampooing carpets only to feel internally defeated when my toddler undid all that hard work in the space of 20 minutes.

And that's kind of what made me stop.

There came a point where I would want my child to not play with her toys because I'd just spent a good half an hour making sure the living room looked spotless regardless of the fact that it was for no one's benefit other than my own. And then I stopped and told myself to get a grip.

It's a hard thing to let go of when there seems to be literally thousands of people showing off their perfectly clean homes. It makes you wonder if you should be doing more tidying up. It makes wonder if you could spare half an hour just to quickly go and tidy the bathroom. It makes you wonder if you're just a little bit scruffy.

The truth is this - you're not scruffy, or a slob, or lazy.

There comes a time when there has to be a cut off point. A moment of realisation that actually, I am pretty sure my daughter will appreciate the extra 10 minutes of cuddles and bedtime reading rather than the frantic mess of a tired mother trying to get the inside of the microwave looking spotless.

It's not entirely inaccurate these days for me to delay putting the dishes away until the morning because we're all just a bit knackered and would like to go to bed PLEASE. It's not unheard of for me to repeatedly bypass the mass of crap at the bottom of the stairs that I keep meaning to take upstairs with me but never seem to do.

Now before you start thinking gosh, she really is scruffy, I don't let unwashed plates and cups sit in the sink screaming to be washed because food and mould is growing on them and if I know someone is popping over then I'll give the place a quick tidy up (and I mean QUICK). But apart from that, if something isn't dirty, then you won't see me running towards it with antibac and a duster in hand.

And that's something I think we can all kinda sorta learn from. We all need to let go a little. Stop stressing the small stuff and just enjoy our own homes for what they are - even if that means a little bit of unnoticed dust on the skirting boards. The mess just means we live here, the dishes means we cooked and ate a family meal here, the rubber ducks on the bathroom floor means we had a whole lot of fun at bath time and the ridiculous amount of dvd cases lying around the front room means that I have a curious little person who likes to get into everything.

I used to feel guilty and stressed about the constant mess that comes with a toddler, two dogs and a man child, and sometimes I still do, but for the most part, I've found the comfort and joy of knowing this house is our home, it's where I'm raising a family and it has been and will continue to be a place where memories are made.

Is my house clean? Yes. Does my house get messy as hell? Absolutely. Is my child happy, carefree and able to be creative as she wants within these four walls? There's absolutely no doubt about it. And that's why I'm perfectly okay with a messy house.

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