Hello, my name is Lynn and I'm a neat freak. It's likely that if you arranged to come and visit me the carpets would be freshly hoovered, the kitchen floor would be mopped, glass would be cleaned and cushions would be plumped. It's just what I do.
Yet I'm annoyed. I recently read a blog where someone suggested they could never be friends with someone like me, a mum with a tidy house (apologies - I couldn't actually remember who wrote that original blog post). I've read posts on Facebook too, berating people (especially mums) for having a clean and tidy home. Apparently if I take time to tidy my house I'm missing spending quality time with my child. Apparently I'm not fun.
I know it's daft, but statements and blogs like this make me feel I have to justify myself. So I'm going to. First of all, I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting your home to be nice. That's all I want. A nice environment to live in for my child, and for me. However, to say I prioritise housework over the care of my child is utter nonsense. Every single day my daughter and I read, draw, paint, bake, dance, visit the park, sing, play with toys, play hide and seek. You name it, we do it. Where possible, I plan my cleaning around my daughter. So if she is napping or having a snack or after she's gone to bed you will most likely find me completing a household task. Sometimes when that's not possible we'll do some housework together. Holly loves to help me with the washing and think it's a great way to help teach her colours too! She also loves to help me dust and often asks to do it without any prompting. I think it's good to get her involved in housework now because when she is older she will be expected to do housework to earn her pocket money. Doesn't sound like such a bad thing really does it?
For the record though, even though I have a tidy house most of the time it does get messy with a toddler. Of course it does. How could it not? You'll find every floor strewn with toys. EVERY DAY. You just won't find dishes in the sink or cobwebs in the corners. Then when it's Holly's bedtime the toys disappear. They are stored away. I like to turn my house into a nice adult place to relax in the evenings. Again, I don't see what's so awful about this?
There is some suggestion that because I have a tidy house I judge others who don't. I think that's really what the whole thing boils down to. Well I can honestly tell you I don't. Not at all. You're not me, and I'm not you. I've always been a neat freak, I've always been fastidious. Just because I became a mum that was never going to change. It's part of my personality, a trait ingrained in me. I do it because I want to, but that doesn't mean I expect anyone else to. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so, but it's part of what makes me, ME. It genuinely upsets me that someone would judge me for having a tidy house. Judge me as not worthy of their friendship. Would dismiss me, without knowing anything more about me than the state of my home. I would never do that to someone else. Reduce a person to one part of their life*. It's narrow minded and I most certainly think that is far worse than than being either messy or tidy!
*Well unless they were something hideous like a serial killer in their free time.