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Five Reasons Why You Should Be Proud of a Messy House

Five Reasons Why You Should Be Proud of a Messy House

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Before I got pregnant cleaning was pretty easy. I usually kept a clean house and enjoyed having it that way. During my fourth through nine months, I had PGP (you can read about it here) and cleaning became very difficult. Yet, I still managed it for the most part. Then came the newborn stage and, minus the piles of laundry that sometimes accumulated, the house was still pretty tidy.

Then my son started walking… and I’ll be honest…I’m not sure my house will ever be clean for more than a few minutes again. He is a Curious George, Dennis the Mennis, and a Tasmanian Devil wrapped into one adorably cute 14 months old.

Five Reasons Why You Should Be Proud of a Messy House

So here are 5 reasons you can be proud of a messy house.

1. You cooked dinner for the family.

Family dinners are SOOOO important. In fact, studies show that having at least four dinners a week together significantly helps your children avoid a slew of undesirable actions. They are so important that having a messy kitchen and table, as a result, is something you can look at and put your head up and say to yourself -or aloud-, “I’m pretty proud of my efforts to feed my family and spend quality time with them. If that mess is the result of such an important accomplishment, I am definitely proud of it.”

2. Instead of spending all day or even 3 full hours cleaning and scrubbing, you spent them playing with your kids.

I’ll probably never forget a blog post I read about how to clean up quickly before the company comes over. In the comments, one lady wrote, “It’s easy, I have kids and my house is always clean. Five words: Just KEEP your house clean!” Another lady replied, “Do you not ever take time to play with your kids? If so, how do you manage both?” And I truly wonder that too.

Unless you have a cleaning lady (which I’m not opposed to) or kids who are old enough and DO clean up after themselves, it’s pretty much impossible to be both parent and house cleaner 100% of the time. So next time you have finger paints smeared all over your table, or books all over the floor, look at the mess and be proud that you are a hands-on parent; you take time to make memories and even messes with your kids and they love you for it.

3. Family Vacations.

Yikes. On one hand, they are sooo fun but on the other hand, they are tons and tons of work. Not to mention the aftermath of catching up, getting back into the routine, unpacking, and cleaning up the car and house. Despite all of that, I can say without hesitation that as a kid I LOVED our family vacations! We all got to know each other better, experienced new things, got out of the monotony of daily life, and had a blast. If a mess is the result of bonding, having fun, and spending quality time together, you should surely be proud of it.

4. Company came to stay.

I just had visitors come from New Zealand. They are some of the most wonderful people I’ve met. It had been 10 years and we still were just so happy to see each other and visit. I didn’t have a huge mess as a result of their coming, I just didn’t have those days to do the day-to-day cleaning, laundry, etc. Well, the next few days while catching up I was happy because I got to spend such a wonderful couple of days with people I just adore. If you invite company over or take time off to make memories with friends, that’s a great reason to be proud of a messy home.

5. You’re Burnt Out.

Yes, you can even be proud of not cleaning simply because you are burnt out. What did you do to get burnt out? Was it learning, serving, helping, teaching, parenting, exercising, providing, etc.? Or perhaps you are just doing good to get through the day because you are sick, in pain, or have a chronic illness. Maybe it’s just that you’ve cleaned up the same area multiple times that day and can’t bring yourself to do it again.

My friend told me that, “Cleaning a house with little kids is like trying to shovel a sidewalk while it’s snowing.”  If you are too tired to clean, take a rest, recharge your batteries, and don’t beat yourself up about it. Life is tough and beating yourself up for a messy house just makes it tougher.

While I prefer a clean house and enjoy living in one, when I realized that the mess we make while LIVING our lives was making my attitude worse, I thought up these 5 reasons.

Whenever you are tempted to look at a messy house in guilt or disgust, lift your head up high and be proud of the good you are doing rather than counting the messes that need cleaning.

Five Reasons Why You Should Be Proud of a Messy House

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Wednesday 5th of April 2017

Maintaining a clean house gives you more time with your children, not less. If you wait to clean something until it's really dirty then you have to spend more time cleaning it. Cleaning the dishes after you use them is far easier and takes less time than scrubbing two-day old food off a sink full of dishes. If you spend fifteen minutes a day wiping down your bathroom and giving your toilet and shower a quick scrub, then you never need to waste a perfectly good Saturday afternoon deep cleaning everything.

I used to think cleaning was some kind of drudgery because I never cleaned anything until it was dirty or really needed to be done. Once I started a daily task list and began doing chores right away I realized maintaining a clean house is one of the easiest things in the world, and it saved me a lot of time to spend with my kids and on hobbies I like. It's a bit difficult at first because you're in the habit of being lazy and putting things off, but once you get used to it you realize that all the time you spent putting things off you were actually making your life much harder than it needed to be.

Amanda Morris

Sunday 4th of June 2017

Nariteaa, Exactly! I used to be awful at housecleaning, like eww... We moved a bit ago and had to go through a lot of stuff. and when we got to the new house, I promised myself AND the Family that I would stay on top of things. Let's just say three years later, and I have WAY more free time then before AND my chores are done! :) I LOVE it, the kids LOVE it, and the husband LOVES it! Once when my sons were little I was cleaning (rare LOL) and the oldest asked me who was coming over, it shook me! Did the house only get clean when there was company? Was my own Family not worthy of my full efforts, but company was? It spurred me to be BETTER! for my little Family!


Thursday 17th of December 2015

Thank you for this. Hug (In my little one's voice with her arms wide open.)

Anita Fowler

Saturday 19th of December 2015

You're welcome! :) so cute.

Em Prata

Monday 2nd of June 2014

LOVE this! I think a happy medium is in the works somewhere, but bonding with the kids always takes top priority. (Especially for the workin' mamas like myself)


Tuesday 27th of May 2014

I am with L22 but my comment will be shorter bc she said most of what I would say. I even wrote a post about this as well. I am a neat freak but I also play with my kids. Everyone is different, if we were all the same, it would be a boring place. Boy, that was a boring comment but I think you get where I am coming from. I won't judge you, you won't judge me, deal? :)

Anita Fowler

Thursday 29th of May 2014

Kari- I love that you are a neat freak. I totally wish I was more that way! I strive to keep my house clean but its never 'neat freak' clean like I would absolutely love it to be. This post is to help women who can't get it all done. I wish you the best and I'm sure you are an excellent mother. No one is judging :)

Cheryl Rahkonen

Tuesday 25th of March 2014

It has been so long since I had a clean house. I have raised 8 children and now have 18 grandchildren that visit frequently. I use to be obsessively clean but have learned that the time spent with the children and grandchildren is so precious--so things are just going to have to stay a little messed up, a little dirty, and definitely out of order.

Anita Fowler

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Cheryl- Yes 8 kids and 18 grandkids is a lot of fun and joy but I'm sure its tough to stay tidy and clean! I have trouble with 1 son!! I know when we all get together at my mom's with all our kids (she has 11 grandkids now) its not 40 minutes until the house is a disaster. The kids have soooo much fun though getting out all the toys and running around. I always feel bad when we leave because its usually late and we have to get out of there before our kids get too cranky. We try to help clean up a little but its never clean like it was before we came. But she loves having us all over. Family is what brings joy in life.Thanks for your comment!