“AH….pick up the toys!! Did you just poop?? Okay, kids, be nice and share your toys!! Not now, I need to do the dishes before everyone gets here. Don’t breathe or move or make any kind of mess. Your friends will be here soon!!” Do you ever sound like this when you have friends or family coming over? This is my checklist before people come over: 
  • Is everything clean and put in the right spot. If not, throw it in a closet!  

  • Make sure the kids look put together and dressed. 

  • Did I make muffins and put out a nice spread of food? 

  • Is the bathroom clean? 

  • How dirty are the floors….really?

*Knock, knock* “Okay, guys, they are here!”  All the nice things your friends say: “Oh, wow! Look at all this food! Your house is always so clean! Your kids look so cute. I don’t know how you do it!!” These responses would stroke my ego and tell me that I am doing a good job and that I am Super Mom! But am I really? What did it cost me and my family to get those “compliments”? All that stress, time I didn’t spend with my kids, the short temper I probably had towards the kids and my spouse…..and for what?? This expectation I put on myself led to me being exhausted, stressed out and, honestly, dying for friendship but avoiding it because of the work I felt it took to have it. I measured how well I was doing as a mother by making sure I made every meal and had it ready for the family, having dishes done, laundry done, grocery shopping done, kids to school on time, everyone to church on time, and the biggest thing about all this…..I did it ALL BY MYSELF!! Are you that woman who needs your home in order before anyone can come over? Or when you leave the house, you are prepared for the whole block and their kids? Or maybe you don’t have friends over because you don’t want them to see where you are struggling? Maybe you don’t let anyone help.
My big question is: Do all these things really make us Super Woman?
In my last post, (Where to Start) I spoke about my marriage crumbling, and that is where a huge shift happened in me. We moved to England during this time and before we got there, I remember this moment so clearly. I promised not to make everything look picture perfect. With social media it is so easy to see only the good and I have a lot of blessings in my life, but if you ever watch one of my “Tay-spresso’s” on my Facebook page, then you know I share about crazy motherhood moments, my sharing of food or lack thereof, or my epic Pinterest fails. Heck, I just talked about my kids stealing! AHHH!!!!! At this point, I made a conscious decision to have an open door to my house. I would not apologize if it was messy or if it looked lived in. Living in England, in a village, you have a community. We lived on the main street to get to school, so most everyone passed by our house on their way to school. There were times, I am sure they heard me hollering at the kids to put their scarfs on, shoes on, grab their bag, etc. But most the time, we would walk to school with our friends. Yes, I became great friends with the moms. After school drop-off, it became very common for us to stop by my house to have a cup of tea and maybe some treats. Our younger ones would play, and we would chat. Most the time, I would tell them to keep their shoes on, because who knew what was on my floors. Half the time there were still cereal bowls on the table. BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER AND I DIDN’T APOLOGIZE. I set the precedent. In my home, everyone is welcome, it is not always going to be clean, but laughs and good company I will provide! I presented myself as vulnerable and real. I have friendships that are very deep, and they believe me when I say I am going to do something, even if it sounds crazy. They trust that I would hop in the car and do all their grocery shopping if they needed it and they would do it for me. Those kinds of friendships don’t develop when you are stressing out about what your home looks like, what you look like, etc.
This reminds me of the infamous Martha and Mary story from the Bible, where Jesus had to gently reveal to Martha that she was choosing chores over relationship. Cooking, cleaning, and serving are very important but they must come second to investing in relationships with those around you.
If you relate to any of this, I challenge you to do something that is out of your comfort zone and freeing. For me, it was not apologizing about what my home looked like. What will that look like for you? P.S. Now, if you met me after England and you are questioning this clean home thing I used to have, then I have done a good job being real ?. Written By: Tayler Cathrine