Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In the Mommy Room

You guys know that it's a struggle for me to keep my house clean, right? That it's usually pretty awful, even though I'm really and truly trying? Sigh... I should be embarrassed but I'm starting to think a messy house is like a boob stain for me - part of my personality that really can't be denied. 


When we bought this house in 2011, I was the happiest person on earth. I love this house. It's perfect for us. It's set up so that when you walk in, you pretty much just see one room to your left. It's a living room - or actually more of a sitting room. I decided to call it the Mommy Room. It's where we put everything we own that is nice or worth more than $5 or purchased some place other than Target. 

Now, don't get confused and think the Mommy Room is done. Or nicely decorated. I lack the gene that allows me to arrange furniture in way that makes sense or looks good. Or engage in any activity you see people doing on HGTV. But that doesn't matter. 

Because this was the Mommy Room. I swore to ALL OF THE GODS OF ALL MOTHERS DATING BACK TO BEGINNING OF TIME that I could keep that one room presentable. Because I was tired of having people walk into my house and recoil in horror because it was like some kid-related explosion had taken place. And then been liberally sprinkled with dog hair. 

I was not going for fancy, or Pottery Barn catalog, or even "nice" - I was just shooting for not embarrassing. I just wanted FOR ONCE to have a house that was pop-over ready and would not elicit the righteous sniff from my neighbors. 

I made the children swear to abide by the new rules of the Mommy Room. They could have the rest of the house. That was my room. Everyone understood and was on board. Whew! I finally felt like a respectable grown up, you guys.

Sigh...

Here's a picture of the Mommy Room today, 18 months after we moved in. 


It's Occupy Mommy Room, you guys. It's a tent city in what was supposed to be my sitting room. 

And it gets better than mere blanket forts. Yes, it does. Because school is out, so now we will do crafts and paint things. All of the things.



This is the "craft area" directly off of the mommy room. The stench of washable paint permeates the air. Because literally gallons of washable paint has been poured out into paper Walmart plates. The paint itself is caked everywhere: table, chairs, floor, walls, ceiling. In some places, dog hair has dried into the paint.

Wait. What was that sound? I just gave myself the righteous sniff.

Just in case you needed a moment in which to feel better about yourself, here it is. I give it to you. I give you "The Mommy Room", the perfect analogy for how I do everything.

xo, Lydia   

(c)Herding Turtles 2009 - 2013

46 comments:

  1. This is the best ever. The house shall be a mess. Resistance is futile. I was beginning to think I just lacked the immaculate cleanliness gene. Someday I'll have nice things, I tell myself after my three year old just stabbed a pen into my brand new dining table repeatedly.

    I'm not the only one. Hooray! Or maybe it's Hooray?

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  2. People who give a "righteous sniff" when coming as a guest into my home are not worth knowing and would not ever be invited back. Either accept the chaos or go home. I have three kids under the age of 5. There is a lot of chaos.

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  3. I heart you so much, Lydia. You can pop over here any time and feel better. Because I don't get to blame anyone else for the state of affairs here. The baby is too old to use as an excuse and husband, tho a clutter-y person like myself, works almost all his waking hours. And the dogs do not make clutter. Or dirty dishes. Or laundry. Nor do they start Home Depot projects that take months to finish. That's all me. Also? We've lived here close to two years and there are still moving boxes visible from every room of this house except the nursery. I heart you. So much.

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  4. I love you & I love your honesty and humor. I noticed two things in these photos - 1. the dog dashing out of the room as you snapped the photo; this is my life...exactly, except my dog is a 200lb mastiff that slimes everything - and I mean everything...ceiling, lamp shades, curtains, tables, you name it, it has dog saliva dripping from it. And 2. You are an amazing mom who does arts & crafts and makes a tent with her kids and doesn't just stick her kids in front of the Wii when she gets overwhelmed by having them up her behind all flipping day, like yours truly! Rock that messy house and those fantabulous mom skills - we love you!!

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  5. Oh thank heaven someone else understands the kid-related explosion covered with dog hair. I try and try to no avail to keep a clean house. As soon as something gets cleaned, there is something else (dirtier than I could have imagined possible) to be cleaned next. Sigh...

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  6. I'm so glad you posted this!!! Seriously. I have the SAME exact feelings about just one room to keep clean and my efforts are thwarted every time! I'm so glad you're posting "real" things. Love your honesty!!! Cuz I get discouraged by all the perfect pictures out there. fun to look at but makes me feel bad about myself. :) Thank you!

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  7. Oh I love you! nothing but love!

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  8. Don't sweat it and I think your kids are only going to remember what an awesome mom they had who let them build tent cities and do crafts in the house without having a coronary or screeching "STOP!!!! YOU ARE GOING TO RUIN THE CARPET, FURNITURE, CLOTHES ETC. ETC."

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  9. I don't have kids (although with 4 cats there are toys everywhere) but all I see is happy when I look at these photos! "Perfect" houses make me think they're occupied by pod people! If I were lucky enough to get to come to your home, I would never sniff. And I would probably want to play and do arts and crafts with your kids...

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  10. My sunroom. MY SUNROOM. Gradually my daughter and her friends are taking it over. Cups and glasses everywhere, dishes, snack wrappers, and what is it with all the SOCKS? Piles of discarded socks everywhere. Last week-end my husband came upstairs to find me lying face down on our bed. "What are you doing up here?". I sighed "There are GIRLS in my room, and it smells like feet and cheeseburgers in there". He laughed for a half hour.

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    Replies
    1. LOL! Teenage girls are the worst!!!

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    2. OMG this is SOOO going to be my daughter and her friends in a few years!!! Thanks for the warning!

      Delete
  11. I have a sign that says " My house was clean on Tuesday, sorry you missed it." So I make sure nobody pops by on Tuesday to see that is a little fib too....lol! You have your priorities straight -- the kids will not always be little but they will always remember the fun in your Mommy Room and throughout the rest of the house as well.

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  12. So awesome. I recently found a sign that I purchased and hung with pride in my kitchen. It says "Please excuse the mess, but we live here."

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  13. I so needed that. XO

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  14. When we moved to our house in 2009 I vowed that the kitchen island would forever remain clean so that I could cook at any time and not have to move a pile of crap first. I didn't even want a whole room! Yeah, I think that countertop is tan. I'm not sure anymore.

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  15. The puppy tail photobomb tops of the tent city picture. Any room can be the mommy room...all you need is a glass and a t-box!!!!! <3 you Lydia! And hope Guru is recovering well after labor day!

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  16. My boys are 5 and 14....you'd think the filth and clutter would have subsided by now. It looks different (sports equipment has joined the mess), but it's still a wreck. Our 2, slobbery, shedding Labradors do not help the situation at all. AGHhhh.

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  17. Can we have a messy house-off?

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    Replies
    1. that's a good idea. The winner gets a cleaning service to come over for a day! woohoo!

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  18. I am pretty sure it was ME that wrote this entire entry, and yet I don't remember doing it. Like it came from my own mouth hole.

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  19. Oh Lydia, I didn't think it was possible, but now I love you even more! We are most definitely kindred souls. Those could have been pictures of my house! You are such a fantastic mama. As others have said in their comments... I would rather my kids remember having fun, than having a mom who was always yelling to clean stuff up. :) ♥

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  20. Check out unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com

    It's a little sweary but honestly it's helped get my house back into shape. She advocates doing 20/10s. 20 minutes of cleaning and then a ten minute break. Best thing ever!

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    Replies
    1. I second that. I was not a born housekeeper. I'm not a made housekeeper. But I can fake it with the best of them.

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  21. There will be plenty of time to have a tidy house after your kids have grown up and moved out, and I'm sure you will long for the days of blanket forts and craft projects. My kids are the same ages as yours, and we constantly have the couch cushions pulled onto the floor for blanket forts, and my girls like to demonstrate their scissoring skills by turning all available paper into confetti. It makes me crazy now (not that I ever had a tidy house, even before kids!), but I know I will be sad when they have outgrown such things.

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  22. I would rather do anything - ANYTHING! - besides than clean the house. I'd rather be in the dentists chair getting a root canal and I'm not even exaggerating. My dearest dream is to have enough money someday to afford a cleaning service. For now, the best motivator is an episode of Hoarders.

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  23. O vey. I don't have kids yet and this makes me want to postpone that "joy" a little longer. I'm such a neat freak and perfectionst that I think I'm going to have daily heart attacks raising children. I'm sure everyone who is already a mom, though, will roll their eyes at me and tell me that I'll get over it in no time once I am an actual mom.

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    Replies
    1. It's a different level of neat. I'm a neat freak too, but I've had to devolve my OCD to a more acceptable level. It's almost like I have "bi-polar OCD". Sometimes the house looks 'good' (as in, we've had guests and hosted parites), most times, it just looks like we live here. Not filthy, but kid crap everywhere.

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  24. Your house is so full of LIFE!! Who has time to clean when the wee ones are growing so quickly. At least that's what I tell my husband when he asks why the house is a wreck. He's learning not to ask! Thanks, as always Lydia. You are an inspiration in motherhood.

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  25. Happy kids = messy house. Yours are going to remember always the craft projects and blanket forts and the simple fact that you played with them. All to soon they will be grown and gone and you will find yourself missing the creative chaos. Rock on, mama! Ur doin' it right!

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  26. I live in a studio "apartment" (translation: Landlord thought it was a good idea to put an extra wall in the middle of the house and add a teeny bathroom), and live here with my 3 yr old and my amazing Boyfriend. My "apartment" consists of basically a tiny living room, a bathroom that is 3ft 3 in wide and 4ft 11 inches long (outside wall to door) and a kitchen that is almost as big as the living room.

    However despite the tiny size of my place i can never keep it clean. Even the kitchen with the baby gate up and all is a disaster. I have tried,and tried yet there is always something on the floor courtesy of the boyfriend spilling/dropping and not knowing how to properly clean it up, child throwing things into said kitchen and the amount of dust that seems to find its way onto my kitchen floor despite my best efforts.

    Lydia, when I originally got this place I was like "Yay its so small its cramped and there will be no privacy but hey I am a Mom what is privacy? And OH YEAH I'LL BE ABLE TO KEEP IT CLEAN ALL THE TIME!" And nope. I can't even keep the bathroom clean due to potty training and again,the boyfriend is clueless.

    I love them both but trust me your pain is felt Lydia...it is felt. Like a ripple in the Force, felt it I have.

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  27. I feel your pain. My Mommy room was called the reading room. It was the one place we could go and read and the kids didn't really want to go. There is only one entrance to it right off the foyer. It's windows look out onto our front porch so I really wanted to keep it tidy and respectable as it is the first room people see as they come to our door. It has now turned into the junk room. Anyone who looks in the front windows as they come to the door will see boxes, an old corner entertainment center, broken TV, more boxes and just papers and junk and stuff everywhere. Sigh.......

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    Replies
    1. YES! This happened to me too, except with my "office". Junk. Everywhere.

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  28. I couldn't possible love you more!!

    As my hubby was leaving this morning he said "Oh, by the way, the boss is coming by on Thursday(tomorrow), so can you clean the livingroom(aka the place where our children like to run/scream/terrorize the cat/etc)?" Umm ... no. Because even if I clean it, our 5 and 6 year old will dismantle it(again) by the time I even turn around. What makes it worse is, we have two livingrooms. One was intended for children(upstairs) and one for adults(downstairs). It doesn't matter which one I clean or even if I clean both. The end result is always disaster!

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  29. Oh my, this is EXACTLY my house. I swore I'd keep on top of it all. I work from home, what excuse would I have to not keep up. Work. Blog. Work. Blog. And oh yeah, housework comes in third. A very, very distant third. (as I kick cut up construction paper out of the way on my way to the bathroom).

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  30. You are a better woman than I. My poor neglected children don't get to do crafts that involve wet stuff. At least not in the house and unfortunately it rains here a lot. Even in summer.

    But I LOVE your fort city. We don't have visitors scheduled until next week so I think we're going to do that this afternoon :)

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  31. I have one "messy room" in the house that my boys and I use to build forts, make lego creations, and keep arts and crafts projects ongoing. They have to do chores to keep the rest of the house tidy (they're 5 & 9) and they earn minutes to play their electronics for the chores they do. Less work for me, more time to play, and if anyone "pops by" I can just close the messy room door and look-nothing to see here! Of course I do have them tidy it up once a week to avoid injury and avoid weird smells, but it beats the constant barrage of cleaning off the dining room table every 5 minutes because we need to use it for eating, picking up the fort so we don't trip, and taking apart the lego castle (gasp!) so the dog doesn't eat the pieces! Love your rants :) You make me crack up :)

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  32. Once, when my kids were little, my Mom commented on something. Dust, clutter, something that never would have happened in her house. I said to her (in as nice a way as possible) "it was more important to go outside and play catch with the boys yesterday than clean the house". She never, ever, made that comment again.

    My youngest is now 23, and I SWEAR as soon as he moves out, I'm going to have a clean house all the time. Or not.....

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  33. (((Lydia))) Allow me to humbly introduce you to a secret weapon that's
    worked for me. It isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I wasn't born organized, so this site and the info from it has really saved my bacon, taught me how to wrangle the clutter and chaos and be a little better at the stuff that doesn't come naturally. It is www.flylady.net. Love, from a fan and fellow sufferer of mayhem, Lisa

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  34. You call THAT a mess? Dude, you can still see the floor and identify the carpet color. Call me back when you have a REAL mess. ;-)

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  35. Try 6 weeks of perfect neat, tidy and clean with 2 children under4, because you're trying to sell the damn place! Did I mention we already bought the new one? So add a stressball to that. Easiest way to keep your house clean, because you must or you will go bankrupt from owning two!

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  36. My Mom, (who always had a neat home, as did her mother before her, and so on up the family tree), replies to my apologies for the house being trashed "it's fine! I like it like this because it means you're playing with the kids instead of cleaning." You are a MOM. Not a MAID. Love the kids and clean when they're gone. YOU ROCK!

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  37. Hilarious! Despite our best efforts to keep things perfect, sometimes we just have to go with the flow. Hey, the kids are having fun right? :)

    best,
    esther
    cuteheads.com

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  38. HOLY CRAP THAT IS MY ENTIRE HOUSE...EVEN DOWN TO FORTS AND DOG HAIR...OH AND PEE NOW, 2 OUT OF 3 CHILDRNE HAVE DECIDED TO FORGET EVERYTHING THEY EVER LEARNT ABOUT THE TOILET AND I AM FRIGGIN LOOSING MY MIND!! I LONG FOR A PADDED ROOM (OH HANG ON WE HAVE 2 OF THOSE HERE AS WELL...SERIOUSLY MY DAUGHTER HAS SMS! AND I EVEN HAVE TO FRIGGIN WELL CLEAN THOSE AS WELL! XXXX

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