I don’t have visitors all that often, but I find that when I do I basically instantly lose myself in a pool of anxiety and shame. This is because my house is never in the kind of condition that I’m comfortable with them seeing. I don’t just mean the building itself, I also mean our family.
I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but other people understanding my family is a source of anxiety for me. What if someone says something embarrassing? What if one of the kids leads someone into their room to see a toy, right after they’ve decided to pull every toy out of the cupboard.
So to try any save on the added anxiety here are some warnings for what to expect when you enter the circus that is my home.
1. Don’t cry over spilt…everything.
I try to clean. Honestly I do. Unfortunately I have three tornadoes that leave destruction in their path. I put away a block, they bring out a handful of cars. I put away the cars, they bring out a wagon full of toy food, an old book, and Buzz Lightyear.
The T.V is covered in dust and fingerprints. There are always some sort of crumbs on the floor even though I vacuum a stupid amount of times a day, and if you come around 4:30pm – no, just don’t come then. Come after 8, when the kids are in bed and we’ve had a moment to run around and pick-up the tiny fragments of my soul that have come apart through the day…I mean, toys and used spew cloths.
2. We don’t do pretty.
We’ve basically given up for a while. We used to have our house looking good. We had pictures, ornaments, signs. We had candles, and incense. Now the only style we decorate in is ‘Hand-me-down-chic’ and on display you’ll find a the stunning ‘Mount Foldmore’.
One day we will have nice things – and if you have young kids and you have your house looking like the cover of Home and Garden then I’m in awe of you – for now, this is how it is for us. It’s ok.
Bonus tip: Expect me to be rocking the mum bun, hubbies t-shirt, and tracksuit pants. If I don’t have spew on me somewhere I’m doing great!
3. Knock, knock. Who’s there? No shame.
Ah, yes. Toilet humour is a huge thing here. The are four males in my house and I don’t want to go stereotyping here, but it is generally said that boys find potty jokes funnier than girls. In this house we all find it funny. When you have a child that likes to sing ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ with ‘penis’ replacing every word, you kind of have to get on board pretty quick. I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable. They don’t generally say it around strangers, but if they do I don’t know that I’d be that worried. I’d laugh actually. Because they’re innocent. There is no shame in those words when you’re a child. We aren’t born thinking penis is a rude word, it is taught to us and it shouldn’t be.
-Side note: Manners are an absolute non-negotiable here. So you might witness a sentence along the lines of “I fluffed!” And a reply of “thank you!”. So they’re crude, but polite, right?
4. Got earplugs?
There are five humans and a cat in this family, there is bound to be some noise. My kids are loud, hubby is loud, I’m loud, the cat is loud when she catches sight of Mr 2 running at her with glee. We are loud people. We laugh loud (at poop jokes). We sing loud and silly. The boys tend to scream…that’s not so fun, but it happens. They cry loud -hell hath no fury like a toddler who was served their toast in squares when they wanted triangles, or a baby who wanted their bottle five minutes ago but had to wait because there was a poonami that needed cleaning first. We are loud. #sorryneighbours.
5. We have our hands full…
…and our hearts even more so. Yes, we’re messy, and we’re crude, and we’re loud. We are also caring, and fun, and loving. We love each other so ferociously. For every piece of washing that gets worn before it makes it to a drawer, there is a hug given from one brother to another. For every crumb that is dropped immediately after vacuuming, there is a smile, or a look of adoration, or pride. And for every single spec of dust that has settled on every surface, there is love. I know we could have all of this and also have a clean, chic, pure, quiet household – lots of people do it. But it isn’t us.
This is who we are. And honestly even though it’s out there for everyone to see, I’ll still feel that all too familiar tightening in my throat when people turn up and the house looks like an episode of ‘Hoarders’, because that’s who I am. But at least you’ll know what to expect.
Please don’t judge us – we’re doing the best we can. As the saying goes:
We don’t have it all together, but together, we have it all.