I’m a tidy mom. I’m a clean mom. My house is very clean and organized and looks like a show piece 99 percent of the time. At some point in our society this has almost turned into a bad thing. I see posts like “Messy moms raise happy kids” or “Your house is messy? Your kids must live there”
or “I don’t have time to clean, I’m too busy playing with my kids”. 

Those posts are fine, and true for a lot of people, but I find myself wanting to comment, “I play with my kid every day, too even though my house is clean! I promise!”

It’s odd feeling shamed for having a clean house. The worst is when someone says to you, in your own home, “Do y’all even live here?” At times I’ve laughed and said “Nope!” Other times I’ve snipped back with “Yes actually we do, we just aren’t pigs!” And at my best I’ve smiled and said “Yes, we just like to keep it tidy.” 

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Every day my daughter does three things without fail: she throws food on the floor, she empties out all our hair accessory drawers, and she stands upstairs and throws things downstairs through the railing. We also play with some of her 500 toys which always includes getting out all of the animal figurines. We have a ball everyday, and we live our best life in our clean home.

There’s no major secret or sacrifice, I just clean up as we go or when I can. I take an extra five or 10 minutes after her meals to clean up her space. While she is still sitting in her chair talking to me, I clean up the food she has thrown. A wet paper towel is the perfect tool for such a task. The things she throws downstairs are fun to clean up because I throw them back at her. She laughs and runs and we can easily place them in their “spot” once they’re thrown back upstairs. After she naps or goes to bed at night, I clean up all the toys and it takes less than 10 minutes, easily. Once a week during her nap I clean the bathrooms, or dust, or vacuum, or all of the above if it’s a long nap. My husband helps me keep the place clean because we all function better, calmly, happily in such a space.

It really doesn’t take much to maintain clean and tidy, and I don’t want my engagement or involvement in my child’s life questioned because our home isn’t messy.

If I start feeding her Tide pods or I let her have Snapchat at 6-years-old then shame me, but please, don’t try to make me feel less than because I like a clean house. Tidy moms raise happy kids, too. 

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It really doesn't take much to maintain clean and tidy, and I don't want my engagement or involvement in my child's life questioned because our home isn't messy.

Abbie Dunlap

Abbie Dunlap writes about her personal experiences in hopes that others may be able to draw encouragement through reading about them. You can find her at https://abbiedunlap.wixsite.com/blog.