A friend dropped over. I knew this friend wouldn’t care about the state of my house but I heard myself say, “Sorry the house is in a mess.”
I hear the same phrase when I visit friends in their homes. Why do we do it? Why do we apologise?
Personally, I feel embarrassed when my house is messy — which is often. I worry people will think I’m lazy or am running some sort of zoo (it certainly feels like it at times!). I also want people to feel comfortable in my home. (Excuse me while I wipe the weetbix off your chair). You see, I have great plans for neatness, but in reality, I can’t sustain it.
When I do manage to have the house clean and tidy, I decide things will change. I WILL STAY ON TOP OF IT! But I don’t. Why? Because it rains. And I can’t get the washing dry. Because my children get sick. And in a moment my children can make the mess in the picture when they play wonderful games around the house. Because I’m out of the house four days in a row. And I get weary. Because I’m a taxi. And my daughter forgot to take her lunch to school. Because my husband leaves his shoes and socks in various places around the house. And — why, why, why — would someonetell me why the floor next to the washing basket is closer than the basket itself?
I wish I was a better housewife — I really do — but I do my best. Sometimes my best is fairly passable. Sometimes my best a I-managed-to-shower day. So be it.
On the flip side, I never want others to feel embarrassed about their homes. So, when I hear the words “sorry the house is a mess” I say, “Don’t you dare apologise. I couldn’t care a less.” It’s probably time I take my own advice and stop apologising.
I want a nice neat home — you know — like the magazines with glorious storage and no dust. Come on Kelly, is that what you really want? Ah — yes. Yes I do. However, this is what I’m thinking about: My children have clothes and love; my family has food and shelter; my husband has comfort and support; my friends can come to my home and not feel stressed about spilt milk. These things have to be better than a neat home — right?