To My Babies, I’m Sorry I’m Not Better At Keeping House 

By Samantha Johnson

The baby is asleep in my lap.

The three-year-old is telling me a “knock knock” joke he just learnt. It’s got something to do with bare bums.

I’m laughing.

He’s laughing.

The baby smiles sweetly in her sleep.

I look across the room for a moment, glancing away from my softly slumbering daughters face, away from the excitement in my sons eyes; and suddenly, it hits me. The mess.

Blocks strewn across the floor.

Books spilling out of the bookcase. Blankets thrown across a table.

A kitchen that is covered in dirty dishes and the remnants from lunch (and breakfast, and probably some of last night’s dinner as well).

Suddenly, the beauty of the moment I was just basking in evaporates and I am left filled with guilt and shame.

Why can’t I get it together?

Why can’t I provide a better environment for my children?

Why am I the only one who has a house that is utterly unprepared for unannounced drop-ins? (Side note – I truly detest unannounced drop-ins. Please don’t do that. Text me first, and give me an hour’s notice. I’m begging you!)

Whenever I scroll my Instagram feed I am filled with constant reminders of my inadequacies. Homes that are architecturally designed and filled with handmade, wooden toys in soothing palettes and clear, uncluttered spaces.

My home, in contrast, looks like the contents of every Disney movie ever made was vomited up on to the carpet in a beeping, flashing, plastic pile of noise and chaos.

Whenever I scroll my Instagram feed I am filled with constant reminders of my inadequacies. Homes that are architecturally designed and filled with handmade, wooden toys in soothing palettes and clear, uncluttered spaces.

I do not meal plan. I do not serve quinoa and chia seed-based delicacies on the daily.

I do not bake sugar-free muffins, which are frozen on Sundays, ready to be available as a nutritious snack when my children are asking for a “treat”.

Instead, I have packets of things that I bought from the supermarket, that my son can help himself to while I’m stuck to the lounge feeding the baby.

I offer peanut butter sandwiches and cubes of cheese and some fruit and maybe some carrot (likely to be rejected) or cucumber (absolutely will be rejected) that I found at the back of the fridge.

The clothes in my house are never put away. They move from laundry basket to washing machine to chair in my bedroom and back to the washing basket in a perpetual, never-ending cycle.

The fridge hasn’t been cleaned out.

The pantry is not organised with clear containers filled with baking goods, their contents easily identified from the swirly labels in pretty fonts that adorn the front.

I am not good at keeping house.

But that does not make me a bad mother.

See next page for more…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *