My husband returns home from work. I hear the jingle of keys, a familiar deep voice calling down to someone from the stoop, the turn of the dead bolt, and then the sound of tromping boots... man has entered the abode.
"Hey, Amanda, do you mind if Martin uses our bathroom to change before we go study?"
"Um... sure... lemme just, uh, grab some stuff out of it." And by stuff I mean, picking up a pile of clothes complete with bra and underwear, shoving all things on the counter into the drawers in one mad sweep, and throwing a fresh roll of t.p. onto the back of the toilet just in case the current one runs out. I glance at the pile of bath toys and the baby bath I haven't used in months but haven't had the time (or memory is more like it) to put in storage. I choose to let them stay put. It's not ideal, but I only have so much time before Martin makes it up the stairs.
I exit the bathroom, my eyes peeking over the top of laundry pile in my hands to see not just Mike's classmate but his cute, young wife as well. My eyelids expand to take in the extra bit of reality while my nostrils widen to breathe in that same reality and let it back out.
My house is a disaster.
I have two doe-eyed newlyweds standing in my disaster.
I walk back into the room and try my little heart out to be warm, welcoming, conversational, but it's almost as though my brain turns into a camera seeking out messes in autozoom:
I see the baby's snack tray on his jumper crusted in browned avocado slime from the day's lunch.
I see the car seat that for some reason is in the middle of the living room and upside down.
I see the pink Disney princess blanket haphazardly lying over couch and floor.
I see every single one of my pillows I just made to make my seating "warm and welcoming" warming random places on the carpet.
I see every toy from Elmo to the play broom scattered on top of the office desk, on the recliner, on the dining table and sprinkled across the carpet.
And then, I look down and see, in all of it's glory, one pink little Addy-sock covered in gooey Jed-cheerios lying in the middle of the room... right below the black leather boots of my new acquaintance.
Don't look at the mess. Don't clean it up. Stop apologizing for the mess it just draws attention to it. Stop feeling uncomfortable you'll make them uncomfortable. Focus on your
And the deep underlying thoughts: They won't think I am a bad mom/housekeeper/wife, will they?They will know that I am enough, right?
I sometimes wish I had seen a few more cheerio-socks in other women's houses before I had kids. I have these dang expectations that somehow I have to be able to do it all because the hundreds of women's houses who I grew up going to, scrambled to shove their short-comings into their "mess space" (you know, the room, the drawer, the closet, the under-the-bed... everyone has their last minute cram space). I know some people are immaculate housekeepers and some are the polar opposite, and, as I get older and wiser, I am finding that most people are somewhere in between. Living happens in their living spaces.
So, here's the honest, hard, cold truth of it. That pink sock might want to speak to me and tell me that I am not enough. Why can't you love on your kids and your husband, cook dinner, do laundry, keep the house clean, make time for God, friends and yourself, keep up your writing, do the little projects, wear the make-up, do your hair, never wear pajamas past 9 am, and return from out of town without missing a beat? And how in the world does one end up with a hot pink sock covered in Cheerios in the middle of the flow of traffic in their living area... and on the one day they have surprise company?! But...Everyone lives in their living spaces. Cheerio-crusted pink socks are just the beautiful evidence that God blessed me with a little girl who is free-spirited and comfortable enough to run through our house barefoot, and the evidence of a healthy little 9 month old boy who has gotten the finger-thumb-to-mouth down and is crawling and cruising all over the place...and taking his Cheerios with him. That pink sock covered in cheerios is a monument (albeit one I will quickly clean up) of God's blessings on my life.
I have two small kids. They are healthy. They are active. They make messes. I am blessed.
I am blessed and I am enough.
I can't do it all. But I am enough.
I am enough whether my new friend, Mrs. Martin, thinks I should win housekeeper of the year... or not. I am enough even if she visited and made a mental list of the things she "will never do" when she has kids. I like to think that one day Mrs. Martin will have small mess-making machines for children (I am convinced most kids just come that way), and she will remember that pink sock in my great room and know sometimes messes are reality. She is still blessed and not any less of a woman/housekeeper/mom/wife for having them.
Your welcome Mrs. Martin! I am linked up at