To all the parents out there, we see you. We see you battling the crush of afterschool traffic every day, walking the frozen grocery aisle for the third time this week, and swapping out trivia nights for toddler tantrums.
We also see your home. And we know, that like ours, it’s lived in and loved in and probably just a little messy. We know there are dirty dishes in the sink and dirty clothes in the laundry basket. There is probably a bathroom that needs cleaning, floors that need mopping and a pet, somewhere, shedding a mountain of fur that should’ve been vacuumed yesterday.
But you know what? Your home isn’t the sum of you, or your parenting abilities. And forget anyone who says otherwise. Because – forgive the cliché – but life is just too short. When your kids are grown, are you going to regret not ticking more tasks off your to-do list or not spending more time at the park? Are you going to wish you’d scrubbed the lino a little harder or held your kids a little longer? After all, they’re not going to be kids forever.
Sometimes we feel that our best isn’t good enough or our neighbours are doing it better. But that just isn’t true. Sometimes we beat ourselves up and put ourselves down for not having more time. But there will never be enough time. Perfect homes (and perfect families) simply don’t exist, and believing they do will only manifest in stress and anxiety. And we’ve all got enough of that as it is.
A house is a home when love lives there, not when the benchtops are immaculate — but if you’re deep in tidy home anxiety, here are a few helpful ways to relieve some of that stress:
1.Create a done list
Instead of a to-do list, which can add pressure, why not create a done list? Every time you finish a task, whether it’s feeding the dog or doing the laundry, write it down. It doesn’t matter how small an achievement. Even just responding to your friend’s email is worthy. At the end of the day, your done list will have you feeling productive and proud. We promise.
2.Reconsider who you follow
We all love the internet. And most days, it’s a great place to be. But if you’re following a bunch of Instagram accounts featuring perfect parents with perfect families living in perfect houses then maybe it’s time to reconsider who you’re following. The accounts we interact with should inspire us, not make us doubt ourselves or feel down. And there are ‘real’ family accounts out there.
3.Enlist a little technological help
Technology, what a blessing. If you’re feeling run off your feet, there is probably an app to help. For example, investing in a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner will take one household chore off your plate. Same goes for supermarket delivery – if you know that every week you will be needing a carton of eggs, three packs of pasta, one bag of rice, half a dozen bananas and a load of green veg then why not consider getting it delivered to your door? It saves you a trip to the store with baby in tow. A smart home hub can also make your life easier, allowing you to adjust light settings, control music and speak with Siri/Alexa/Google via voice activation alone. Like, ‘Hey Google, what is the best way to remove hot chocolate stains from the clothing of a small child?’
4.Check your expectations (and the expectations of others)
Expectations are pesky things. You will undoubtedly feel overwhelmed if you’re holding yourself to unreasonable standards. And you will feel even more overwhelmed if you believe other people (friends, family, partner) are also expecting more from you than you can give. If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s time to have an open and honest conversation with yourself and your nearest and dearest. Don’t let a messy home interfere with your mental health or your relationships – it’s just not worth it.
Ever thought of baby proofing your home with tech? We’ve got the tips and tricks for that on our blog- How to baby proof your home with tech