haven't read through all the posts...
I am glad you started this thread, OP, b/c I have been going a little bonkers over the weekend about this very topic. Well, except no one is bugging me about the house but...ME!
I am NOT messy, but my house
can be sometimes. I get so tired of picking up toys that will be spilling onto the floor in 20 minutes anyway. The hardest part is there is so much stuff and no closet to put it in, so things can be put up when guests appear. I would love a closet with lots of shelves and bins so the kids could still get their things out and play with them, and then when it's cleanup time, everything could "disappear". Sigh. Someday.
I like order and tidiness. I am not a fanatic. But if I have a shoe shelf, I like the shoes in a row, not a pile. I like to put things in their places so I can find them again, and I like my bed made during the day.
Now, I am one person. I happen to live in a home with a wonderful husband who's idea of organization is
a pile. Yep, and throw in a 5 year old and a 3 year old, it gets messy. They help in small ways, and it's nt toal chaos, but it's not my idea of a well-ordered home, either. But I think someday, when I have less preschool age kids and more teens it can be nicer. Or is that just wishful thinking??
I grew up with a messy home, my mom being a tired SAHM with 8 kids and a DH who worked constantly to provide for us. I remember resenting the state of disorder our home was in. I asked my mom for chore charts so we could all keep the houseclean--I was always cleaning bathrooms and floors and tidying up when people came over. Not that it was barely a dent. I loved my friends' clean and orderly home--it was so nice to be in, compared to being at my home! Her family all were expected to pitch in and rotated jobs. I was embarrassed when she would come over and immediately offer to vacuum the crumbs from the couch or whatever, though.
Now, I understand that my mom was lucky to grow her kids up and out and remain sane. It was a miracle we ever ate off clean dishes and I hold nothing against her.What bugs me the most
, and I know b/c I vowed I would never have a house like the one I grew up in...messy ...is that if someone walks into a messy house, one sometimes assumes the people who all live there are messy, or messy/lazy people.
This is not true in my case. I used to have a little saying on the wall about how we value relationships over tidiness, and you've probably seen them too.
These days, I just say, "step over the things in your way. We've been busy with projects lately, the house is clean beneath the layers of wonderful things we are doing". Most of all, I know being a mom is much more important than being Martha Stewart and I try to ignore those shocked expressions that appear from people who never grew up in or are not used to a messy home
But some days, I just wish IKEA would deliver a home organization kit and that I could somehow get our home in beautiful order. The saga continues...
Just think, you are modeling for this girl who is your dd's friend a home different than her own...you are helping her learn a bit about diversity, LOL.
I have a good friend who comes over so our kids can play. She homeschooled her oldest DD, 1st grade age, for a few weeks before enrolling her in school again. Keeping her home spotless and decorated is top-priority to her, and whenever this friend comes over, I catch her cleaning my stove-top or loading my dishwasher.
Sometimes I just join her and wash a few dishes and thank her for her help, and other days I just ignore it. She just wanst to help, and sometimes I think it's what helps her to be comfortable in my home, so I let it be. She has her own opinions and beliefs about how a mother should keep her house, she doesn't know my whole story, and she is entitled to her opinions anyway. So I don't try to change her mind anymore. I hope she can accept me for me, and I will continue to accept her for who she is.
Don't know if any of this is helpful, just do your best and let your friendliness shine through