I nearly choked on my lunch when I read that question/comment on my Facebook post earlier today. Bless her, she had the 5 kiddos thing right, but the house? clean? Pffffft.
Don’t fall off your chairs, friends. This isn’t a post about keeping the house clean with 5 kids. This is a post about perspective.
This was the photo in question (crazy girl climbs and moves chairs now. yeehaw.), and okay, from this incredibly limited angle, I suppose it does look like I at least manage to keep my table cleaned off. I have to. Because when I don’t? This happens.
What you don’t see in this photo is life around the clean table. It’s the same thing you don’t see in most blogging photos. The beautiful decorations? You don’t see the toy traps surrounding the photographer’s feet. Pretty jars of freshly-canned garden produce? You don’t see yesterday’s garden peelings stuck to the kitchen floor. Pinterest perfect, colorful, engaging activity for the kiddos? You don’t see those same kiddos screaming, red-faced, while mommy gets the perfect shots of the perfect activity for the blog. You just don’t.
As soon as I read that question, “How do you keep your house that clean with 5 kiddos??,” I got out the camera. Not because I have no shame (I don’t), and not because I don’t keep it real around here (I do!), but because I never ever want anyone to think I have it all together. I never ever ever want anyone to feel less than in any way because of any perception from this space. Got it? How ’bout a little tour?
This is what isn’t shown in the photo above.
Funny how Miss 1′s head even covered up the weeks old newspaper and random game pieces and parts on the piano from that other angle.
Books everywhere. Chair cushions askew. Miss 1 likes to remove all of the things and climb on them. Go figure.
Ah, now we’re talkin’. The crumpled up white t-shirt behind the red chair? It’s new. Mr. 3 opened it up for his birthday. On Monday.
And this? Life. Same table, different angle. Like my bookshelf to the right of this photo? The one with the drop door recently RIPPED OFF THE HINGES by acrobatic children, exposing my “I’ll scrapbook this someday” secret? Oy. If you look far enough, through the dining room, you can see the kitchen. Want a closer look?
Have at it. Catch-all table. Catch-all buffet. The empty egg cartons really do something for my wedding stoneware, I think.
There’s more! Oh, there’s always more. At least this is the fresh result of me making a hot lunch (fajita bowls over rice) for my husband today. That counts for something, right? Please. Someone come fix the little box that my fridge sits in.
Annnnnd then there’s always this. The one bathroom in this house for the seven people in this house. Looks like someone’s potty training, some others didn’t hang their towels up after showers last night, and mama’s Guideposts magazine is right where she left it after her late-night bath. Whoops.
That, dear friends, is how my house looks as I’m typing this up. And no. No, I’m not going to show you the bedrooms today. You can thank me later.
Perspective is everything. Nothing, no one is perfect. And when you see a photo on this site that looks like I have it all together, you can either congratulate me on a rare occurrence (it does happen every once in a while!) or go ahead and presume I got lucky.
Thanks for meeting me in this imperfect, messy, beautiful place. I kinda like it here.