Some people’s houses look like they don’t even have kids. You see it on the Instagram accounts of the picture-perfect influencers. Or you go to a dinner party at a house that seems way nicer than yours. Where is the evidence of the kids? The mess. The piles of toys. The smudges on the windows and the walls. You know these people have kids, but somehow it looks like regular people live there instead of feral animals.
Maybe this makes those parents proud. Maybe this makes you jealous or insecure.
But is a spotless house with no mess, no evidence of children playing really all that impressive?
It may seem like you want kids who never act out. But as we talked about a while back, obedient kids actually obscure a certain amount of fear and intimidation. So unless your goal is to have kids who are scared to be themselves around you, scared to mess up or act out, it’s probably not what you want. Perhaps the same argument can be made about these spotless houses. What’s obscured in those Instagramably-perfect photos is the anxiety, the arguments, the strange prioritization.
Kids are messy. Kids are chaotic. Kids are dirty. The more fun you’re having…the more these things are true. Whether they’re toddlers or teenagers, evidence of their presence is not easy to hide. And why, with all that’s on your plate, with all the things you could be spending your time on–your time together–would you spend it trying to hide their existence? This isn’t to say you have to let everything go, it’s just that you’re going to have to let some things go. You’re going to have to accept some of the mess.
Because it’s beautiful evidence. Evidence you’re doing things right.