Why I’m Embarrased to Host

I’m not exactly a neat freak. While I enjoy clean and well-organized homes, my own is rather cluttered. Having kids exasperated this by about 500%. Going to playgroup at other people’s homes is a special kind of torture.


It’s not just the cleanliness- everything is so tasteful. Walls are painted and adorned with artwork. They have a shelf of…I don’t even know what you call it- decorative crap? Like pictures and fake plants and maybe a figurine? Lemon water sits chilling on the kitchen counter, along with some fine cheese and a selection of local organic fruit.

I’m both envious of their aesthetic and anxious about what the hell they’ll think when it’s my turn to host and they see this:

A trampoline and yoga ball. Pillows thrown on the floor by the kids, because who needs a trampoline when you have couches? White patches all over the walls leftover from speaker installation. A makeshift changing table placed on top of IKEA furniture. A towel draped over my husband’s spot. Cat litter in the living room because I have nowhere else to put it.

I’d like to blame it all on the children, but it’s really not their fault. Yes, many of the women in my current playgroup are first time parents. They have not yet hit the baby-proofing stage, nor the “toys all over the god damned house” stage. But I’ve also seen homes of women with multiple children. Still tasteful. Still well-decorated. It just looks like someone barfed toys on the floor and left. You can still make out the beautiful home underneath the toys.

My home has always been focused on function over form, and the clutter is so bad that I feel I’m perpetually one step away from descending into full-on hoarders madness. Having kids just made the clean up even more difficult. Instead of going through stacks of papers and trying to get rid of unwanted stuff (why do I have a receipt from 2006?), I have to spend my time cleaning up after them. It’s a neverending battle with entropy and I’m constantly on the losing side.

I wonder if a coat of paint and some fake ferns would be enough to fool everyone.


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