By: Melanie Anderson
Years ago, when I was single and only had to take care of myself, my apartment was clean and tidy. Kitchen swept, check. Clothes washed and folded, check. Bathroom sparkling clean, check. After I had my daughter, it was a little more tough to keep up but I managed to. Maybe the kitchen wasn’t swept every day, but it was still clean. After my second child, my kitchen was swept maybe once every two weeks and the bathroom… well, we just quit having company so who cares? Kidding aside, cleaning did take a back seat. Who has time? I thought as my kids got older it would get easier, but it hasn’t. Bags dropped at the door, coats hung on the back of chairs, school papers scattered, hockey equipment strewn across the porch. It’s just a giant cluster of messy some days.
When the kids were little, I used to apologize to everyone who walked through the door. “I’m sorry, please excuse the mess.” That seemed to be my go-to line. It would just fall out of my mouth to visitors that would just stop by or visitors who were announced. Even when I would make the effort to clean, I would still apologize. One day my mother-in-law came to visit and I apologized “please excuse the mess. We have been busy today and I didn’t get to clean everything up”. Her response changed the way I see my house and the way I see yours.
One day my mother-in-law came to visit, and I apologized, “Please excuse the mess. We have been busy today and I didn’t get to clean everything up.” Her response changed the way I see my house and the way I see yours.
“I am here to see you, not your house,” she said.
How can one line make such an impact? She was right. I didn’t go to other people’s houses to check out their dust. I didn’t go to see their morning, afternoon, or evening dishes in their sink. I wasn’t there to look at the toys scattered about. I was there to visit with my friend.
I stopped apologizing and started enjoying. My house is usually picked up, but you might find a dust bunny or toys on the floor. You might find dishes in the sink. You will see hockey, baseball, and golf equipment and I am okay with that.
So, if you’re coming to my house, come to see me not my house; and I will do the same when I come to see you!