The doorbell announced an unexpected guest. She felt flustered because the house was messy and she had had no warning. The guest walks in and raises an eyebrow pointedly on seeing the toys scattered everywhere and the laundry basket sitting in one corner with clothes piled high. The unprepared hostess apologises: 'Please forgive the mess. It's not usually this bad.'
The guest smiles a fake smile: 'Oh don't worry. It's OK' but also manages to look disapproving at the same time as if silently saying: 'Shame on you. What a bad wife and mother you must be."
Does this scenario sound familiar?
Firstly, remember there's a difference between unclean and messy. Cleanliness is important for obvious hygiene reasons. But messy is not the end of the world.
Were you busy creating a happy childhood for your kids?... taking them to the park, bandaging scraped knees, wiping their tears, guiding them with their homework? Well, then, the mess can wait.
Were you busy balancing a job and parenting, rushing to the kitchen to prepare a quick meal for a hungry family and then rushing back to the laptop to answer pending emails? Well, then, the mess can wait.
Were you trying to pursue your dream in the little time left between the demands of your kids, husband and in-laws? Well, then, the mess can wait.
Dear world, you need to stop judging people on how messy or tidy their home is.
The woman who opens the door in response to your doorbell has had her unique journey. A journey you know nothing about. You don't know her sacrifices...her struggle...her dreams. So you have no right to question her worth based on her messy home.
And dear homemaker, quit feeling guilty all the time. You don't need to apologise for a messy home.
As the famous saying goes: no one on their deathbeds wished they had dusted just a little more.
Nim Gholkar, 2020