Dear sweet friend, you stopped by my house today, and I welcomed you in. There were a few piles of clean, need-to-be-folded laundry on the dining room table, a couch fort in the living room and none less than five baby dolls, a few balls, and a ride-along haphazardly abandoned in the hall.
A few years ago, I would have feigned a headache or pretended to be late for an urgent appointment instead of opening the door wide. Not so long ago, the mere thought of letting you right into the imperfection of my home—so common and normal in this stage of life—was a cause of anxiety. Because the pressure to be Pinterest-perfect was loud … the well-intentioned blogs, the best-face-forward Facebook updates, the polished mom-next-door.
So I’d vacuum every room, sweep the floor, set coffee on a tray, arrange homemade snacks for the kids, light a candle and spew a few short words at my children if they so much as misplaced a toy before you arrived.
I’d clean up for you, dear friend, because in a world of glossy magazines and styled Instagram images, it felt expected.
But even more than that expectation, I have to admit that I like preparing for your visits. I enjoy creating a space that shows I care, expressing tangible appreciation for your time and conversation. I like the arrangement of little details that communicate the fact that I care about your friendship. Details like flowers, candles, coffee, swept floors and picked-up rooms.
There’s nothing wrong with that; creating a space of beauty can be a gift you give someone. But here’s the thing … in polishing my home, I’d often hide my heart. Because it’s not easy to be honest about the reality of this life with littles when surface appearances betray any hardship.
Parenting is glorious, but its also hard, and in the midst of the little years, it can be pretty messy. That’s both the grit and the glory of it. And you know what, dear friend … I want to invite you into the heart of it all. Because I long for honesty, transparency and authenticity.
And I think you do too.
Perfection puts on a mask. It hides hardships, and pushes struggles beneath the rug. It builds walls of isolation, and I’m not interested in building walls. I’m more interested in tearing them down.
I want to be honest and transparent as a mom; I long to be authentic as a friend. The mess of sticky fingers and toy-strewn floors is a reality in this season of life for an average week-day morning, and I don’t want that reality to hinder friendship. In fact, I’d like to think it will strengthen it. Because when I remove the mask of perfection in my home and my heart, it gives you the freedom to do the same.
The great C. S. Lewis said: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
So if you stop by on any given weekday, I’m going to throw caution to the wind, open the door wide and welcome you in with a little dose of honesty and a big heaping of warmth. You’ll likely find handprints on glass, Legos littering the floor, crayons dropped haphazardly and tiny fingers needing help all.the.time. But I’m pulling the curtain back on perfection. So come in, take off your mask and kick up your feet. You may have to push aside a couch fort, but you’re welcome as you are, right here in this beautiful mess of parenthood. And who knows … as you take a look around, you might just find that you laugh and say, “You too? I thought I was the only one.”
You still have until midnight to enter the quilt giveaway with Phoebe Flock. Click here for all the details!
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