When Mark and I moved into our home, I was obsessed with making it fabulous. I painted it myself in hip hues. I placed unread books on bookshelves and organized them by color simply for the aesthetic. I set up little vignettes on counters in groups of three to make my home seem chic, yet warm, you know, a cross between make yourself comfortable and maybe you shouldn't touch that?

Yes, one day our home would be the perfect blend of comfy/zen/chic and people would gush upon entering and then complement it with gusto and envy. (At the very least it would be clean and organized.)

HA ha ha ha ha ha haaaa.   

I'm sorry, did I do that out loud? I was just remembering what I envisioned, you know before my kids and pets ... and husband ruined, stained, chipped, wrote on, or buried (under toys) everything I owned. Oh, and I had the time or energy to care.

We all had idealistic visions (do these sound familiar):   

The Dream (these are things I imagined people would say about my home):  

"Wow, how do you manage to have such a neat contemporary yet casual feel with young kids running around?"

"Your house is like walking into a Williams-Sonoma catalog."

"Where are all the toys?"

"Are your kids home? They’re so quiet."

"Your dog is so well trained, he just brought me a seltzer with a twist."

"How do you get your grout so clean?"

"You say you decorated this yourself, but you're a damn LIAR!"

"Your house is so clean ... I'm just gonna put my baby down and let her go."  

"Have you considered sending pictures to Architectural Digest?"

 

The Reality (things people have ACTUALLY said in my home -- and my inner monologue responses):  

"Wow, it seems like you get a lot of mail." (Yeah, I'm getting around to that.)

"Did your house come with those window treatments?" (Yes, I was gonna get new ones, but those were hung and all.)

"I think there's a Lego stuck in my foot." (Better you than me.)

"Jenny, you know there's a button missing from your tufted sofa cushion." (Just don't flip it over, cuz there's none left on the other side.)

"You have a ping-pong table in your living room, that's quaint." (You know there's a pool table underneath ... wait, that might not make it better.)

"I love this piece of art, where is it from?" (Umm, my daughter -- circa kindergarten.)

"It's nice to know I'm not the only one with so much stuff." (Is it?)

"Wow, a wall radio? I haven't seen one of those in years ... does it work?" (Yes, it does. If you think that's impressive, there's one in the kitchen with a tape deck.)

"Do you happen to have a lint roller?" (Maybe my dog mauled you for the last 10 minutes, but that doesn't mean you get those precious strips of tape.)

"What a fabulous floor-plan." (Which is the equivalent of trying to fix someone up and using the word “nice” as their blind date's main selling point.)  

Look ladies, I do my best. Frankly, you should be thankful your hand didn't get stuck to the the refrigerator door, or your foot didn't get caught in a pile of laundry, which you started to sink into like quicksand, and had to be rescued from when I heard your muffled screams and saw only your fingertips waving ... because that's happened before.  

Twice.  

I think many of us Moms envisioned these perfect abodes, and like me ... they got them. My house may be filled with once nice pieces of furniture and toys busting out of the seams, but it's also filled with a ton of love -- and it is truly perfect.    

I know I got a little sappy on you there. Let me correct that, if you come over and judge my home, I'll make sure my sofa eats your watch! (That's better.)  

Spill: Does this sound familiar? Has anyone said something so judgy in your home that you wanted to steal their watch?


Image via JenEcards/TheSuburbanJungle