I hereby write to inform you that you are full of shit.
That’s right. I said you are full of shit.
You suck people in with your pretty pictures. The alleged proof that somewhere in the world, there is a woman who has a perfect kitchen/home office/garden and a professional photographer on hand…I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this tirade.
In the late hours of the evening, when my family slumbers around me, I lay awake with my iPad, unable to log off because I might find just one more photograph of perfection. One that will change my world. I might stumble upon something like a photograph of a baby carrot perfectly carved into a minute totem pole, surrounded by tiny trees fashioned from organic broccoli and standing in fluffy piles mashed potatoes meant to resemble snow! Whew…deep breath.
In my state of exhaustion, you will lead me to believe that if I can carve tiny baby carrot totems, my children will be happier. That I will become a better mother and my artistic carrot carving abilities will be world-renowned.
Then I pass out with my face plastered against the iPad’s screen and dream of my shortcomings and failures as a woman.
Well, as I wiped drool off my iPad’s screen the other morning, I started thinking. I can’t help but notice the Pinterest-wide obsession with mud rooms. You know, coat racks, hooks, nooks, cubbies and shelves. Boot trays and tile. To-do lists and messages of love written on chalkboard walls to families so utterly loved that their mother has provided them with a perfectly organized room. One designed to deal with mud, but which according to thousands of pinned photographs, never get muddy.
Also, at our house, the chalkboard wall tends to hold messages of power in the form of potty words. So, if you’re okay with your guests reading something like, “Mom is a big poo poo head” immediately upon entry into your home, paint away. Chalk it up, baby. Nothing relaxes a guest and makes them feel more at home than proof that their hostess is a big shithead.
Please refer to Exhibit 1 (above.) Does anyone actually live at this house? Where’s all the crap?
Don’t be fooled. Those baskets will be filled with petrified grilled cheese sandwich crusts and unidentifiable masses of glue and glitter soaked in apple juice in no time at all. And that gorgeous hardwood floor? I’d like to see what it looks like right now. Right this minute. Because I’m willing to slap down a sizeable bet that they are neither shiny or clean. I’m thinking there might even be a pile of shoes spilling out of those pristine white cubbies.
Exhibit 2. Oh… would you look at the lovely doors in that mudroom? I can only imagine the multitude of sins that women believe will be kept hidden behind them. The mess concealed. The crap kept secret. No one will ever know that a bunch of filthy little animals live in your house! Visitors will naturally assume that you are the worlds the most perfect housekeeper!
Well, ladies. I am about to offer up a foul-tasting dose of reality. I am here to tell you that you shouldn’t believe the hype. Don’t let Pinterest fool you into believing that a perfectly designed mud room will solve all your problems. Don’t you think for even a second that your children (or husband) will gladly fling those cubby doors open to hang up a coat. And those individual shoe drawers? Forget about it. The only person putting away muddy boots and soggy sneakers away will be you. That’s right, sister. YOU.
Here is the ugly truth behind what actually goes on in a well-designed mudroom.
And here’s what it looks like when guests are coming over and I want to fake them out and make them think I am the world’s greatest housekeeper with a fantastic mud room.
My pictures are terrible, I know. I recently fired my professional photographer. My pictures were taken with an Android phone in a moment of motherly frustration for use in my crusade to reveal the truth behind motherhood. You see, I’d just re-entered the house after a rare hour of child-free time. I was relaxed and happy until I opened the door and promptly fell over the pile of boots and outerwear sitting beneath the wall of cabinets and shoe drawers. Yes, that is exactly one cabinet and one shoe drawer for each member of the family. Wouldn’t it be nice if each person actually used them?
Here’s how I deal the mess. I shut the door and walk away. Somehow, I highly doubt my grainy mudroom photos will be added to Pinterest.