Confession: I am a disorganized STAHM

January 17, 2013 in Organization,Perfectionism

No More Perfect Moms Sigh. I always thought I wasn’t a perfectionist. I don’t need things to be perfect(I just don’t try to do them if I don’t think I can do it well). I can handle living in a mess (for a time).  Jill Savage’s book No More Perfect Moms is messing with my self image.But I promised in this post about the launch team for Jill’s book that I would be more real. Sigh.

When I blog, I usually share stories about how to trust God, to share faith, to read better books, to create cool crafts or to understand various issues more deeply. I love researching and sharing with you. I get to write, you get to read info that inspires you (hopefully) and none of my failures are evident. One thing about bloggers, you must always remember– behind the carefully constructed posts on faith and trust in God and being a better wife or mom, is a struggle. We all have them. We all fail in certain areas. Regardless of how great we appear at organizing or crafting or mothering, there is an area of life where we cry out for help. And the internet has not helped expose the realities.

Today, the Hearts at Home blog hop is asking us to share about our imperfect homes. Really? I would rather keep this part of me off the internet. My home is so disorganized. I am lazy when it comes to keeping up the house. I hate cooking. Don’t misunderstand, I cook most nights, and I clean most weeks and I would never be considered a candidate for a Hoarders show.  But generally when someone drops by, I offer an excuse for why things aren’t picked up. I want a neat and organized home. As a stay at home mom, I feel like I have failed because if I am home all day, I should have time and desire to keep this little home sparkling. I don’t have the skills or habits to create one. Sometimes I don’t even have the desire. I would rather call my friends on the phone or write a blog post than pick up, knowing the room will be a mess again at the end of the day.

I love friends who drop by unannounced. Then I feel like I can be real. This is the mess. This is our life. Thank you for looking past it. Once a friend knows my house is not naturally neat, and keeps coming, I stop pretending and cleaning like crazy before she arrives. It’s freeing.

I grew up in a house that was always picked up, tidy, and organized. Every room, except mine. And clean and tidy is what feels calm to me. The problem is I have no idea how to achieve clean and tidy, much less train these kids and husband to help me achieve it. So too often I give up. I let the mess slide, the daily pick up go undone. Or, more often, I try to pick up everything myself and as I move from place to place my frustration grows and I snap at my dear ones. And then I have to apologize because really no one has taught them the habits that lead to tidiness. And no one said I couldn’t ask them for help.

I am embarrassed by how my house will not stay neat. Certainly some of my lack of discipline is reflected in my troubles. But I also know this: I don’t want to be remembered for my neat and tidy house when I pass. And while I am still learning to care well for my home, I rarely miss a evening of snuggling and praying with my girls. Tonight as I write this and snap this picture of our schoolroom, with its messes and unpacked boxes that came in the mail yesterday, I must remember that today I snuggled my friend’s baby girl for two hours so she could go to the doctor, I helped another friend with homeschool curriculum choices and I took my girl to a book club she enjoyed and made the snacks to bring along. Plus we got MOST of our our schooling done today. (Big sigh again…it is hard to post a picture of imperfection!)Disorganized office

Keeping the house neat and organized will bless me and my family, so I keep working at it. But God looks at the heart and I am choosing to rest in this knowledge. He knows my desires and my short comings. And maybe someday, one of the women God has gifted in the area of organization will pull beside me and teach me the ways of the naturally organized and I will teach her how to start veggies from seed in March and then she will teach me how to start veggies from seeds in March without creating a disorganized mess.

Until then, I pray for grace to not snap at those I love, patience and peace for the weekend (since my husband is redoing the floors in the kitchen and dining room and the whole house will be mess). And maybe some insight into this mystery of home organization by visiting the blog hop!

And if you drop by, I won’t run around trying to tidy and talk. I will throw the stray things on the couch to the ground, get you a cup of tea and sit and listen, for almost as long as you have words.

To visit other bloggers writing about No More Perfect Homes click here. If you want to embrace your imperfection and lean on God, then consider Jill’s book, and purchase it Feb 4-9 and get bonus material! Here’s why and how.



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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Ann Rusell-Lutenske January 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Amen, sister.


pruningprincesses January 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm



Adventure Girl January 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I read your blog faithfully, and this is one of my favorite posts! Thanks for being so transparent and even including a photo…I can totally relate to having the only messy room growing up in a house of cleaness, too. I hated dusting…I’d rather have been reading! 🙂


pruningprincesses January 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Oh reading is my downfall. But I actually like dusting, at least its effects last more than a few hours! And I can’t read a good fiction book too often or I won’t get anything else done! It’s an addiction. Thank you so much for following my blog and taking time to comment. I really hesitated with this post, unsure if I sounded too woe-is-me and constantly rewriting and over thinking. The comments are so encouraging!


Holly Tumpkin January 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Good for you!! And it’s ok! That’s not even THAT messy 🙂 The fact that you’ve chosen to snuggle and pray with your girls is what matters. Sure we all have things we want to work on, but as long as people relationships and eternity are first, the rest can work itself out, right? PROPS to you friend. You’re exposed and we can all relate 🙂 Breathe easy now.


Kristin Taylor January 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Way to be real! The way you value relationships is important and encouraging.


pruningprincesses January 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Hi Kristin, thank you for taking the time to comment. Odd, but I’ve never been so nervous about a post before and then sweet moms like you took time to encourage me. Thank you.


April January 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I love your honesty! Thank you for being “real” with us. I’m thinking I will purchase that book and add it to my “books to read” list. Currently, I am reading Help For The Weary Mom. Where God Meets You In Your Mess. Talk about eye-opening. I thought I was alone in my struggles (messes), but really, I’m not! It’s comforting to know, that as moms, we aren’t alone in our struggles, short-comings, and failures. One thing this book reminded me of is 2 Corinthians 12:9 – God’s grace is sufficient for me! His power is made PERFECT in my weakness(es). So I will BOAST all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me! How awesome is that?! You are exactly right when you say that God looks at our hearts and knows our short comings. And THAT is a truly awesome thing! So, as sisters in Christ, we can come together knowing that we aren’t alone in our messes and we can share, encourage, support, and teach each other. And the best part, we are still loved (and accepted) by an AWESOME God!!
Love you!


pruningprincesses January 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Hi April! I saw that you were hosting a group to discuss that book. Wish I could come! I am reading Jill’s book, which I love, but is terribly revealing about my heart. And then Desperate by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae. Both are awesome and I recommend them. I am so thankful he uses our weakness to show his perfect power. Thank you for the encouragement. Seriously, if you are ever in town, drop by any time and I will show you my messes!


Belinda January 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I often feel like my house is not ready for the “Better Homes and Gardens” photo shoot. Maybe “Real Housewives”… ( ;


pruningprincesses January 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Belinda, my house is not even ready for the Saginaw News photoshoot. Your post is scheduled for next Monday…..


Sarah January 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Hi Laura, I haven’t commented in a long time, but I just had to after reading this. What a great post. Thank you for your transparency, which was such an encouragement to my imperfect heart and home. 🙂


pruningprincesses January 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Hi Sarah, I guess I know I wrote a good post if I can get you to comment. LOL. Just kidding. Come over any time, I really will clear a space and we can chat away!


Tina H. January 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Stopping by from the blog hop – I am #8 – and I just wanted to encourage you. Your priorities are spot-on…and God will guide you on the path to some organization if that’s what you really need. I myself am also a homeschooling mom of two girls (ages 10 and 11) and I’m not a natural homemaker either. I have just recently done a major de-junking that is (for now) helping me a little – but it’s not easy. I like how you say you’d rather spend time with friends or writing – that’s me!


Kayse January 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I’m right there with you!!! Messy house and all. I finally just cleaned my office out this week. And by “cleaned”, I mean “unpacked”. For the first time. And we’ve lived in our house for a year and a half now.

So yeah, I get this. Love this post!! 🙂


Jill Savage January 19, 2013 at 2:23 am

I’m so proud of you! You are so honest, real, and transparent in this post!!! You blessed my socks off!


pruningprincesses January 19, 2013 at 4:04 am

Thank you, Jill. Funny how nervous I was to post this and how quickly comments on the post came in, encouraging me. And really, there haven’t been many comments lately. Sharing imperfections is surprisingly hard, but I think if women are going to use social media for God then we need to stop spreading perfectionism.


Tanya January 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I love the colors of your blog! I love pink! I am visiting from sits. It sounds like we blog about some of the same stuff. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia after my first child was born. Any chance of me being the perfect mother kind of went out the window. I love Jill Savage. I went to a Hearts at Home conference a long time ago and loved it. Thank you for sharing your heart!


pruningprincesses January 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Hi Tanya. I think I have run into your blog before on SITS. You should stop by next Monday. The mentor mom who is sharing also had to let her perfection issues go when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia after her first 2 children were born. She is writing about some of the things she has learned. I think you might relate to her. I was hopping to make it to a Heart at Home conference this March (but they no longer have one in Michigan) but the dates didn’t work out. You should consider joining the Hearts at Home blog hop on the third Thursday of each month. The post you read was part of that hop. (Jill even commented on the post! Eek I felt like I had a celebrity on my blog!)


Tanya January 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate it. I will have to check it out. I will also have to check out the Hearts at Home Blog Hop. Thanks again!


Mothering From Scratch January 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

{Melinda} Oh my. I could have written this post, Laura. I desire so much to be neat and tidy. My house is generally acceptable, but I never feel like it is the haven that I desire. I don’t know exactly how to achieve that. Sigh. Like you, I’ve stopped trying to pretend I am Martha Stewart. If someone comes over, well, this is our home. People live here. Messy people. So love me? Then you have to love all that comes with me — and that means some clutter and junk. 🙂

Thank you for being so transparent! 🙂


Whitney January 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm

If this is any consolation to you, my office/living room is unorganized. I need a new desk, I have boxes in my office too and it drives me crazy. Visiting from SITS.


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