57: Finding Joy in Letting Your Home Look Lived-In (even with guests over)

57: Finding Joy in Letting Your Home Look Lived-In (even with guests over) Meant to Bloom: personal growth for hot mess moms

Are you still stressing about the holidays and totally lost on the concept of letting it be easy? I got you. Join me in listening to today’s episode of Meant to Bloom where I continue this series of embracing ease and joy in this season of life.

Today we’re chatting about your authenticity, your vulnerability, how you feel about your home, and permissions to be imperfectly joyful.

Practical Tips to Help You Love the Home You Have

  1. Gratitude – specifically list the things you DO love about your house, even if it’s something tiny or something you’ve added or the way you feel in a certain space. 
  2. Unsubscribe from magazines or other media that trap you in comparison spirals. If it makes you feel like what you already have isn’t good enough, take a break. Those tools aren’t meant for you right now, those are for people who are actively making changes and need inspiration. 
  3. Life assessment. Ask yourself – if I could do it all again, would I make the same decisions that lead me here? If not, do some dream casting, set some goals, choose your action steps and get where you want to be. If you would choose this again, then you need to accept that you are right where you belong. This moment is where you’re meant to be.

Stop Apologizing for the Mess

This episode was transcribed with Descript

Welcome my friend. I’m so glad to have you here today. We did a little bonfire yesterday and some of the smoke kind of came in through a draft and got in the house last night while I was watching a movie, and it’s really bothering my throat. So if I sound like I’m sick, that’s all. It’s just some smoke sensitivity, not a big deal.

It’s fine. Don’t worry about me, I’ll get over it. But I’m here today talking about something as we’re going into the holidays. One of those kinds of huge deals that I feel like we push down and pretend like it’s not a huge deal. Right? I wanna talk about loving your home as it is and just letting it be lived in and like actually living your life in your home.

And I feel like as the holidays come in, we all like hyper stress about what our home looks like to people who are coming in to visit us. And instead of thinking about what our, you know, house looks like, And how people might judge us for our house when we do that, we’re totally missing out on the point of inviting these people into your home during the holiday season, right?

Like, why do you invite family over for your holiday meals and your gift exchanges? Why are you doing those? Because it’s, Are you doing it because it’s like a social norm, because it’s expected of you? Are you doing it to bring people over to show off what your house looks like and make it appear as though you have your whole life together?

Or like, what? What is the deal? Why are you doing this? Are you inviting people into your home because it’s time for peace and cheer and love and joy? Are you opening yourself up, opening your home up to share? These moments with someone you love when you realign your intention for inviting someone over when you, when you set that intention and you realign your mindset to match that intention, it’s going to change your experience.

And I am so glad to be dropping this episode right ahead of things, you know, before we start having all of these holiday get togethers as we’re in the planning process, You know, I just want want to make it clear how important your intentions are and how important it is that your actions match your intentions, because I think we start to feel like a fraud when they don’t.

When we say our intention is to invite someone into our home to love them where they are, and then we go and we clean the house for three days, making it. Totally different than it normally does, and we just hide all these parts of ourselves and we pretend to be someone else. We put on this mask. You know, we pretend we love hosting, even though we really just wanna go to our room and cry because you know, there’s just too many people in my house.

and you’re not doing a good job guarding your own energy, so you’ve gotta go get away and you’re just having an awful time, but you’re putting on this mask pretending like, this is what I love. I really love hosting these holiday parties for all of the family and all of my friends, and I, you know, didn’t push myself to the breaking point.

I’m not burnt out right in the middle of this big gathering. Nope, not at all. You’re losing your authenticity and when you lose your authenticity, you’re, you’re building this wall. That keeps you from being vulnerable to those around you, that keeps you from being the real you, keeps you from being honest.

It’s a form of lying, and that’s why it eats away at your soul every time you get into this spiral and you’re not aligned with your intention anymore because you said you brought them into love them, and here you are building this big wall, having an awful time pretending like you enjoy that company.

It’s not where you wanna be, it’s not what you wanna be doing, and it feels like you’re lying because you kind of are. You’re lying to yourself like you’re denying your soul. It’s because your actions are not aligned with your intention, and that can like internally destroy you if you let that keep happening again and again, and you never explore: Why am I feeling the way I’m feeling?

Why do I keep doing. If you just keep down that path and then you go and you add in all the other stresses of your life, you add in all the times you feel guilt from the way you treated your kids. You, you add in, you know, guilt for taking self care. You add in mental health disturbances, you add in cognitive distortions, you add in just the stress of daily life.

You add in financial stress. You add in the fact that your home still isn’t clean other than when you have company over and then you just. , everything piles on top and it can destroy you. I know because I’ve been there. I know because I’ve spent most holiday gatherings when I’ve had people come into my home, go into my room and crying and letting my husband just kind of, you know, take care of it all himself, because I couldn’t handle it.

I built myself. Burnout and then inviting people into my home where I’m an introvert, People drain my energy. I was not protecting my energy at all. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I made everything all about them, trying to create this perfect experience for them instead of focusing on how I can love them as I am and as they are.

When I started shifting my mindset,  and I started paying attention to what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, and how can I do things better and differently. And I stopped being afraid that people might judge me for doing something differently. This opened up whole new doors. The way I view my relationships is totally different.

The way I show up in my relationships is totally different because I’m not putting on this fake charade of trying to plan the perfect holiday gatherings. I’m not trying to be perfect every time someone comes to me. Because you know what? I invite them into my lived-in mess. Okay. Yeah. There’s things I will go outta my way to make sure are clean before we have a gathering, but it’s mostly to make it easier on myself to make sure there’s enough room for people to like, I will clean the entryway because we need room for people to drop their coats and shoes.

and I will put all the toys away because I don’t want other people’s kids adding to the mess that my kids are already gonna make and getting out a ton more toys and making a bigger mess, and then leaving me to clean up a mess that, you know, six or seven children have made. Nope. We’re gonna put away the toys.

Kids wanna play. They can go outside or they can, you know, You know, just find something else to do that’s small and quiet. Um, and then I’ll, you know, make sure that all the dishes are done because I need those dishes to cook the meal. I need this counter space to put out a buffet dinner. You know, I need the dishes clean so people can eat.

And then as a courtesy, we’ll clean up the bathroom a little bit. I mean, I don’t do top to bottom. I don’t expect people to be, you know, I clean it the way I normally. I keep it presentable and fine. Make sure there’s a clean hand towel and full toilet paper roll and that’s it. I don’t stress about, you know, cleaning behind the toilet with a toothbrush when I don’t normally do that.

You know, I just regularly do a deep, thorough cleaning of the bathroom when I’m normally gonna do it, not heading into the holidays when I have added extra stress. You know, that’s more of a spring clean and Fall cleaning type of thing. You know, when I go through and do a full clean up the house, or if I’m being totally honest now, I don’t do a full cleaning of my house anymore because I always put it off way longer than I should, and things get really disgusting and then it really stresses me out.

So I’ve started calling someone to come in and do it for me because that’s just so much easier on me. And so no shame in that. But what I’m saying is we don’t have to go out of our way to make your home look differently than it’s normally gonna. We don’t have to hide parts of you. Just do the things that make that actual event easier.

And here’s the thing, one other thing I need you, I need you to stop doing is when you invite someone in your home and you’ve spent three days cleaning your home, and then you’ll apologize for it being a mess. Can we please stop apologizing for the mess? Please stop apologizing for your home looking lived-in.

Just stop. People aren’t coming over to your house to see how clean you can make it. People are coming over to your house to spend time with you, and if it’s the other way around, stop inviting those people over. Go to their house instead. Seriously, flip the tables. Turn the tables. If someone’s come over your house just because they expect it to be clean and they’re gonna come in and expect everything and judge you for it being dirty, stop inviting them over.

That’s not good for you. That’s not good for them. Don’t enable that behavior. If they’re coming over to spend time with you because they love you, because they want community with you because they want a relationship with you, then you don’t need to apologize. You don’t need to go out of your way to clean extra.

You don’t need to be frantic about it. You.  because they’re there for the right reasons. They’re not there to judge you. They’re there to accept you. Big difference. And if they’re coming in to judge you, that’s a them problem, not a you problem. And it’s not your responsibility to meet their expectations.

All right? So stop apologizing for us. Here’s what happens when you apologize for your house being a mess. So if I come into your house and you’ve spent time cleaning your house, And you apologize for it being a mess. And then I’m thinking about my home that’s way messier than yours. And you just told me that you think your house is a mess.

But I walked in and thought your house was pretty clean because it’s cleaner than mine. And now you’ve apologized for that mess. And what you told me unintentionally, what you’ve told me is that it’s not okay for your house to be a. You’ve just told me that you don’t accept a messy house, and so what I just heard is I don’t wanna invite you over because my house is a mess.

If you came over, you would not accept me because my house is a mess. These are cognitive distortions that happen based on things people are saying, but it happens. I’ve been a victim of it and I have, you know, I’ve been the one to apologize for the mess many times until I heard this, this shift of putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and actually thinking, What am I saying to them when I apologize for my house being a mess?

I’m saying it’s not okay for their house to be a mess either. That’s not what I’m trying to say, but that’s what they’re gonna hear and that’s why we have to stop apologizing for what your house looks like because you don’t have the messiest house in the world, especially when you’ve spent three days cleaning.

You don’t have the messiest. No apology necessary. Okay? Those apologies have to quit. They have to stop. You have to be a safe space for the people you’re inviting into your home. If you want this relationship to go back and forth, you know, if you wanna be invited over to their house, don’t apologize for your mess.

Just say, Welcome to my life. It’s vulnerability and its authenticity, and that is what builds relationships. Not building up a wall, pretending to be fake, pretending to have everything together because then guess what? The other person has to do the same thing, and it gets really exhausting. Do you know how freeing it is to invite someone over to your house for coffee and not care that your house is a mess?

You could stop putting off all those like coffee dates that you always wanted to have with friends in your mom’s groups. Just invite them over. Let them see it as a mess. Let them feel welcome in your day to day life, and then they will welcome you into theirs. Maybe not always. Some people need some more work.

Some people need to go back and listen to this episode a hundred times to pound it into their head, but it gets you on the right track. If you show up vulnerably and authentically and just be who you are and accept who you are, other people can do the same thing. Okay? Consider it a community service of sorts to just show up as you are and to just let others feel seen for how they are too, and feel accepted as they are.

There is so much power in letting them see the real. Okay, I’m on this mission to make lived-in the new standard. We’ve had magazines with these perfectly staged homes forever, and now we have, now we have social media where people are showing like the nicest looking area of their home and completely ignoring the messy corner that’s like behind the camera.

And it gets, it gets subconsciously pounding your brain like you know that people are. People are only showing the clean part of their home when they’re on social media because we’re not here to talk about the mess. So that’s just a distraction. I’m just going to get in a clean area and show you my face and tell you what I’m trying to tell you.

And then like subconsciously we build up, oh my gosh, their home is so clean because you’ve only seen the clean part. These people aren’t taking you on a house tour of their Tuesday morning saying, This is just what my house looks like. Some people are, and I think it’s really fantastic. I definitely try to fail publicly and show you guys when my house looks like a disaster, and I get torn up for it too when I do.

But it’s worth it. It’s worth it to let you know. Internet trolls tear me apart for having a messy house because kids deserve a clean home. My house isn’t disgusting. It’s messy. It slipped in, there’s tasks undone. It’s fine. CPS wouldn’t do anything about it. They wouldn’t take my kids away for having a house be a little bit messy.

If there’s mold and bacteria and like, you know, like feces on the ground, yeah, that’s a problem. Take care of that. But if your house is just kind of messy, you’ve got like two days worth of dishes in the kitchen, it’s not a big deal. It’s fine. You get to it when you get to it. Don’t stress about it, and don’t let people tear you down for it because you’ve been busy living your life.

Not busy keeping your totally, your home totally clean. Like it’s about balance. It really is. But I’m trying to make lived-in the new standard. That’s kind of my, my thought process here on my home is my home is lived in, It’s not staged.

I wanna give you three practical tips to help you out. Is, you know, loving your home as it is and accepting yourself as you are. I wanna give you three practical tips for this. Okay. Number one is gonna be gratitude. It always comes back to gratitude. This is like a superpower. It really is. It is a secret sauce, just gratitude.

Okay? But specifically, like, I know it, just gratitude. Feel grateful. No. Specifically list the things that you do love about your. Even if it’s really small, even if it’s just one little thing somewhere. Even if it’s something you bought and put in your house, like a piece of furniture, whatever it is, or if it’s a feeling that you have in a certain space, write that down on a list, write it down on a Post-it note even, and put it somewhere that you feel stressed about your home or somewhere you feel inadequate about your.

Stick it on a post note. If you have put in a post note in multiple places. Put multiple different things of gratitude on different post-it notes in different places of your home to remind you there are parts you like and focus on the parts you like. Okay? And number two, I want you to unsubscribe from magazines and other media.

That includes social and email. Okay, so unsubscribe from magazines and other media that trap you in comparison spirals, Okay? If you’re like watching HGTV all the time and you just feel like crap because your home looks like the before of a Joanna Gaines project and not the after, and you’re just feeling really like a failure because of it, and you’re feeling, you’re feeling like less than because of what you’re watching, then stop watching that.

All right? If you’re getting better homes and gardens, Magazines and it just makes you feel like crap because your home doesn’t look like that or because you just don’t have time to fix the things you wanna fix. If you’re watching a lot of social media and it’s just constantly in the back of your head making you feel like, Why can’t my home look like that?

But you’re not doing anything about it and it’s just making you feel bad, then stop following these things. Okay. Tools. These are tools. The magazines and the TV shows and the DIYers, they are tools in a good way. Wow, that came up. There are tools that are meant that are not, they’re not meant for you right now.

If they’re making you feel like you’re comparing and you’re feeling bad about it, they’re not meant for you right now. Those are tools that are meant for people who are actively making changes and need inspiration or guidance. . If you are not actively making changes, maybe live in a rental where you cannot change anything about your home, but looking at these things instead of making you dream and aspire to something later, it’s making you feel bad about what you have right now, then you need to detox from it.

You need to cut it out for a while. Just stop viewing it and get centered about who you are and where you are and that you know what you have is enough. What you have is a beautiful, beautiful blessing. If you’re tearing yourself down about it because of these things, cut ’em out. They are not more important than your sanity and your sense of worth.

Okay, and number three, I want you to do a life assessment here. I want you to ask yourself if you could do it all again, would you make the same decisions that led you? If you could do it all again, would you make the same decisions that led you here? If not, then you need to do some dream casting. You need to set up a dream board.

You need to set some goals and choose your action steps to get you where you wanna be. Make a plan, okay? Don’t just stay here knowing that you’re not where you wanna be, and then just sitting there complaining about it all of the time. If you’re where you, if you’re not where you wanna be, make a plan to get there.

Okay? You’re in control of your life. You can do that. All right? And if you would choose this all again, then you need to accept that you are right where you belong, and that this moment is where you’re meant to be. Okay? If you choose it all. You have no room to complain, right? I love you, friend. Happy holiday season.

I really hope you find this helpful, and if you do find this helpful, share it with your friends so they can be helped too. Love you.

About Me

Hi, I’m Brittni, a mom who’s determined to share my light, wisdom, and joyfulness with every mom. My desire is that every woman knows she is worthy of ease and joy and finds the encouragement and motivation to pursue her best life possible.

I live in rural Oregon with my husband and 3 sons. I never dreamed of being a boy-mom, but now I can’t imagine life not surrounded by toy dinosaurs, race cars, and fart noises.

Let’s hang out

Published by Brittni Clarkson

Hi, I'm Brittni, author, podcaster, transformational speaker, and a mom of 3 boys, passionate about helping moms overcome the overwhelm and actually ENJOY MOTHERHOOD.

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