Why I’m Not Cleaning Up Before Play Dates Anymore

cleaning up before play date

I’m not cleaning up before play dates anymore.

It’s just asinine.

And it’s basically lying anyone who visits. Cleaning my home gives the impression that I have a clean house, and I don’t. I never do.

The only time my house is ever clean is about five minutes before we have company. I whip myself into a frenzy, scurrying about my home to stash toys into closets where they totally don’t belong but no guests will be the wiser. I vacuum and re-vacuum in an attempt to get up all the dog hair when WHO AM I KIDDING that is a mission impossible.

I essentially try to hide the fact that I have children. Armed with a Magic Eraser and a bottle of vinegar mixed with essential oil that I have been told will “work natural miracles,” I attack every surface of my home to ride them of crayon marks, fingerprints and smears of something brown that I can only pray is chocolate or dirt.

Not anymore. I’m so done with that.

I have kids and kids make a mess. They make the mess that is now my home, and you’re just going to have to look at it and deal with it during our play date.

Besides, your kids make a mess when they come to my house. Cleaning before a play date is as useless as putting a toddler’s shoes on at any point before you absolutely have to. Why should I organize all the toys into multi-colored bins when I know your kid is just going to rip the containers from the shelves and throw them in the air like he’s friggin’ LeBron James tossing up chalk before a game?

I’m so done giving the impression that I can have kids and have a clean home. I can’t. I don’t.

There will always be handprints on the back sliding door, and there will always be toothpaste splatters on the mirror in the upstairs bathroom. There will be pieces of noisy plastic toys hidden under the furniture that guests will only see if they happen to get down on the carpet, which, despite my best efforts, will still have dog hair on it.

Forget about the baseboards, windowsills, blinds and the top of my cabinets; dust has made its home there, and I see no eviction notice in the immediate future. Cheerios will be nestled under couch cushions, LEGO pieces will be waiting for the unsuspecting foot, a random child-size sock will be sitting on the countertop.

This is my life, and I’m not at all ashamed. In fact, I think we should all take the pledge to stop cleaning our homes before play dates. Let’s just be honest about the way things are. You can’t tell me that you have three kids younger than 6 and your house looks like it could grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.

Take a break, mama. Before a play date, instead of running around like a madwoman trying to discard every shred of evidence that a child lives in your home, put your feet up for a few moments, and repeat after me:

“This is just a play date with another woman who, whether she admits it or not, is just as much of a hot mess as I am. I will not clean. I will not put on makeup (unless I really want to do it for myself). I will stay in these yoga pants because my ass looks good in them and they are comfortable. My home may not be clean, but it is clean enough. And I will make mimosas, because that’s what good hosts do.”

Go enjoy more of Kate’s sarcastic sense of humor at her blog, My Kind of Parenting, or here on Facebook.


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