Tomorrow morning, a friend of mine is coming to my house for the first time, and I am trying not to freak out. She's a very nice person, I've known her for more than a year and our kids love playing together. Until now, all play dates have been at her house as said friend also watches her nephew during the day. And then I got The Text.
"Hey, I'm [nephew] free so let's play date next week!!'
Cue mild panic.
See, play dates are a lot like real dates, except with your house. She already knows what I look like in scrubby clothes with no makeup on (see "fresh hell," "a hot mess," "overtired") but she's never been inside the homestead before. So despite the fact that I know she's coming over so our kids can play and not to judge my housekeeping, I am running a mental inventory tonight. Are the toys clean? Does the cat box smell? Did the kids get out of bed and pull out every stuffed animal and article of clothing before finally falling asleep? Do I have anything to feed these people? I know the yard looks awful, maybe it will snow and cover it all up. And so on.
|My living room, which I am procrastinating cleaning. You are so not seeing the kitchen. Or the toy room. Or the bathroom. Someone hold me...|
It's a crazy double standard. I don't notice these things when I go to others' homes, but I assume that if the mantle is dusty someone's going to think I'm an unfit parent. And believe me, there are plenty of things that make me an unfit parent, but the dust on the fireplace isn't one of them.
"You need to relax," I'm told. Big surprise, I'm told that about a lot of things. Usually those who know me best learn to stop saying it, 'cause it's probably never going to happen. At least not until I can afford my own housekeeper.
But like I said, parenthood can make you crazy if you let it, and I love adult company, so even if tomorrow morning I wake up and Anna decides to paint the floor with her oatmeal, bring on the play date.
After all, we all need grown up company, for better or worse.