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True life: I'm going to stop apologizing for my messy house now

I sit here typing this late at night in my bed, still unmade from this morning. Nursing baby in one arm, with my laptop on my lap, attempting to get some work done after another long day. The dishes from dinner are still sitting on the counter and I'm thinking to myself that it might be time to (finally) invest in a dishwasher.

My house is a mess, and I'm not going to apologize. At least, I'm trying hard not to.

Like most, our household is a hectic one. Our kids are non-stop, high energy children, affectionately nicknamed "Turbo One" and "Turbo Two." 😉 No matter the season, the dogs or the kids are running in and out to play in the backyard dragging in grass, wet snowsuits, or all sorts of toys in the process.

And if we're not home, we're working, shuttling the kids to their sports games and extra-curricular activities, or meeting up with friends.

If I'm expecting company, I'll make sure we tidy up the toys and try to run the vacuum over the carpet. If a guest drops in without notice, I can be heard sheepishly apologizing for the clutter and assuring our guest that the chaos before them is neither my fault or doing. I don't judge my friends when they proclaim their homes are a mess and in turn, I know they feel the same way. But still—I feel embarrassed when there is any apparent disarray in my life.

Earlier today, after a few rounds of my kid playing "the floor is lava" which quickly turned into a game of "stop hitting your sister," I noticed the disastrous state that had resulted around me. There were toys strewn across the living room floor. Clean clothes were overflowing from the laundry basket. Cushions piled up on the side of the couch because of my son's immediate and, in his opinion, necessary, need to make a fort for the dog to sleep in.

The mess happens so fast.

Between the nights I've stayed up late working and the teething baby's interrupted sleep, cleaning the bathroom or reorganizing the living room has been the last thing on my mind. Looking around at the mess I started to worry about the way my house looked and how I thought it made me look and how I wished it could just always be clean and perfect and tidy. If that were the case, I would never have to apologize to anyone, right?

Then I realized just how silly that was.

I made the decision a long time ago to stop being judgmental of others and to try my best to live and let live. So now I just need to be better of extending that sentiment to myself, including our house.

The cleanliness of my house isn't something I need to be ashamed of and isn't something worth belittling myself over. In fact, my messy house has a direct connection to my sanity. When it's just the kids and me during the day, I usually have to let something slide to get something more meaningful done.

So, if you're at my house for a playdate, or you happen to drop in, and you notice a mess, I want you to remember a few things.

The sand you might have stuck to your feet isn't because I forgot to clean my floors. It's because I chose not to. It means I spent most of the beautiful, sunny day outside with my kids instead of cleaning up inside. Rather than worrying about my kids making a mess, I played with them in the sandbox. And we all brought remnants of our fun time inside with us.

While the bathroom might not be sparkling clean, part of the mess is the result of my son confidently, albeit not accurately, taking himself to the bathroom solo. After the potty-training struggle we endured, I'm trying to remember to be proud of him rather than frustrated.

I'll get to it as soon as I can. Better yet, I'll teach my son one of my Grandpa's favorite sayings. "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie, wipe the seatie."

The breakfast dishes will still be on the counter at lunch and will likely stay there until the rest of the family is home to help out. After a day of taking care of my kids, going to and from school, working, and running errands, I decided that putting the time and energy into making food for my kids to eat was more important than immediately cleaning up after it. Sometimes the time or energy is there for one or the other, not both.

And sometimes I let things slide in order to take care of something more important—which happens to be me. Some days it's vital that I get to sit on the couch, watching the morning news and drinking my coffee while it's still hot. Other days, it's necessary that I get to spend the 30 minutes it might take me to put the laundry away on exercising or going for a walk instead. Sometimes self-care trumps tidiness.

If I didn't have time to clean my house from top to bottom before our playdate, just know that I will still have snacks for the kids and I know they're all going to have some fun together—regardless of whether I dusted or not. (By the way, the laundry pile on the floor also doubles as a landing pad when my kids playfully toss each other off the couch. So, I'm actually thinking of their safety.)

So, to my family and my friends, if you decide to drop by please know my house might be in a state of disarray. And, honestly? I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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