Guilty of a Messy House and Easy Dinners

Flashback: Two years ago, I was working full-time and my almost 2 year old was in full-time daycare. Our daycare provider (who we loved) was going to be taking her maternity leave and I was struggling to find someone else to trust temporarily to watch my child.  My husband and I were planning baby #2 in the near future and we decided two kids in full-time daycare didn’t make sense financially compared to my income.  It’s not cheap! If you’re paying daycare bills, you’re well aware of this fact.

I remember telling my husband that I would cook dinners every night and keep the house so much cleaner once I stayed at home.

Present Day: The boys are 15 months and almost 4 years old.  And if I told you that I cooked dinner every night or that I kept the house so much cleaner, I would be LYING!  Becoming a SAHM did not suddenly turn me into a fantastic cook or a person who loves to clean.


Do I feel guilty that I don’t cook every night and that the house is usually messy? Yes.  I feel like I am home all day, I should be getting these things done.  I also feel like I have two children who need my attention all day long.  The days are filled with diaper changes, potty trips, preparing breakfasts, lunches, snacks, feeding bottles, reading stories, games, coloring, playing toy referee between the boys, etc. Plus, managing whatever other fun surprises a toddler and preschooler have planned for me. Seriously, someone is ALWAYS dumping something on the floor!


Cooking dinner doesn’t come naturally to me.  If I was all by myself I’d eat yogurt, cereal and salad in a bag.  So if we’re lucky, I’ll brown up some hamburger for spaghetti or throw chicken in the crock pot. But the kids don’t mind easy grilled cheese, pb & j or ham sandwiches.  And I give them a fruit or a veggie and call it dinner!


I try to straighten the house and do the dishes during the little one’s nap.  But then I feel guilty when my oldest says, “Mommy don’t you want to play with me?”  So I end up, rushing through the cleaning so I can get some one-on-one time with him. And since I’m not a neat freak when it comes to the house, the little messes don’t bother me.  EXCEPT when we are having people over.  I’ve often thought that I should schedule a weekly playdate at my house.  That is the best motivation for cleaning up.

If you stop by my house unexpected, I will say, “Sorry about the mess” probably a million times and you’ll need to watch out for legos and matchbox cars.  Apparently, I’ve passed on my poor cleaning skills to my oldest.  Dumping out baskets of toys is his favorite.


As a mom, I’m working on finding my balance.  When I was working, I struggled with the amount of time I was able to spend with my baby.  For the past 2 years at home, I’ve been struggling with the balance between taking care of the kids, the house, time with my husband, and time for myself.  There are just not enough hours in the day for everything.

I loved Lianna’s post when she said, “Don’t worry, it’s a Baby Year.”  Her explanation totally made me feel better about ALL of last year. It was a Baby Year.

Now I am trying to focus on the fact that the kids are little and they need their mommy.  We are not living in filth, it’s just a little messy and everyone gets fed…so we’re doing pretty good, I guess!  So if your house is messy or you cook a simple supper, know that you are not alone.  We are all working hard at raising our kids and doing the best we can.  {Note to self: Don’t feel guilty!}

Mommas: Anyone else want to admit they have a messy house and make easy dinners?

Shari is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband Mark, 2 boys and a pug named Yoda. Her toddler and preschool age boys keep her very busy. She loves warm Iowa days for playing outside with her family. In her "spare time" Shari enjoys quiet activities like crafting, browsing Pinterest, learning photography, creating family photo books and watching favorite shows with her husband. She also loves Iowa City Moms Blog and her MOPS group for the connections with other mommies!


  1. My house is 100% ALWAYS a mess. I’m even willing to admit most of it is MY mess either from cooking, baking, crafting, or a variety of projects. Generally speaking it doesn’t bother me either. What does bother me is the fear of being judged for how messy it is. When I was making the transition to being a WAHM, I remember telling my husband over and over “I’ll be home all day so I’ll be so much better at keeping the house clean”. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. That just means that the kids and I are home to make messes all day! I don’t know if there has ever been a day where every room was clean at the same house. As soon as I feel good that the kitchen is clean, I walk into the next room full of clutter.

  2. I thought this was written by me. Messy house. Easy dinners. Struggling with balancing my time. It’s about priorities. I’d rather have a slightly messy house and a happy baby than a spick n span home with a neglected child.
    We’re all doing the best we can. Nice article. Thanks for reassuring me that it’s not just me.

    • Kelly, you are not alone for sure! I totally agree with you, a little messy or a lot messy sometimes for more time with the little ones! That’s important! 🙂

  3. Okay so we hhav two children who can’t eeve bring their friends over because my house is so cluttered, I’m hhavin a 15 yard dumpster delivered today so I can get rid of all garbage and yes even the sofa the dog chewed is getting thrown away. My wife moved out with my girls until this house gets in order. Does anyone know of a good cleaning service that can provide three or four people for the day that isn’t ggoin to cost me a fortune? Solon Iowa area


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