Welcome to My Home: It’s Not Perfect Here, But We’re Glad You Came

Welcome to My Home

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A tale of how one busy type-A mama learns what really matters when guests come to call…

First of all, I should point out that I don’t shower every day.  Is that TMI?  Hey, that’s how everyone does it in just about every other country of the world…

On (most) non-shower days, I take what my mom calls a “birdie bath”. This basically involves a quick wash of “areas of concern”, performed in front of the sink (because there are no bathtubs in my house).

Of course I wouldn’t dream of skipping my shower or birdie bath on a morning when guests were scheduled for a visit. That would just be gross. Who does that?

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One more thing–while I don’t vacuum my house every day, I’ve always made a habit of vacuuming before friends come over. Sometimes it’s the night before; often it’s that very morning just prior to the arrival of said friends. A few times, I’ve actually been caught red handed with the vacuum cleaner as my friends stand knocking at the door.

But by golly, I got it done. And I’m pretty sure it enhanced their visit, those clean floors.
No matter the stressed and flushed condition of their host as they arrived, nor her mental rehashing of, shall we say, less than gentle interaction with her children prior to the arrival of her guests.

The important thing–a clean, presentable house–had been achieved.

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Alas, I recently hosted friends on three separate occasions without having showered or vacuumed.  {Gasp}

For one or two of those visits, I didn’t even take my birdie bath. In fact, I think I once wore the very same shirt I’d slept in the night before.  Am I really admitting this to the general public!?

My face was completely bare of any make up and I can’t recall exactly, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even wearing earrings. I know. I can hardly believe it myself. Don’t worry–I applied my deodorant oils quite liberally, so at least I smelled fairly pleasant.

And get this: for two of those friends, this was their very first visit to my house. The third friend had visited only once before.

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When I realized I wouldn’t meet the deadline–there simply wasn’t enough time or energy to shower or vacuum–I decided that for the first time ever, I wouldn’t point it out.

I wouldn’t say things like “Don’t look at my floors!” or “I’m going make-up free today!” or “Pardon the chaos!” or “I hope you don’t mind my casual appearance”.

Here’s the amazing thing: we had a great visit!  After each visit, my guests sent me messages and even remarked to others about what a great time they’d had.   They each mentioned our conversation, the (good) behavior of my boys, how homey our house felt, the resources I’d provided, etc.

No one referred to the crumbs in the corners, the toys all over the floor, or my greasy second (or third) day hair.

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The world kept turning, those friends still like me (I think), and we had a great visit.

My husband offered the {ahem} casual observation that my lack of perfection had likely allowed my guests to feel more relaxed.

Huh. I think I’m onto something here. Maybe folks don’t care as much about the cleanliness of my home or my personal hygiene practices (within reason, of course). Maybe if I run out of time to vacuum because I needed to hold my one year old or answer my husband’s phone call or correct attitudes in the older boys or finish throwing dinner together in the crock pot, it’s okay.

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When I really stopped to think about it, I felt humbled. Not the shamed, guilty kind of humbled, but a good, I’m-making-progress kind of humbled.

It’s good to humble myself and admit I can’t do it all.
It’s freeing to release my own superficial standards of perfection.
It’s refreshing to focus on welcoming my guests and adding value to their lives.

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And while I’ll continue to strive for clean hair and clean floors, I won’t stress if it doesn’t happen. I’m learning that the atmosphere of my home and of my own soul is more directly related to my guests’ experience than the condition of my hair or the state of my rugs.

It seems silly and obvious to point this out, and there is a group of you who already knows this and practices it regularly. But for the rest of us, it’s helpful to be reminded.

So today, or the next time you anticipate the knock of friends upon your door, take a deep breath, embrace your in-the-trenches third-day greasy hair and the dust bunnies roaming like tumbleweeds in the corners and bid your guests welcome.

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Welcome to my home, welcome to my life. It’s not perfect here, but we’re glad you came. Make yourself at home.

Can you relate? What standards have you released lately?

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Kathleen | Roots & Boots

Let's get real! I’m Kathleen Henderson, your Natural Living Mentor. I’m on a mission to help families see the joy in real food, while finding natural remedies and creating a nontoxic home. Learn more about my story >>


  1. Laurie on 11/17/2015 at 1:18 pm

    Oh yes I can relate! Hopefully your friends are not there to judge you but to visit with you! We are all busy and it’s hard to keep up with every little thing in a house. I’ve gone days without showering like when I moved recently and I was too exhausted and had too much to do to bother and I just kept my hair up in a bun. I didn’t think I was camera worthy but not too bad! I do go without sometimes because I get more done by not fussing over me lol. And really, who cares anyway?

  2. DM on 11/17/2015 at 4:30 pm

    Great post. I can soooo totally relate!

    • Kathleen on 11/17/2015 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks! 🙂

  3. Alison Kikendall on 11/17/2015 at 9:04 pm

    Wow! It’s a small world. As I was scrolling down and reading your post I know those friends P&L J.! P graduated from where I now work and our students have done trips to their country. He and my husband played soccer together in college. We just saw them not too long ago as they visited the church we are attending here in Langhorne, PA. Love your blog and am an EO user myself 🙂 Blessings!

    • Kathleen on 11/17/2015 at 11:49 pm

      Great to “meet” you, Alison! As you know, P&L are pretty special people. 🙂

  4. Britt on 11/19/2015 at 4:45 pm

    This reminded me of a video on Facebook I saw of a parody of a mom cleaning before company…it’s HILARIOUS. My favorite quote: “We can’t let people know we SIIIIIIIT!” https://www.facebook.com/chrisflemingfleming/videos/1249120155103767/?pnref=story

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