Let's Stop Lying On Social Media — Most Houses Are Messy And It's Normal

by Elisha Beach
Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy and Kyryl Gorlov/Getty

Where are all the messy houses on social media??? I know there is no way everyone has a spotless, perfectly decorated home. So either I am a complete slob, or most people put up a front with perfectly angled cameras, and a pile of junk pushed out of their curated shot. I know I can’t be alone in this. So can we all just start sharing our messes so we can normalize messy houses?!?! This will greatly improve the overall vibe of our social media experience, and likely lessen some of the pressure and anxiety most of us have come to know.

Look… don’t get me wrong. I love scrolling through people’s beautiful Instagram feeds with their bright white subway tiles and perfectly rustic, chic furniture. I dream of the day I can have the actual furniture I want without worrying that one of my kids will destroy it with a marker they found under the couch. But I would love to see a little more reality on my social media feed.

For most parents, our houses are homes with kids that constantly make messes, and there is never enough time or energy to clean it all up. It seems no matter how many times a day I pick up, my house looks like I am raising a pack of Tasmanian devils. There are piles of laundry in the most random places, toys scattered across the living room floor, and a constant trail of shoes and socks all over the house.

We have become so accustomed to people’s curated feeds that many of us, even if it is subconscious, believe that is an expectation we should live up to. But I want to see the moms that aren’t afraid to show their messy houses on my social media feed. The ones that buck the trend of presenting the picture of perfection and offer a snippet of their messy life as it really is. Those moms are my people.

I know there are moms out there that take great pride in keeping their home spotless. It’s what they are good at, and I genuinely applaud them because that is just not in my wheelhouse. This is not meant to put down anyone for their clean, beautiful home. I just want to let other moms know that if you have laundry hiding behind a door somewhere, unexplained sticky spots or a kitchen sink that never seems to be empty… you are not alone!

As a mom of four kids, I find it impossible to keep my house clean and organized 24/7. To be honest, it’s a mess the majority of the time. And yes, my little Tasmanian devils have chores, and I require them to help clean the messes they make, yet there is always a mess somewhere in my house. And I have come to accept this as my norm. The reality is I just can’t keep up with my job, my kids, being a wife, exercising, keeping a clean house, and actually having a life of my own.

And I refuse to feel bad about it. And, frankly, I don’t want any mom looking at another picture-perfect home on her social media feed and thinking she is less than simply because she doesn’t live up to that perceived reality. So, can we just all band together and start to normalize what a regular, everyday, messy house looks like.

You know what’s normal? Having a place in your house where clean laundry piles up and you frantically search through it in the morning to find clothes for the day for you or your kids. I am not saying that should be your goal. But, there are a lot of moms foraging through laundry baskets at 7 am looking for clean underwear and a pair of socks (matching optional).

What else is normal? How about picking up toys 13 times per day, only for there to be toys everywhere when everyone finally goes to bed. And what is it with the random collection of cups scattered throughout the house? And that desk or counter somewhere in your home with papers and mail piling up until you finally get the chance to go through it all.


Getty Images

And who doesn’t have wall art courtesy of at least one kid? I have a drawing on my bathroom wall by my youngest. It’s a lovely rendition of a smiley face in the medium of permanent black marker, and it was installed over a year ago. And doesn’t every home with kids have a few things that one kid or another broke… a broken towel rack, a cracked bathroom mirror or a missing handle on the kitchen cabinet. And who doesn’t have a few stains here and there on the carpet or the couch?

Now let’s be clear … I am not trying to glorify keeping a filthy house. I am talking about being honest about every day, normal mess for a home with adults and children living in it. And, understandably, everyone has different expectations for what “clean” looks like. But can we just share the picture of our homes in their natural state and normalize “lived in” houses? Stop pushing all the crap behind the camera or only taking pictures in the rooms you just cleaned.

Maybe, just maybe, if we all share our dirty little secrets, we would all feel a little less stressed and a little less like we are failing at keeping it together. Because the truth is, none of us parents have it all together and the majority of us don’t keep a spotless home. It’s just not most people’s reality. What makes your house a home is the love you share, not the shine that comes off of your kitchen sink.

This article was originally published on