Before I became a mother, I barely had furniture, let alone a home décor style. I was an accidental minimalist, because I was too poor to buy proper furniture for my apartment. What little furniture I did have, I found on Craigslist, and I was more worried about being kidnapped by the seller than the color of the sofa I was buying from him.
Style wasn’t high on my priority list, because I figured I would have fancy matching furniture when I was older. You know, when I was an actual adult, not a drunk twenty-something binge-eating Taco Bell in a lawn chair in my living room.
It’s been a long road, but I think it’s safe to say, I’ve finally made it to adulthood. I like fancy things, now. Okay, maybe not “fancy” things, but pretty things that match and don’t look like they were pulled from a hotel dumpster.
I’ve even started following some home décor pages on Instagram, because pretty things and fanciness. The other day while I was scrolling, I happened upon a home décor page run by a fellow mom. Someone who understands my plight as a mother, and also has a pretty home? Yes, please! Teach me all your secrets!
My excitement faded only a few clicks later, when I realized this woman, who had impeccable taste and style, was nothing like me. Each picture of her home was more breathtaking than the last, but her home was floor to ceiling, wall to wall, white.
I really only have one question—how? How the hell do you have small children, and keep your white things white? Are you a unicorn? Are your children unicorns? What type of magic do you practice? Were you born with it, or cursed?
I mean, I get it, white home décor is gorgeous. Whether you’re into the clean lines of modern design, or you pine for all things farmhouse chic, white décor is where it’s at. But, for people like me, who are doing their best just to keep the kids alive, white home décor is unrealistic AF.
When my husband and I began shopping for our dream home, I was dead-set on a white kitchen. White counters, white cabinets, white towels—the whole nine yards. White décor just looks so clean, and sophisticated, and timeless. (Based on that description alone, I should have realized a white kitchen wasn’t for me.) But I wasn’t a mom yet—I didn’t know.
I told a few mom friends about my plans for a white kitchen and they laughed at me. A few of them had a hard time catching their breath through their laughter. They told horror stories about their own experiences with white cabinets and small children. Finger prints and streaks of dirt seemed to be a reoccurring theme. My girls have never steered me wrong, so I heeded their warning and decided against my dream kitchen. Based on the scuffs, smudges, and finger prints on my white doors and baseboards, I’m confident I made the right decision. I can only imagine what life might be like with a white down comforter, or some lovely white throw pillows like the Instagram unicorn.
Maybe it’s just my kids. Try as I may, I can’t keep them clean. Okay, I don’t really try, I just let them get dirty, because they are kids. The problem is, dirty kids touch things. How do moms with white home décor do it? Maybe they have a shower in their garage, and they make their kids hose off before they’re allowed in the house. “Okay, now you can come in, but go straight to your room, and don’t touch anything!”
If only stained fabric and broken picture frames were fashionable—my Instagram would be lit. As much as I would like to fill my home with light colors and clean lines, it’s just not possible while my kids still live here. I don’t imagine these little dirt-balls (said with love) are going to get any cleaner as they move towards their teenage years.
So at least for now, I’ve made peace with Cheetos stains on my throw pillows and my lackluster home décor. Maybe I can spruce the place up when they leave for college.