WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A HYPOCRITICAL PARENT?
Answering the question of what does it mean to be a hypocritical parent, especially concerning what it has to do with decluttering with kids, is easy. It's not, however, an easy pill to swallow. That's why I love to use stories and examples to answer questions like these because they really help us not only grasp the answer for practical purposes but helps us hold onto its truth for longer. They are like a spoonful of sugar that helps us not run away from what's good for us. They also let us know that we are not alone in our struggle towards being clutter-free, along with being the best parent we can be.
Make sense? Good. Let's begin.
The whole house is spotless. Almost. You’ve spent four hours cleaning and organizing for company. Your kids spent three of those hours fighting you, but you were stronger. You never gave up, and you never surrendered. You even stopped two hours in to show them an episode of Hoarders so they know what can happen if you don’t make an effort. “No one wants to live like that, do they?” you ask their terrified faces.
“No way, Jose,” they say, and start cleaning again with a bit of renewed vigor. That is until someone gets distracted and a fight breaks out. Finally, all of the Marvel Legos, Hatchimals, and random, "where did you get that?" toys are picked up, clothes put away, beds made, and carpet vacuumed.
Dinner smells great. You made your Chicken Enchiladas which are staying warm in the oven. Coffee is brewing, appetizers laid out, Netflix ready for the kids after dinner so the parents can play some games. It’s all perfect.
The doorbell rings and the first family arrives. They have a four-year-old and a brand spanking new baby girl. She's sound asleep and her mom wants to keep her that way. You look on in horror because you know what she’s going to ask.
“She just fell asleep and I’d love to lay her down,” she says. You all know your bedroom is the best room in the house for such a purpose, but you also know why it’s the only room with its door shut. Your children watch on as you look from her, to the baby, to your bedroom door, back to your kids and back to her. She knows what’s behind the door because it’s like that at her house as well. She just doesn’t care at the moment because she needs a break from the baby. She needs time with friends. You know this need and your compassion overcomes your instincts to brutally murder her for asking. You could hide the body in your room. No one would find it. You take a deep breath and say a pretty famous phrase. it’s a phrase you’ve heard countless times outside of your own home. Tonight, you wear that phrase like a scarlet letter.
“Sure, just please don’t mind the mess.”
“I won’t,” she says as she opens the door and climbs over mountains of stuff to get to your bed. The summer clothes you “cycled out” to make room for the winter clothes was her first obstacle. She makes it and almost faceplants over all the toys you confiscated and never returned. Her last big hurdle is all the gift bags, bows, ribbon, and tissue paper you’ve pulled out to wrap presents that never made it back into the container. Funny, since you bought it because it stores nicely under your bed. She uses the stuff on your bed to make a baby fort. She knows her baby is too young to roll, but she has to do something with it and throwing it in your floor isn’t optional.
She makes her way back out, closes the door, and doesn’t say a word. Her room is a wreck, as well, but you can read her thoughts.
“Wow. Glad my room isn’t that bad,” she thinks to herself. You’re able to read her mind and you know that has got to be what she’s thinking.
Your kid's room looked like this a few hours ago, and you read them the riot act. Your room’s always looked like this and you let it be. Welcome to the world of being a hypocritical parent! I’m over exaggerating… at least I hope I’m over exaggerating, but you understand what I’m saying. What’s amazing is that in all of the times you are organizing for company, you just never seem to do your own room. Sure, closing the door and expecting everyone there to know that it is off limits works every now and then, but is that really a good enough excuse to not clean it, and more importantly, not keep it clean and decluttered? The best way to express the importance of keeping your own room nice and tidy is this...
Parents with Messy Rooms are Hypocrites
Ouch. I know that hurts cause I'm preaching to myself.
Yeah, I understand it’s hard to clean your own room, especially when you spend the entire day cleaning up everything else, or use your room as a drop zone while you try to maintain the rest of the house. Please trust me when I say that it’s probably the most important room in your house to keep clean and tidy with the promise to help you feel more relaxed, though I usually recommend the kitchen to be decluttered first for overall safety reasons. It will make you feel better in the long run, and, it can actually be fun to figure out the best way to set up your room so that it remains nice and tidy.
I highly recommend the KonMarie method if you are going to be cleaning and decluttering on your own. It’s overall basic principles of staying tidy, folding methods, and no-nonsense way of going beyond the excuses to get the job done is perfect to get you up and excited about a stress-free room. If you find that you may need a little more emotional support in overcoming the clutter, then I recommend finding a Declutter Coach, Cleaning Coach, or Professional Organizer to come and encourage you through the process while holding you accountable for the goals you choose.
I’d like to say that it also encourages your kids to do the same but that may not actually be the truth. What it can do is make you feel a lot better and look less like a hypocrite to your kids.
Till next time, and as always, sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, is greatly appreciated. I hope you were able to take something away, and I know that there are more that would enjoy this article, as well. It is my heart's desire to see you living a life that's not only clutter-free but filled with family, friends, and fun. If you find that your belongings are beginning to bring you more stress than joy, and you live in the Richmond, Virginia, and Tri-Cities area, then I would be honored to come to you for a free consultation. You can find out more at declutterplanning.com or check us out at Facebook or Pinterest.
Stay for a spell.