Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It Got Me Thinking About Honesty



Mum's like to boast don't they? yes, my mum does too. When ever she is afforded the opportunity she will speak with love and pride of her two children and grandchildren.

She tells her friends that I have this silly little online space aka The Beetle Shack and I suppose some of them visit from time to time.

I only know this because mum mentioned that a dear friend of hers had said that she loved this blog and then jested that she always felt depressed after reading because my house is so clean.

It got me thinking about honesty.

If I'm honest, my house is filth. Ask my kids, husband, friends or family and they will confirm that I am not a natural house keeper. I let clutter pile up and then allow dust to gather on the clutter. There are often fluff balls in the hall way and dishes in the sink. The kids scatter their lunch and their toys all over the house several times a day, I can't compete with their speed and agility so sometimes I just shrug my shoulders and make a cup of tea. When it's time to tidy up, I open the nearest draw, cupboard, wardrobe and shovel things in.

If I'm honest, my husband and I bicker from time to time daily and so do our children, I often don't think about making dinner until we're all starving and the washing only gets done when there are no socks and undies left in the draws.

It got me thinking about intention.

If I write and it makes another woman/person feel inadequate or inferior then I am only doing myself a disservice. If I post something here and it only tells a half truth, the half that makes me look like an amazing house keeper, phenomenal baker, attentive wife and sacrificial mother, then I half lie* and I do so out of an insecurity that the full truth will not be good enough.

It got me thinking about community.

We are a community here in this blog world. Right here in this very space I have met people that encourage, support and inspire me with their stories. Some live in enviable homes, some have amazing careers, others have natural style and designer threads. But for me, there is one very simple fact for us mothers.

We wipe arses for a living!

We do.

Those of us that leave the home for work wipe bums when we get back in, those that are house bound wipe bums all day. Those of us that use cloth nappies wipe bums and those of us that prefer the Aldi brand wipe bums too. 

But we do more than that don't we. We sit on the (unwashed) floors in our trackies and build duplo towers, we give and receive I love you's at whim, we snuggle under pastel bedlinen and we wipe sweet little pinchable butt. 

We all do it. Each and every one of us. We all have dust on our floors and food in our teeth (shit- is that just me? Who has time for daily brushing?) and if we lead anyone to believe that we don't, then we lie (or we have A LOT of help).


I love the idea that we as women can truly support one another by acknowledging our faults and set backs and praising our victories. That the way we choose to birth, feed and raise our babies can fade into the background while we get on with the business of being a community that encourages differences and acknowledges what its really like.


* obviously it would be impossible and ridiculously boring to share every hum drum moment of every day on a blog. It is right and natural that we share the good in our lives, but for me the good comes in all forms- failings, successes, strengths and weaknesses.



51 comments:

  1. Nicely said Em. It's something I struggle with in this blogging world.. Oscillating between feeling inspired but then also feeling inadequate. So it's nice when it's acknowledged. And yes it's true... All our children do have pooey bums! Thanks xx Joanna

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your realness Em. You're one of the most honest people I've ever met...truly wonderful you are.

    Motherhood - Here's to bum wiping and cheek pinching!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well said.
    I wiped Baby C's bum more than a few times today! That kid can poo with the best of them!

    And Baby C has the same tent...although I must admit it never looks that good...ever. It is the place where I shove all the toys at the end of the day...close the door flaps and I have a clean house! Check out the toy clutter here...http://motherdownunder.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/our-home-baby-c-spaces.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. So lovely lovely lovely to read this - had a rubbish day of baby wrangling today and actually started thinking I should stop reading blogs as I keep comparing myself to them and failing miserably on nice house and great parenting and general cleanliness front. This cheers me up no end. And I really loved the prayer on the chalkboard too xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. So true ... I'm very guilty of moving the mess to the other side of the room for a photo or simply cropping it out.

    Gorgeous photo of a gorgeous space, love the tent.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cracking post. Our blogs are always going to be a shinier, tidier and nicer facade than our real selves. If I told people I regular refer to my kids as little turds it'd be blogicide!

    I bought that tent for my kids at Xmas. I am sorry to say that I love it much more than they do. I am thinking of turning it into my study, but the kids have left it outside and I think it might be getting mouldy and I can't be stuffed cleaning that!

    I like your blog, very much. It's my first visit, but I will certainly be back.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Always so awesome with your turn of phrase and beautiful honesty. Here's to keeping it real and the fun that is wiping bottoms xxx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks Em. I shift mess around too. And have dishes that would be better done when they get dirty. But the dishes will still be there when the little ones are sleeping... My time with them is best spent when they are awake.
    Blessings girl. That is a needed reality check.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh.... your kids poo? Gross! ;)

    I love it when you strip it back and give us all a reality check. It's always a tough one - the war between wanting to put your best foot forward, but also wanting to portray an honest image. I strive for a balance in my space... I like it to be aesthetically pleasing (because that's fundamentally who I am. I just like pretty stuff) ...but I feel as though I speak honestly about my struggles and triumphs.

    I think sometimes we choose to push the mess aside when it comes to the online world - because it's much easier to do so than in the real world! xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ah, it's midnight here and I'm ridiculously tired but I needed to put up the balloons and bake the cake for my big boy's birthday tomorrow (yay!) and I want to write a longer comment, but tonight all I'll say is that I am giggling SO HARD at how we wipe bums for a living. Giggling. Like a school girl. We wipe bums for a living. We so do. Thanks Em. <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dammit I thought you had a really clean house!!!
    Great post:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh yes, too true. We all wipe bums for a living. It doesn't matter how speedy we might get at it, at the end of the day, it's still bum wiping.

    Your honesty shines through in every post, and is one of the reasons we all keep coming back.

    We love you, Em!

    Ronnie xo

    ReplyDelete
  14. p.s. Okay, i just realised I meant to say, "We all wipe our children's bums for a living."

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Haha ^^ Rhonda you crack me up!

    Em, you got this one all kinds of right. I will challenge you for the title of Worst Housekeeper 2012, I think I've got a real shot just quietly.

    Thanks for keeping it real babe.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are an inspiration! Gosh, you make me laugh! Sometimes I wish posts had a "love" button.
    Here's to wiping those bums.
    ... And maybe letting my dishes sit for *one* more night. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for this. It's weird - I read blogs sometimes as a form of escapism, to see lives like mine only more beautiful and creative, but sometimes that only serves to make me feel inadequate. Think we could all do with striking a balance between the two. Otherwise we end up comparing our truth with other people's Sunday best.

    Great post x

    ReplyDelete
  19. So nicely said : keeping it real is best for everyone's self esteem.

    Love this/your space,

    x C

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love this post so much Em and it has made me feel SO much better about my pigsty of a house, so thank you for that. I am guilty of looking at blogs/facebook/other people's lives and feeling inadequate in my own life. I just had this very discussion with hubby yesterday, as a friend of mine has an absolute Einstein of a baby... this kid is really clever... and of course I instantly freak out that my little wild man is behind the eight ball for an almost-two-year-old. Silly silly me. Of course my friend is going to post on facebook about the successes and achievements of her babe. It is my responsibility not to be affected by the things that I see or read... but as women we often like to compare and beat ourselves up if we don't measure up to the impressions we get of a situation. And at the end of the day, that IS all they are, impressions. For the record, your space always makes me feel good xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  21. So well written ! I love it!
    And believe or not your eloquent description of being a mum or "bum wiper" just made me even more clucky.....Dx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for your honesty! It made me chuckle :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. i read this in the wee hours last night, amidst exhausted eyebags, stinky dishes and washing hills all over the floor. reality is reality. i'm so glad you shared yours- although having read for a while, i've never felt you looking down from your super-tidy pedastal in any way before. i think the way we write on our blogs is representative of our home/lives. if i know visitors are coming, i will clean up. the less i know you, the more i will clean. i don't even bother picking up the dirty undies if my bestie is on the way ;) have a glorious day! sarah

    ReplyDelete
  24. Well said. Check out my post for today. You voiced a lot of what I have been feeling. The photo at the top is magical. Perhaps a pic of your filthy house would have been more appropriate for this post!! ha ha.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Loving this post!!! So honest and beautiful :-) thanks for making us feel better!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Well said! I reckon we all tidy up a bit for photos for the blog don't we... and then we forget that other people do the same on their's!
    BTW, Your honesty is my favourite thing about your blog, so keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  27. hah ... nice one! but i don't mind the gorgy, clean piccies too much ... it's wonderful to be proud of those moments when it all comes together ... you now .. clean bums, floors and lives! love that you share all so generously .. the shiny and the smeary!

    ReplyDelete
  28. You are totally awesome. I love this post! Thanks for keeping it real!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. and herein lies your strength as a blogger and probably as a person - to count in all as good in it's own right. I love your contribution to this community - love it!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is good. :)

    It's a tough balance between sharing the nice and being fake. We all do it and we all get sad when others do it.
    Maybe we should have a what my house really looks like right now challenge?

    Maybe the more important matter is the cleanliness of our hearts and the depth of our love for one another.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Well said! And for me, as a part time nurse; I go to my other job and wipe bums there too. I'm a bit of a pro bum wiper you could say! It's high on my skills list on my CV.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I wipe butt.. lots, I often brush my teeth at 11am when I forgot before doing the school run..my bathrooms never seem to get cleaned well (this is clearly my fault but I often think it should be someone elses when sitting on the throne)

    I care about people a lot but I am not fluffy and blogging can be very fluffy. It is a little false I agree but its natural. I mean how often do you frame the picture that got taken when you had a minger zit and a dodgy double chin with a muffin top from standing wrong.. not often cos no one wants to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Beautiful Em, you are wonderful. I love your honesty and your humour and your truths make me smile. xox

    ReplyDelete
  34. Awesome post Em and all so very true - we should all be supporting one another in this little community of ours - through the mess, the piles of washing yet to be done and through the backside wiping :)

    I think your blog is already honest and real - it's only natural for us bloggers to want to show 'pretty pictures' and share all that is positive in our worlds, it's not to say there isn't mess and dust in our homes and that we're happy mothers and wives 100% of the time though :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Another beautiful and honest post from you Em, my fellow bum wiper ; ) I also don't think about making dinner until we're starving and then realise we have have no food in the house to cook! I would love to know how I could change that?! Dave would love it too! xx

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think this is an amazing, true, real post. This is the reason I love your blog...because you are colorful, inspiring, artistic, honest, true, and your a mother. (..plus more adjectives i could go on..) I can relate, totally.

    ReplyDelete
  37. hmmm, I still suspect your idea of filth is on a whole differrent plane to mine, good on you for sharing some humble pie with us all. love your pretty dress in the swamp too.

    ReplyDelete
  38. You are so freakin courageous. Seems like the feminism movement has had no impact on us girls insomuch as no one wants to let the side down by appearing anything less than perfect. Even though we know we're buying into a fable. Good on you for offering an alternative view on how the blogging community can support its members.

    ReplyDelete
  39. (so i'm on holidays but can't help sneaking in a quick peek at what's happening in blogland - and wanted to comment on this post!)

    can't hep but notice a theme of bloggers wanting their space to feel serene, pretty and a teeny bit styled rather than always dumping 'negative' posts (myself included)...yet we all want to feel as though we are being honest, and this may mean being a little less pretty and positive. wouldn't it be interesting to declare a day of blogging honesty (or perhaps we could say 'rawness' or otherwise, as i don't really think we are being dishonest with beautiful looking/sounding posts) - good, bad or ugly posts? x

    ReplyDelete
  40. Beautifully said, Em. I, too, love the community of women and mothers in this funny old blog world. If I'm perfectly honest, I probably come on here for some honest words from some women I can relate to, and some good looking pictures. Kellie xx

    ReplyDelete
  41. Love this post, had me giggling and nodding my head - especially the wiping bums; daily brushing and dust bunnies. You could have been writing just about me but it's good to know that others go through the same days that I do. Sam xx

    ReplyDelete
  42. Beautiful, Em. Although I do question how anyone could think that a house with young kids is ever going to be spotless. Not if the family has a life!

    The reality is that I don't know if a wonderful post like this does any good. There isn't a confession in the world that makes up for all the pretty papering that goes on via blogs. We tell each other how it honestly is in one post and then ae it away with our representation of life in all our other posts.

    That's ok. I think the fault actually lies in people believing the hype in the first place. We all think we're marketing savvy and we don't get caught, but we do we do we do. We want to believe our own lives are as perfect as we make believe they are. We are our own hype, painting pretty pictures and 'styling' our lives.

    Is there hope? Perhaps!

    x

    PS - amazingly, I have never missed a tooth brushing session. I might have dusty benches, but my teeth are polished, baby!

    ReplyDelete
  43. lovely post (visiting via claire's link). i often feel a bit eye-rolly when i visit a 'mum' blog as they can sometimes make me feel a bit inadequate. but i think we all know deep down that every one of us (no matter how nice our kitchen is) has dustballs under the chairs. I posted about the battles of motherhood today too. i always feel relieved when i post about these things and they always get a good response. the camaraderie in blogland is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Great post Em, you are so real and honest. I am the same. I only ever clean when someone I want to impress is coming over! And hubs thinks I should invite them more often! x

    ReplyDelete
  45. Love this! So true! And off I go to wipe a little bum... Xx

    ReplyDelete
  46. I know I'm late em - I actually read this the day you posted it but was on my ipod and never comment from there. I had to come back and say I think this is my most favourite post you have written. I still can't put my finger on it, but the way you put your words together was somehow different to your regular posts (by which I mean, even better, not saying your regular posts are below par..!!!). Raw and real and honest. Loved it x

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em