In My House


In my house, there's always dirt and there's always clutter. Toys, light bulbs, unopened mail, spare change and miscellaneous stuff litter almost every surface. My baseboards haven't been touched since the previous owners vacated nearly four years ago. My shower hadn't been properly scrubbed in over a year (I know this exact timing because I'd just returned from mat leave and my sister-in-law did it for me. She is still recovering.) Two of my cupboard doors are falling off and the once beige carpet in the bedrooms is now grey. Always.

In my house we have two dogs, a cat and several colonies of dust bunnies. Most people who are dealing with pet store levels of fur tell me they vacuum every day. Me? I’m good for once every two weeks. My duvet, bed sheets and pillowcases look like I’m having an affair with Chewbacca and there are more food dishes, collars, leashes, chew toys, beds and catnip mice in my living room than there are at Pet Smart.

In my house our summer belongings remain trapped outside under several inches of snow. A pair of bright purple flip flops left out on the patio table (yes, I said table) has been taunting me since late September. Barbies and ponies are frozen in place for all eternity like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. The trampoline stays up all year, my Halloween decorations stay up until Christmas ("they're not ghosts, they're snow angels"), and my Christmas decorations blend into Valentine’s Day because someone, thankfully, had to the good sense to make the red the signature colour for both.

In my house the microwave is missing it's turntable, the stove has never been cleaned (by me), and the quarter inch crack between the counter and the wall is something no one should ever have to see. The toaster has an odd brown stain on its right side and the coffee pot doesn’t close properly since an unfortunate incident involving syrup and a step stool last Mother’s Day.

In my house the basement can only be described as a nightmare. Most of the boxes from our move (four years ago) have been unpacked. But when I say unpacked I mean unpacked and left in the middle of the floor, not unpacked and actually put away. The laundry room is drowning in mismatched socks, dryer lint and empty detergent bottles. The furnace room is auditioning for Hoarders and I have not seen the floor in the playroom since 2014. Overnight guests are given a set of ear plugs with their clean towels because the mice get rowdy at night.

In my house, the master bedroom ensuite is a bathroom / playroom / reading nook / dog training facility. Not a day goes by when I don't pick up a leash, a doll, and plastic horse, Lego, a blanket or hair accessories. Until recently it was the only heated floor in the house and it’s not unusual to step out of the shower to find both kids and all three pets amusing themselves in 20 square feet.

Why are all these things happening in my house? Because we're slobs, obviously. But also because we are busy. Busy building Lego and having carpet picnics and girls movie nights. We're busy reading books and solving puzzles and talking about our day and how ‪tomorrow‬ will be even better. We’re learning valuable life lessons, such as the proper order of the Star Wars movies and why our privates are supposed to be private.‬‬

In my house we're busy planning our next adventure, singing our favourite songs or having a dance party in our underpants during the Grammy Awards. We're baking cookies, snuggling our pets, reading bedtime stories and pretending to be unicorns.

In my house we are too busy to worry about the mess. “We” would much rather read a book, take a nap or fantasize about Jon Bon Jovi making eggplant parmesan in leather chaps than scrub our tub. My down time is far too precious to be spent wearing rubber gloves (unless that's what Jon's into, then by all means).

So if you’re coming to visit, please know you are welcome. If you bring wine and peanut butter cups, please know you are VERY welcome. But if you’re coming to run a white-gloved finger over my bookshelves you’re going to be disappointed, and possibly horrified. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.



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Picture of Jen Millard

Author: Jen Millard

Jen Millard is a writer who's not afraid to say what everyone else is thinking about parenting and relationships. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram via @wineandsmarties and at

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