This Ain’t No Pinterest House

We recently had a friend of Abe’s over for the first time. As always in our house, play was loud and lively. They shot indoor basketball and Nerf guns.  They snacked and crumbled.  They took the cushions off the couch to build forts. And later used the cushions as trampolines to dunk the basketball.

When Friend’s mom came to pick Friend up, she seemed mortified to see the aftermath of pillows, blankets, and balls that spanned the floor. I figured this would be second-hat to her. After all, she has boys of her own. But she kept apologizing for the mess. I assured her my house looks like this every day. EVERY DAY. It had nothing to do with her son.  And eventually The Dirties would have their chance to help clean the clutter.

A week later, I went to pick Abe up from Friend’s house. And I realized why my house haunted Friend’s mommy so. It looked like Pinterest had taken a giant crap on every entry-way, wall, table, and counter top. I was walking into a flipping DIY Museum of Contemporary Luxury. A Sanctuary of Complementary Color Palates. The large decorative glass balls.  Really?  The photo-less picture frames.  The pin-striped walls.  The WHITE furniture. Seriously, how is this possible? HOW. DOES. THIS. FREAKING. HAPPEN?

I’ve said before that in my experience with boys, houses get destroyed.  I came home and took a good look at my own house and this is how it stacks up next to a Pinterest Palace:


Pinterest DIY Light Fixture


My DIY Light Fixture
(just add Legos)


Pinterest Chevron Stripes

My Chevron Stripes

My Chevron Stripes
(simply leave a marker in time-out)

Pinterest Bathroom

Pinterest Bathroom

My Bathroom

My Bathroom


Pinterest Distressed Chair


My Distressed Chair


Pinterest Distressed Wall Panels

My Distressed Wall Panels

My Distressed Wall Panels

So, I’m pretty sure my house won’t be featured in Better Homes & Gardens any time soon.  But it is kid-friendly.  It’s comfortable, safe…and no dump either.  Just lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. And I don’t think twice when the boys plow a remote control monster truck into our crown molding. Or take everything out of our built-ins so they can hide in the cabinets. Because I have an entire lifetime ahead of me to create (or deal with) THAT kind of house.  But only one to create a house where there are constant reminders of them every time I turn around.  Or step on their Legos.

16 thoughts on “This Ain’t No Pinterest House

    • Oh, Melinda. There are so many more photos I could have included. The toilets in my house alone could fill a blog post. Thanks for reading!

  1. You may just have a book in this post Leigh! I think you’d make moms around the world feel much better if they could all have a coffee table book (or wherever else it might happen to land) that is filled with homes more like yours! Because of the ages of mine, my home feels more like a bachelor pad, but the kids know that they are loved and welcome and understand that a day will come when they have to help clean up…….usually when company is coming to stay a while! Thanks for your constant reminders of what is really important when parenting!

    • I LOVED the photo you shared of your living room. Thank you. I think we all need validation that we’re not alone on this journey. And life gets messy. Love and hugs to you, friend!

  2. 40 year old, AHD of 2 boys (5 &3) here–and she wants another! Oftentimes I say that AHM’s and AHD’s are quite different in the way we go about our day to day parenting, and I think in large part this holds true. However, maybe some of that belief stems from these “pinterest moms” insisting on presenting this picture of the perfect house/family/life. Maybe “Friend’s” mom really does spend every waking hour (and some she should probably be sleeping) keeping a perfect house, etc.—and this makes me sad. For some reason (probably unfortunately because men are still largely seen as bumbling morons when it comes to housekeeping, child rearing, etc.), I don’t think AHD’s get judged as harshly as AHM’s by other at home parents if we don’t do everything “perfect.” Regardless, I’m part of a fairly large and active AHD group and trust me, very few–if any–of our houses are pinterest worthy! Nonetheless, I appreciate seeing posts like this because not only does it make ME feel (a little–I don’t really feel wrong in the first place) better about how I parent, but I know a LOT of AHM’s (and working mom’s) who DO feel that pressure and need mom’s like you to continue to speak out and remind them that they are doing just fine! Keep it up, and good luck!

  3. Thank you so much for your comments. As parents, we all do the best we can each and every day to provide loving, safe environments for our children. And we all have priorities (mine happens to be writing) that result in us not being fully present for our kids every minute of every day. That’s simply not realistic. But I refuse to judge my worth or my parenting skills by the presentation of my house. It’s dirty. The boys are active. And I can’t keep up. So instead, we live and love and play among messiness and disorganization and crumbs on the floor. And everyone is happy and well. It works! Congratulations to you on finding a strong dads’ group. Being among parents in similar situations truly helps put things into perspective and keeps us grounded. My MOPS group has been a light in my life for the past 6 years. I appreciate you taking the time to read! Continue being that wonderfully strong father figure in your children’s lives. Your time couldn’t be better spent!

  4. I share your opinion. I decided that the time I get to have with my kids is really very limited. Besides working outside of the home, I also have volunteer commitments, so the time I have that I can dedicate completely to my kids is more important than a perfect entry way, or every dish done and so on. I have two girls and they too can do a number on the house, but it always gets taken care of, even if not immediately so we can watch a movie together or whatever.

    Thank you!

    • Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to read! You make a good point – “it always gets taken care of!” In due time. I remind myself of that often. Enjoy those girls!

  5. You are so right: “Because I have an entire lifetime ahead of me to create (or deal with) THAT kind of house. ”

    Want to know how I know?

    Because I just turned around, and found out grandtwins are on the way … it feels like my kids should be your kids ages but no, they are already grown!

    • Congratulations! Twins are so much fun. Thank you for stopping by. The best of luck with your A to Z April Challenge! I look forward to reading more.

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