Good Moms and Sticky Floors

There is a very popular quote that is one of my biggest pet peeves. Hearing this quote spoken is the equivalent to me of nails scratching chalkboard. On Etsy, you can even buy beautifully stained wooden planks etched and painted with some version of this quote.

“Good Moms have Sticky Floors, Messy Kitchens, Laundry Piles and Happy Kids.”

When I was a younger mother, this quote made me feel self-conscious. I wasn’t confident in my mothering skills and this quote actually made me cry. I had twin two year olds, a 1 year old, and I was trying my best. We’d finger paint or play with play-doh, and then I’d clean it up. This quote made me wonder at the time if I were doing it wrong. Maybe I was supposed to be using that clean-up time to go over flash cards with the kids?

Now I’ve met enough people and learned that you can simplify what a good mom is, but it has nothing to do with sticky floors. Good moms love their kids. Wherever they find themselves on the housekeeping spectrum, Good Moms agree that children are more important than messes or laundry.

There is no perfect way to be a good mother

There are many different molds for a good mom.

Some good moms make healthy meals. Some good moms have bad days and decide spontaneously to feed the kids ice cream for dinner.

Some good moms throw amazing parties, volunteer at school all the time, fit into their skinny jeans on the way home from delivering their babies, and some good moms want to throw toilet paper in the yards of those moms just before it rains.

I’ve seen good moms have kids who deal with depression and anxiety. I’ve seen good moms cry from worry about their kids.

Behind every great child

Happy Kids and Clean Floors don’t necessarily have much to do with each other, except I can use both those phrases in lots of fun sentences. “My Happy Kids turned my Clean Floors into a Lego land-mine zone.” “My Happy Kids cried as I made them Clean Floors.” “I have Happy Kids and Clean Floors, and I ate a brownie for lunch.” Watch out, Etsy, I’m going to make a sign out of that and it is going to blow your mind.

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18 thoughts on “Good Moms and Sticky Floors

  1. well said MARY! There’s another sign that bugs me as well…it says “please excuse the mess we’re busy making memories” like if there’s no big mess I’m not making memories with my kids?! I guess mine will remember doing chores lol

    1. That other quote is a close second on my nail+chalkboard list!! Mine will have lots and lots of memories, and many of those will probably include my voice as the background noise saying “wash your hands”, “put your shoes away”, “who left their dirty socks on the piano”?

    2. I actually have this quote hanging up in my house! People invariably stop by when we’re doing play doh or something creative/messy. Our area to do these things is my kitchen table – right next to the front door.

      1. Hopefully no one dropping by would judge you if you had a messy activity going with your kids. One of my clients today was doing a glitter project with her kids while I was organizing in her pantry/laundry area nearby. I only had positive thoughts about her while she was making a mess with her kids!!

  2. I laughed so hard that I cried. Great writing. Love the quote by M. Russell Ballard.
    And I second the motion that having happy kids and a clean home are possible and preferable. My mother kept a clean home and I am so grateful for that. Life can be chaotic enough. I don’t need my surroundings to be chaotic. I need to know where to find my clean underwear each morning, thank you. :)

  3. Love, love, love this post, especially your “altered” versions of the quote at the bottom. I find that I am a better mom when my house is in order because I am a happier mother! Each mom has different talents to share with her children, and I think we often forget that.

    1. I’m at my best too. My brain just thinks better and I’m more calm in an organized environment. I agree that all mothers are not like me and we each have different preferences and talents!

  4. Think back to when you were a child. Do you remember your mom playing with you 24/7 and helping you do crafts and all that? I don’t and i turned out fine. I loved my childhood. My mom was a great mom and she did things with me but most of the time i played by myself or with siblings or friends. I’m sorry but I’d rather not live in a disaster area as a mom or child. I know kids who don’t want any friends over because there houses are so messy. So as long as you are playing with your kids some of the time, i think its okay to clean your house.

    1. My mom is my best friend and I actually have lots of memories of her telling me to go play while she worked on something. I also have tons of memories of quality time, and even more memories of just regular day to day life stuff and how she just treated me in general. Our kids are going to have memories of us whatever we do! My kids will surely remember me saying “have you done your after school routine yet?” or “make sure your bed is made!”

  5. I have happy kids and sticky floors, but I’m a frazzled mom. I would prefer to never have sticky floors. I totally agree that cleanliness and kids happiness or the lack thereof of either or both have nothing to do with each other. I would change the saying to sticky floors make grumpy moms. ha ha!

    1. Sticky floors make grumpy moms — love this because it is certainly true in my case. And I should know, my kitchen floor is sticky right now from my family cooking for me yesterday on Mother’s Day. lol.

  6. That’s always made me sort of uncomfortable too. I don’ have a spotless house. At all! But I strive to have a clean, inviting, comfortable home for my whole family to enjoy, and I certainly hope that doesn’t mean that my floors *have* to be sticky!

  7. Love love love love this!!! I so agree with you. That phrase drives me nuts. I like yours much better “I have happy kids, clean floors and I had a brownie for lunch.” I’d buy that t-shirt!

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