I know I’ve brought up this subject several times before, but I’m amazed at how many times the state of a woman’s home occurs in conversation.

“Sorry, we can’t have company because the house is a mess.”

“I’d love to have you over, but maybe another time when the house isn’t such a mess.”

How about those of us who don’t answer the door when someone knocks because the house is too messy? Or maybe you can’t even get to the door without endangering your health?

Magazines, television, and the occasional energetic-housekeeper friends make it seem as if everyone else has a perfect dwelling, but it’s really not true. So why do so many of us live in fear someone will see our big, dirty secret … the house?

In my article Messy House Ministry, I encouraged moms to not let the things they cannot control keep them from loving and connecting to others. Since then, I’ve been more attuned to this topic in my daily interactions. Keeping a perfect house, especially when there is a special needs child involved, can be overwhelming and often impossible. While I believe less stuff means less mess, I’m amazed at how big of a mess my young child can make with just the contents of her dresser. Or the bed linens. Or with a single roll of toilet paper. Don’t forget baby wipes, a bottle of shower gel and the living room carpet, and big sister’s note cards from school. Oh, and one of my recent favorites: spitting her juice onto the floor. The other day I stepped in what I thought was water on the kitchen floor and mopped it up. Later—when I walked into the kitchen and stuck to the floor—I realized I’d mopped with lemonade. I heard the ants almost sent me flowers.

So, I’d like to share one of my favorite housekeeping comments I’ve heard recently. Steve, a fellow parent of an autistic child, said this about his garage: “It looks about like Sanford and Son’s … no, wait. That’s an insult to Sanford and Son.”

See? you’re not alone!