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This is Why I Don’t Invite You to My House

I look at the clock.

11:40 am.

I have less than 2 hours before my friend shows up on my front doorstep, and there is still much to do.

I don’t need an immaculate home before someone comes over. I do, however, hope that they’ll be able to walk across our kitchen floor without getting their socks covered with sticky juice or stabbed by bits of dried up rice. I also aim to have the toilets free of wads of toilet paper and not to overflow with a child’s monstrous poop. Seriously, why do kids have such big poops?

Aim high? I don’t.

I convince myself that the time I have is enough to get everything tidied, and myself changed into something presentable.

I toss random toys into baskets and hide messes behind bedroom doors.

I fly through the kitchen with my broom and mop.

I flush and scrub the toilet, repeatedly, while hollering for my kids to get dressed.

Then I swiftly apply my makeup and put on the clothes I had selected the night before.

I look at the clock.

1:05 pm.

Well-done supermom. Well-done.

In 25 minutes, I’ll be hugging my friend and chatting a mile a minute.

I decide it’s time to relax with a cup of coffee. After all, I worked hard to get everything done on time.

My finger hovers over the button on the Keurig when I hear it….


“Mommmmmmmy! Help me!”

I run down the three stairs to our half bath and nearly wipe out on a pool of pee.

What. The. Heck?!

My three-year-old stands there sobbing.

“I peed,” she cries.

Furious, but hiding it the best I can, I try to strip her down. The wet clothes cling to her.

“Let me do it,” she screams at me.

**What is it with three-year-olds? Seriously, she wants to assert her independence now?! Why couldn’t she just pee on the damn toilet when she had to?! Now THAT’S independence.**

She pulls away from me and leaves the bathroom. I cringe at the trail of pee she will leave behind her as she mounts the stairs to her room, but I have no time to fuss with her.

My feet and pant legs are drenched with urine.


I quickly wipe up the mess and clean the floor.

1:16 pm

I can still be ready for 1:30, I’m sure of it.

I run upstairs.

My daughter yells for me to take off her dress.

**Seriously? Now she wants my help?!**

I try, but the buttons are small (and many). So I do what any crazed, time-limited mother would do; I tear that dress off of her. My daughter laughs hysterically while the buttons fly everywhere.

I direct her to get some clean clothes on, and I run to my bedroom.

I decide to change into my default outfit, a black maxi-dress. I take everything off but my underwear.

All of a sudden, both of my kids start screaming that there’s a bee in the house.

They barrel into my bedroom and jump on my bed while I’m standing there, looking at them in shock, pretty much naked.

I see the bee (which is actually a fly) as it whizzes past me and lands on the bedroom window.

I swat at it with what I conveniently have in my hand, my bra.

Damn. Missed it.

I swat at it again and miss it.

The stupid thing buzzes around my head and lands on the window once more.

**There is a crazy beast inside of me which rarely shows its ugly face but, at this moment, the wild woman emerges.**

I start swatting ferociously at the fly; with a chorus of my children in the background, screaming, “Get it, Mommy, get it!”

The fly dodges every aggressive whack of my bra.

I don’t know what takes my gaze from that fly, but my eyes meet with those of my neighbour who lives in the condo across from me.

Oh. No.

No! No! No!

Even though she saw me (and my naked breasts), I drop to the floor quicker than you can say “fly swatter”.

I hang out on the floor for a few moments… my dignity mingling with the dust bunnies under the bed.

I slowly crawl to my feet and proceed to get dressed.

I look at the clock.

1:29 pm.

We made it.

I weakly smile at my kids and give them one last bit of advice.

“Don’t show our guest your bedrooms or the playroom and pleeeease don’t tell her about the fly.”

My girls nod in agreement.

We sit in the living room for a couple of minutes. I can barely believe we look so composed.

The doorbell rings.

“She’s here!”

Everyone, including the dog, jumps up to greet our guest.

I open the door to say hello.

The first words out of my three-year-old’s mouth:

“Hi, you can’t see my bedroom or my playroom because they’re a mess….”

Fortunately for me, she neglects to mention her fly swatting mama.

So dear friend, if you feel like invitations to my home are rare or overdue, just close your eyes and picture my house covered in toys and pee (but please don’t picture me in my underpants swatting flies with my bra).


Jennifer Bly on sabemailJennifer Bly on sabfacebookJennifer Bly on sabgoogleJennifer Bly on sabinstagramJennifer Bly on sabpinterestJennifer Bly on sabstumbleuponJennifer Bly on sabtwitter
Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care. 

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67 thoughts on “This is Why I Don’t Invite You to My House

  • Echo

    I love this so much, LOL!

    This is pretty much how things go down in my house and why I never have anyone over! Oh and seriously, what is up with kids’ monstrous poops?!

    • Jennifer Post author

      I definitely have a threenager (although she turns 4 next week… what is that called)?!

      Glad you enjoyed (and that you could identify with my pain)!

  • Ceil

    Hi Jennifer! Oh my gosh, this was so funny! (Maybe it was to you too? I hope so!) And all the trials and tribulations of your morning would have made me, your guest, feel right at home. I LOVE that we struggle, I love that we all lose it, and are trying so hard.

    I don’t think there’s anything more comforting than the knowledge that we are not alone. Thank you for reminding me that I never was. And you know what? You aren’t either.

    • Jennifer Post author

      After the fact, this became hilarious. Although I haven’t encountered my neighbour since this incident (hopefully some more time passes before that happens)!

      I should have known things were going to smoothly. Events never go smoothly when children are involved.

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    oh my!! Colby and I are usually scrambling and it’s just us two – I imagine throwing kids in the mix makes it much more difficult!!! We do always say that having people over is good motivation for getting the house picked up though :) Even though often times it just means shoving stuff out in the living room into a bedroom where we can close the door ;)

    • Jennifer Post author

      You’re right, the house is ALWAYS the cleanest when we have company over. It doesn’t last long but it’s nice.

      I hide things behind bedroom doors (and in closets) all the time.

  • Jessica Dimas

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA thank you for that! I loved the way you described everything, I totally pictured it all, yes, even you in your underwear swatting the fly LOL. And I also laughed out loud at the guests getting their feet stabbed by dried up rice…that is SO my kitchen!!!

    • Jennifer Post author

      I spared no detail. If I was going to share this story with the world, it had to be told in a way that you would see and feel what I went through. Oh, children… they really do make you crazy.

      PS – Bras do not make good fly swatters.

  • Kimberly F

    And I thought I was the only one who felt like this! I rarely allow any visitors upstairs because I never have time to get it clean before they come. But of course the first thing the kids want to do is bring everyone straight upstairs to their bedrooms!

    • Jennifer Post author

      Oh my goodness – YES! I encounter the same thing! They always want to show their bedrooms. I tell them that if they want to take people to their bedrooms, then their bedrooms have to be clean and get my “stamp of approval”. Because seriously, who wants to walk through a floor covered with toys and underwear?!

  • Kayla

    Oh my goodness! This was hilarious! I’m moving into a condo next month, and now I’m going to be extra cautious about changing in a room with windows. :)

    • Jennifer Post author

      I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that I was pretty much naked… in front of a window. I guess I was caught up in the moment. lol

      Glad this gave you a giggle. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jennifer Post author

      I’m beginning to think every mom encounters this kind of crazed rush before company comes over! I haven’t encountered my neighbour yet since this incident (and kind of hoping that more time passes before we are forced to greet each other on the sidewalk). lol

    • Jennifer Post author

      I have no choice but to laugh about it, Katie; no matter how mortified I was over baring it all in front of my neighbour!

      My 3-year-old turns 4 next week. I’m not experiencing any reprieve yet. Soon… right?!

  • Amber

    Haha, I completely understand!

    And FYI, bees freak me out. I hate them. I once went screaming across my lawn because one flew at me. I imagine a lot of the neighborhood heard. Oh well. Bees suck.

    • Jennifer Post author

      Bees freak me out. I’ve never been stung by one but I’m scared of them. I was super relieved when I realized they were calling the fly a bee. Whew! I definitely wouldn’t have been swatting at a bee with my bra.

  • Tamara

    HA! About the neighbor. Oh dear. Oh dear. Ok, but hilarious.
    Our house turned me into a maniac yesterday – of course I did that thing you’re not supposed to do and I threatened to throw away everything.
    Empty threats.

    • Jennifer Post author

      I haven’t run into my neighbour since this incident. I hope, hope, hope some more time passes before we encounter each other on the sidewalk. lol

      You threaten to throw away everything too?! Solidarity, yo!

    • Jennifer Post author

      Ahh, so you can identify. Having company over is STRESSFUL! Here I thought I had it licked this time around and what-do-you-know… my kids prove me wrong. Again!

    • Jennifer Post author

      I was certain other moms were experiencing some level of this kind of chaos. Although I probably cornered the market at swatting flies with a bra!

  • Elizabeth Spencer

    Love this. Selfishly, because it makes me feel better about a post I once wrote called “Why I Scored a Zero in Hospitality on My Spiritual Gifts Assessment.” Which my mother did not like. Anyway, from one mom of 2 girls to another, thanks for the encouragement! :)

  • Kia Stephens

    Jennifer, clearly we must be related. That story was a great read and a good laugh to get my morning going. I feel so akin to the truth you told in this post. I am that mom. Thanks for this really raw and refreshing writing. – Kia

    • Jennifer Post author

      It’s funny how things can come unglued so quickly, hey Kia?! I’m delighted this gave you a giggle… happy to make you smile.

      Wishing you a lovely day!

  • Candace

    This is so hilarious, Jennifer! I hate to laugh at your suffering, but hopefully you are able to look back on this and smile now :). We have all had those days! And I totally agree about kids’ poop. It is ridiculously and unnecessarily huge.

    • Jennifer Post author

      Oh yes, I was laughing the evening of the event but then again, I haven’t come face-to-face with my neighbour yet. That will be my walk of shame lol.

      I truly don’t understand kids’ poops. Seriously, sometimes I think it must have been winding the full length of their intestines!

  • Mrs. AOK

    HAHA! I have learned the more you tell them don’t say anything about the mess, the mess is front page news. “We had to clean alllll day, before you came” Ummm… thanks for selling us out, our house is always sparkling clean. The fan blades always shine like this– kids! :)

    • Jennifer Post author

      YES! Never mention the mess again (although they didn’t take her to their rooms or playroom, so my warning kind of worked). I’m not a pig but there’s two types of clean in my house:
      1- we live here clean
      2- company’s coming clean

      Glad you enjoyed this friend.

  • katy allred

    Thanks for the morning laugh! I was just telling a friend yesterday that I’ve had the same load of laundry in the dryer for 3 days (so now 4… ). Everytime I use that bathroom I keep hitting start on the dryer again to get the wrinkles out (as much as they will come out on day 4 at least) yet then forget until hours later when they are again wrinkled and cold. It’s amazing how my friends will still apologize and look so guilty when I go over and everything isn’t in it’s place because YOU HAVE CHILDREN! IT’S IMPOSSIBLE – and more than that – no one ACTUALLY lives like that! Or if they are, they’re making life so much harder on themselves. :)

    • Jennifer Post author

      A morning laugh is the best laugh – delighted that I provided that for you.

      Yes, the friend is of course not there to evaluate the house but… I wouldn’t want to subject them to the everyday messes of my kids (which can get out of hand). lol

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! Wishing you a lovely day.

  • Kelly O'Brien

    I was very encouraged that I am not the only one these things used to happen to! There was a season when I had 4 under 4 that I just stopped having visitors over all together. The park was a much more neutral location! Thanks so much for sharing real life!

    • Jennifer Post author

      4 under 4?! I can’t even… wow! Parks are a lot safer for visits – I agree!

      Glad you enjoyed a glimpse of my reality. Unfortunately these sorts of things happen to me ALL THE TIME!

  • Maria

    This is hilarious, and absolutely honest! Thanks for sharing a look at your day, and what a day it was! I’m sure your friend wouldn’t have minded the mess (they’re coming to see you, not the house after all, right?), but I hear ya: I’d be tidying up the place and keeping my guests away from the playroom and the bedrooms as well, just for sanity sake and dignity sake. Lovely post, Jennifer, as always. Thank you for sharing and for hosting us on SHINE blog hop this week!

    • Jennifer Post author

      Even though I know my friend is there to see me (and not the house) I can’t help but get a little carried away with making sure things are somewhat clean.

      Crazy episodes like this follow me everywhere. I’m a beacon for the awkward. I’m kind of getting used to it now. lol

      Glad you enjoyed this my friend. Thanks for reading.

  • Bijee

    Jennifer!!!! i laughed so darn hard when I read this. I feel you completely. Having company with kids is so not like it use to be before the kids were around. Good for you trying, cause I don’t and if you happen to come over and my house is really clean, you just relaly lucked up. LOL. #takemeasIam lol

    • Jennifer Post author

      Yes, now that I have kids, it’s so much more challenging to get the house in decent order before company comes over.

      Glad this gave you a giggle Bijee!

  • Jen

    Haha! How do we survive this kind of stuff and not end up with a straight jacket on each and every night? There is no manual to prepare us for parenting is there? If there was one, we might think twice about signing up…..

  • Minh

    Best laid plans right?? You figure these types of things only happen in the movies but when you have kids – anything goes. I too had a very independent child who only chose to be independent at the most inconvenient times. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jennifer Post author

      I’m sure if someone had been filming the whole frenzy – the video would have went viral. Although I wouldn’t want anyone seeing me topless, swatting at a fly with my bra. The fact that my neighbour saw me is shame enough! lol

  • Lowanda J

    This was hilarious! I love how raw everything was and I could picture myself in the moment. It reminded me of Ramona from the Beverly Clearly series. Please let me know when you write your first book..it will definitely be a great seller!

    • Jennifer Post author

      I’m glad it made you laugh Sara… that’s why I shared. Although it took a few hours for me to process just how funny the scene was. I haven’t seen my neighbour since this incident. I hope some more time passes before we bump into each other on the sidewalk between our homes!

  • Sarah Nenni Daher

    Okay, so I need to admit that I was laughing, nodding my head, and wanting to jump in and offer help while reading through this.

    It’s days like this that keep us on our toes – and help us to grow our relationships with our neighbors. :)

    • Jennifer Post author

      Ummm, I don’t know about the growing relationships with our neighbours part. lol I haven’t seen my neighbour since the whole half-naked, fly-swatting with bra incident. I hope I have some more time before we meet up face-to-face again!

      So nice to “see” you! I miss you and your posts!

  • Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    This is hilarious!!!

    Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone. (Not that I have ever swatted a bee with my bra, but you know what I mean!)

    I love how your writing mixed humor with messages of encouragement for all.

    Blessings to you and yours, my friend. xo

    • Jennifer Post author

      You’re totally not alone!

      I’m glad you enjoyed this my friend. I had fun writing it… even though it was a little bit of an embarrassing moment.

  • Julie

    Love this – so much truth to his post. It is hard enough to keep myself and my family together, the house just doesn’t seem as important. I cringe when people want to ‘stop by’ heh.

    • Jennifer Post author

      It’s a lot of work to pull things together for a visit! That’s why we rarely have company over.

      Glad you enjoyed this… and that you could identify.

  • Sarah Haney

    I love this post! I have tried so hard to have a social life as a mom, but I do really dread having people over. It feels like such an event and there is so much prep… all while wrangling three children and their chaos. I think you summed it up perfectly! :)

    • Jennifer Post author

      Yes! I too wanted to be the “social mom” – I don’t know how other moms do it because I feel like I turn into a crazed woman shortly before company comes over… hence the invitations are few and far between.

      Glad you enjoyed this Sarah!

  • Caryn

    I’m so sorry for the stress of it all…but it’s also quite charming if you can look back on it and laugh. We are the same way…my son always reveals our little secrets. I guess it’s ok because I try and teach him that honesty is truly the best policy.