I’d Rather Have a Dust Bunny than Be Martha Stewart

I will never be Martha Stewart, and I’ve given up trying. I once wanted that perfect home, and worked day and night to achieve it. I lined my seasonings in perfect order, baked perfect little cookies with perfect pink icing, and made perfect Christmas meals fit for a magazine. I stripped wood, painted, redid floors, and cleaned my home until mirrors sparkled and tile shone. I dusted and vacuumed and created till dawn. And two days later, I did it all over again. I was determined to be the perfect mom and housewife, the perfect replica of Martha Stewart.

But I never was.

It was the day I tried to fold a bottom sheet that I figured it out. My corners didn’t line like Martha’s, my edges poked out everywhere. My sheet was a lumpy, bumpy piece of coal sitting on top of my dryer, while Martha’s looked like a little box, perfect square corners and neatly aligned edges.

So I quit. Not just the sheets, but everything. I’ve learned to let go, to simplify, to stop trying to be the Martha Stewart that I never was.

Windows are streaked, tiny reminders of children whose hands glided across the glass.

Doors hold fingerprints of small ones, and large ones too. They have opened to guests, and closed when we’ve said goodbye.

Walls are dinged and streaked from suitcases rubbed across walls, memories from those who have visited.

Beneath the sofa and living room rug live dust bunnies, curled together as my husband and I curl above, taking a nap.

Kitchen cabinets filled with grease, tiny bits of food I can never remove, signs of a well-fed and happy home.

A dent in the floor, a scratch on a chair, a stain on the dining room table where a child once painted. Life. Character. Stories. And I was a part of each.

But none of it matters, the scratches, the dings, the pieces of dirt. My home is happy, and clean enough for me. And though I admire Martha, I can never be her, and I’ve given up trying. I will take a home filled with love and memories. I will take a home filled with dust bunnies.

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