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Does anyone out there feel self-conscious about their homes?

(65 Posts)
VFeist Tue 21-Dec-04 13:49:29

I have one ds nearly four and he needs to have more friends round to play but I do feel that our place isn't as glorious as some of his friends' places. Am I alone with this paranoia? I have some friends who seem to be super mums with such lovely places and I just feel that ours isn't as nice. I really let it get to me enough to hesitate before I ask people back. I'm very quick to arrange outings and meetings at other places, parks, soft play etc. I just feel so self-conscious it's ridiculous. Very close friends say the place is absolutely fine but I secretly don't believe them! Would love to know if there is anyone else who feels the same about their home.

Tommy Tue 21-Dec-04 13:55:30

It's all relative VFeist! My house is quite a bit bigger than lots of my baby group friends' houses but I have recently met some new friends who all live in houses much bigger and grander than mine! i actually don't think most people care and, if they did, they wouldn't come anyway and, more importantly, you wouldn't want to be friends with them either!

GeorginaAdventCalendar Tue 21-Dec-04 13:55:42

You're not alone on this one, VFeist, although I'm trying to fight it and I do really appreciate what we do have.

I think it's in part because we had to downsize when we moved away from London to clear debt after a period of unemployment, so not only to I feel that everything's cluttered and a state all the time, I mentally compare it to the space we used to have as well.

I'm always finding myself apologising for untidyness and bad carpets and clutter... which is daft, because I actually like our home and don't think it's in an unreasonable state considering I have two kids under school age! Then again, I have the apology disease anyway - I'm the sort of person who says sorry because someone else barged into me in the supermarket...

StuffTheMagicTurkey Tue 21-Dec-04 13:58:16

My house is a tip due to "works in progress" ever since we moved in over 2 years ago. Still no carpet on the stairs........bare concrete floor in downstairs loo.........fed up with people asking if the house is are not alone .

jinglespots Tue 21-Dec-04 14:14:36

I avoid having people round for coffee because of the baby food on the floor, the piles of newspaper in the living room and the teabags balanced on the sides of plates. I'm feeling the blush even now writing about it ...So stupid, because every day I think 'Now, will I tidy up the house or will I muck around with this lovely baby?' It's an easy choice. And not one to be ashamed of particularly!

OldieMum Tue 21-Dec-04 14:20:15

I find that when I am in someone's house and they say 'Sorry about the mess', I often haven't noticed it, because I'm concentrating on talking to them. I would try to worry less, if I were you. And if they do care, so what?

SantaFio2 Tue 21-Dec-04 14:25:49

i am the same. our house is in dire need of attention and I avoid answering the door to some people as it is so bad

saintnikcolas Tue 21-Dec-04 14:27:55

my house is clean but a real shit hole i just blame it on dd allthough my front room is how i like it but the rest of the flat is still the same as when we moved in 2 years ago

color Tue 21-Dec-04 14:31:02

ditto ditto ditto to greater majority of what has already been said!

I really like our house and am grateful and think how lucky our children are but often feel like the poor relation. Can't bear to spend money we haven't got and so everything has to wait plus can't be as neat and tidy as I would like and so could rarely invite anyone in on the spur of the moment - it's horrid feeling this way and I do try not to but hey all this so far says you are not alone why oh why is it that people we know don't seem to have the same problem!

jac34 Tue 21-Dec-04 14:38:38

Our house is a work in progress as well. I quite like it looking "lived in", but still try to avoid having people around except good friends, who know we are planning major refubishment soon.

The boys have a playroom where they are allowed to do what they like, which also means it looks an absolute tip. I keep thinking I'll invite their friends more once we've redecorated in there.

littledrummerbird Tue 21-Dec-04 14:57:23

Yes, yes, yes. And I am embarrassed to admit it. We live in central London, and have a lovely, but small, 2 bed flat in a mansion block. Most of dd's nursery friends live in the area too. While I've only been to a few homes, ours is certainly the smallest. Many have dedicated dining rooms and playrooms, whereas we simply crowd everything into the lounge.

We were recently invited for lunch by one of dd's nursery friends. The kids dashed off to the playroom and had a ball. The mum and I sat in the kitchen/dining room area which I realised is probably half the size of our entire flat. She was perfectly nice, but found myself feeling inadequate as she talked about spending Christmas at their chalet in Courcheval (or however you spell it). She produced a gourmet quality lunch complete with extras of champagne, cheeseboard and poached pears for dessert. I enjoyed myself, but left feeling woefully inadequate. I know I should reciprocate, but somehow feel intimidated to say "come to our place (which is a quarter the size of yours) for soup and toasted cheese sandwiches". So, at the moment, I've been reduced to suggesting outings at museums, etc.

I'm not a particularly materialistic person (though I do admit to liking a few luxuries!), and hope dd has similar values, but find it hard to ignore the fact that her/our peers have so much more. I don't envy them, but admit to the insecurity of "not measuring up". Wish it didn't cross my mind, but it does, perhaps because I fear being judged by them. Pitiful, I know. So, there's my confession........

codswallop Tue 21-Dec-04 14:58:07

you try goingt o pph's!

littledrummerbird Tue 21-Dec-04 15:01:14

coddy - is it intimidating at pph's?

codswallop Tue 21-Dec-04 15:02:00

no its really nicea dn welcoming
just HUGE

codswallop Tue 21-Dec-04 15:02:01

no its really nicea dn welcoming
just HUGE

codswallop Tue 21-Dec-04 15:02:31

it has a guide book and a national trust coffe shop

lisalisa Tue 21-Dec-04 15:03:24

Message withdrawn

pabla Tue 21-Dec-04 15:06:39

I actually take it as a compliment when I go to someone's house and it's not immaculate - I know then they consider me such a close friend that they don't need to rush around tidying before I come over. Plus, what's the point of tidying up before kids come round to play... my house always looks worse afterwards.

Everyone has different standards anyway - I was at a coffee morning a while back, the woman hosting it has 4 kids, the house was "lived in" looking, e.g. piles of laundry in the kitchen, toys everywhere. I thought it very refreshing that she hadn't felt obliged to make a huge effort but then she told me she had spent a week tidying up!

Flumberrysauce Tue 21-Dec-04 15:08:07

Yes because our flat is littered with bikes, fishing rods, baby equipment, other things I cannot throw away.

It is decorated purely with cast offs from other family members so has a thrown together air.

.......and is basically tatty as f*

All my friends however are successful, wealthy Londoners with beautiful interior designed homes.

However I don't really feel embarrassed as I am always welcoming and think our home feels warm and friendly. We spend alot more time in it than lots of my friends do at their house coz we have dd.

I think it is the opposite actually other people feel intimidated in a very beautiful home - I know I do a bit, like I can't relax incase i break something (or more likely dd does)

My friends don't really care friendship transcends such things.

If you feel embarrassed just tell people this is the family house which you like to keep quite lived in but you have another home just for you and DP that has featured in Home and Garden - would they like to see a copy? Just grab any copy and show' em any house.

mistletoe Tue 21-Dec-04 15:10:30

Look, a house is a home. It doesn't matter if it's big and grand, small and shabby (or big and shabby, as very many are), untidy, in need of decorating or whatever. It's the love inside that house that matters.

If someone is going to be shocked by your home, they are not the people you want in it. But do give people the chance. That mum with the champagne in the huge kitchen will probably be just as pleased to have your friendship (and coffee), and will understand that not everyone can be as fortunate as she. Make her and her daughter welcome in your home, and I'm sure she'll like you for who you are, not what you have (or don't have).

mistletoe Tue 21-Dec-04 15:13:08

And I speak as one who lives in a somewhat tatty, in-need-of-decorating, untidy 4 bed suburban detached, with lots of love in it.

blossomgoodwill Tue 21-Dec-04 15:16:23

I did when we first moved in 4 years ago but FINALLY it is finished and I am very happy with it. However the garden is another matter.
I have given up with trying to have the place look really tidy as it only takes my 2 10 minutes to make the place look like a bomb has hit it

Minstrel Tue 21-Dec-04 15:18:29

I try not to invite people back on the spur of the moment, as usually I have not had time to clean the downstairs loo - just incase dd has forgotten to flush..............

MarsselectionboxLady Tue 21-Dec-04 15:20:15

My bf has a huge house. It is glorious and full of light. She has a massive garden, a huge kitchen with an aga and a separate playroom for the children etc. A girl I used to know asked how I could possibly invite my bf into my small flat without feeling embarrassed. I can honestly say that my home is my home. There is nothing we can do about it currently and we really enjoy living here. Everything is crowded into the lounge (including huge Christmas tree). When my bf comes round she always says how she loves being in my home because it is full of love and life. The only people who are bothered don't tend to come again. I used to feel as though I ought to have a bigger home but that's because I love entertaining and cramming people in. I have a feeling that even with more room it would be cluttered and full of things and people.

mistletoe Tue 21-Dec-04 15:20:20

oh, and the flush on our upstairs loo broke this morning.

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