When I was younger, the rule of the house was always to take your shoes off as soon as you entered. This applied to both the individuals that lived in the house regularly (my family) and guests. As a guest, you were expected to take your shoes off, too. We had a small area for removing shoes right within our entrance door, as most homes do. I always removed my shoes upon entering others homes, and when someone says to me “it’s okay, you can leave your shoes on” I think to myself both “no” and “gross.”

I know where my feet go throughout a typical day. They walk through wet parking lots where you can generally find cigarette ashes, gum, and all kinds of other gross things. They walk through parks, through stores, through restrooms. They walk in the mud, and in the pesticide/fertilizer ridden grass of many locations.

As an adult it shocked me the first time people walked through my home with their shoes on. (I try to be a good hostess, because I want people to feel welcome in my home and feel that it’s generally bad etiquette to ask someone to take their shoes off.) However, having a baby changed everything.

My son is 9 months old. He spends his day crawling around on my floors. All day. Every day. On top of that, he has his hands in his mouth constantly.

So yes, when you come to my home, as a common courtesy to my infant especially, I expect you to take your shoes off.

In a recent study, it was found that your shoes are dirtier than a toilet seat. Would you let your child crawl around on a toilet seat? Me neither.

And though this sign might be a little obnoxious and bold, it’s now hanging in my mud room:

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Just a reminder, to be understanding when entering into homes (especially the homes of parents trying to keep their little ones healthy.) We really aren’t trying to be rude.

-Katie