The unschooling community seems to be the one place where my habitual neatness is viewed as a character flaw. I don't get a super judgmental vibe from most people who hold this attitude, but I definitely feel an undercurrent of it, regardless of intention.
The way many unschoolers talk about housework makes me think that they picture a sea of uptight Stepford Wives out there, ignoring their children in favor of scrubbing the kitchen floor, or not letting their children do anything fun for fear of the mess, or having houses that resemble museums more so than homes... and while yes, there is pressure in our society to conform to some middle class keeping-up-with-the-Jones's lifestyle, I think we can fight against that without casting out those of us who do get a certain amount of satisfaction from a clean floor and fluffed pillows. I get that this attitude is very much in response to the expectation that wives and mothers should keep spotless homes and spotless children, but I don't think that swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction is the right course of action.
Unfucking my habitat is part of my self-care. It's part of how I create a rich and eclectic environment for my son to explore his interests and ideas and to be introduced to new things. It's out of respect for the other people who live in my home and their own proclivities for neatness and tidiness. I feel like degrading housework and cleanliness as a waste of time or an either/or situation that somehow infringes on our ability to practice connected parenting is just another blow at "women's work" (and parenting, as humans are pretty decent at multitasking).
It may seem to some that the appropriate feminist position would be to dismiss this kind of work as degrading or superfluous, but that's counter-intuitive and counter-productive to women, children, families, and anyone who does this kind of work for pay (and even more so, those who do it WITHOUT financial compensation).
If you personally find doing the dishes at this precise moment to be inhibiting your ability to be present with your kids, then by all means, leave them until later or ask your partner to do them or enlist a friend or relative for help!
We are not capable of being all things to all people.
If getting that laundry folded isn't high on your priority list today (or tomorrow, or this week, or ever), that's perfectly ok. If you are a mom who is feeling bogged down by an unspoken expectation from your family that you shoulder more of the housework than what you feel you can handle, communicate your needs and ask for help. In no way am I suggesting that you should be a superhero who DOES IT ALL.
If a family is happy and healthy and safe (or working towards those goals), it doesn't matter to me how much you do or don't clean or how important housework is to you (if at all). Households can fall at either end of the spectrum, or anywhere in between. We're allowed... but the less we focus on the shoulds of it all, the better off we'll ALL be. Let's just stay away from vilifying in general.