You and I are guilty of a very damaging trend. It is undermining our sense of self-worth and distorting the very reality of having children. What is this trend? Simply taking pictures that have been cleverly angled or creatively cropped so as not to expose the monster we have all become afraid of: our mess. Admit it, you do this. You’re afraid of what people might think, or maybe the mess disgusts you. For whatever reason, you’re not showing it to the world. You’re parading your cookie-cutter, picture-perfect fabrication. I know this, because I used to do it, too. But it’s making us all crazy. Because the reality is, having kids is messy. Life is messy. If you and your kids are free to truly live in your home, and you don’t hire a maid, your house is teetering on the edge of disaster on a daily basis! Let’s face it, your house looks something like this right now:
And this is after I’ve been cleaning this morning!
At first glance, you might point out the bits of trash, toys everywhere, clothes strewn, and household items seemingly out of place. But let’s look a little bit closer, shall we?
The dining room chair is by the window because my toddler likes to watch out the window while I take the dogs out to pee every morning. Simply placing a chair there keeps her out of trouble during the 2 minutes I’m outside, and prevents her from climbing on top of something else much more dangerous.
The toys and books are strewn about because my kids are free to creatively use all their things together; such as stacking board books on blocks, creating musical instruments, and brushing the teddy bear’s fur.
The Easter basket and eggs are providing entertainment long after the holiday ended. (And considering I got them all at a thrift store, I’d say I’m definitely getting the better end of the deal!)
The dog leashes get hung back up after every use, but my toddler likes to walk the dogs around the house. And walk me and her big sisters around like dogs. And be walked like a dog.
The ice bucket provided quick and easy entertainment for my baby one evening as I was busy in the kitchen, and it has since been used as a drum, a doll bed, and an Easter egg receptacle, among other things.
The clothes are strewn about because my toddler is learning to dress herself. And undress herself. And dress herself. And undress herself. You get the idea.
The measuring cup is there for much the same reason as the ice bucket.
The vacuum is sitting in front of the closet that it belongs in because, let’s face it, it will be used again so soon that what’s the point? Besides, it seems to be particularly interesting to my 8 month old who is currently in the throes of separation anxiety. If a vacuum being left out provides me the opportunity to pee without him screeching, crawling after me, and pulling up on the side of the toilet as I sit there, then that vacuum will stay out forever!
Now, the crayons and toys that are encroaching on my kitchen, that’s where I draw the line. Any mom will tell you that there’s nothing more dangerous than children’s toys underfoot while you’re trying to cook! Admittedly, I usually don’t pick them up, though. I simply kick them back into the living room as I’m sweeping the floor for the millionth time that day.
If you’re sitting there, looking around your house, crying because your house looks much worse than this…please don’t feel bad! I’ll point out again, this is after doing much cleaning this morning! Perhaps in a future post I’ll take you in my kitchen. As long as you don’t call the EPA on me 😉