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Do life’s little messes ever get you down? I often run around my house like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to put away all the toys that have just been strewn about, sweeping my floors like a madwoman.
One Momma recently shared with me that trying to pick up after a toddler is like brushing your teeth with crushed Oreo’s. Do you feel me on that?
There are days I wonder how my house got so messy. Didn’t I just spend the last two hours picking up and cleaning? Today I found stale tortilla chips in a Sophia the First Mailbox. It was filled all the way up with crushed tortilla chips. How?! Then my brush from my Clarisonic went missing, only to find it (to my demise), in my daughter’s hamper. Lastly, to put the nail in the coffin, my daughter decided to “paint” our walls using my brand new blush brush and applesauce.
I have often debated getting rid of all her toys. Remember Mama Bear from The Bearnstein Bears in the classic book “Messy Room” when she threatened her little bears with throwing away all their toys? Papa Bear ran in and built them new shelves and helped them organize. Well, there are mornings I feel like Mama Bear. I wanna throw everything away, all the clutter and shoes and dirty socks and empty fruit gummy packets and My Little Ponies FOREVER!
A few weeks ago I visited a neighbor friend. Her kids are all grown up now. Every time we are guests in her home she pulls out an old Elmo train set for Lillian to play. She loves to watch Lillian enjoy herself and run around, and quite frankly, make a mess. I often get up and pick up after my daughter, embarrassed. I will never forget what she told me the last time I was there. There I was, trying to clean up after my daughter, when she told me, “Tiffany, sit down. Let her play. One day you will miss picking up the socks from the living room floor. My house is clean because there is no one to pick up after anymore.”
Bam. The words hit me so hard. Yea, it is a pain in the rump to pick up all her little princesses and ponies and necklaces and blocks, but I am honestly going to miss the mess. Isn’t that crazy to imagine? I will totally, completely, miss my little princess running around like the dickens pulling out my tweezers and losing them for the umpteenth time. Or watching her awkwardly pick up anything she can with the kitchen tongs. (That happens, a lot). I think I will even miss seeing the permanent marker painting she did in our living room wall.
The truth is, it can all be cleaned up. Cleaning up isn’t hard. But I cannot stop my kiddo from growing. So I want to let her make messes and enjoy life. Maybe I could learn a lesson to jump in with her and make some messes alongside her.
Often it is the messiest things in our lives- relationships, chores, volunteer work, people- that matter the most. It seems ingrained in us to avoid messiness, to keep things in order and in control.
But what about all those “messy” moments that change us forever. Messy moments like child birth, your friend grabbing the tissue box because you cannot-stop-crying-and-the-mascara-keeps -running-down-your-face, or having it out with your husband only to make up and realize you love him more than you ever imagined. What about those people in your life sometimes cause stress and conflict? Those same people we sit around the dinner table with and belly laugh… those people we love.
People are messy. But people are worth the mess. Love cleans up after spilled milk, and knows it’s gonna happen again. There will always be time to clean up and always more messes to clean. Let’s embrace our messy homes and not apologize for them, because there is some magic happening in a home that is well-used.
I’ve shared how I found beauty in our mess. I’d love to hear about yours! Leave a comment sharing why your messes are beautiful.