Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Beautiful Mess

Lately I have been feeling a considerable amount of stress in regards to the tidiness of my house.  

My anxiety level increases every day as I slowly watch my toddler tear apart every last corner of our living room. It increases even more when I think about the countless loads of laundry piling up in my laundry room, the tumbleweeds of dog hair accumulating in the corners, and the sink full of dishes calling my name.

I. Just. Can't. Keep up.

Over the last couple of months, after becoming a mother of two, plus one dirty hound dog and a not-so-neat husband, the cleanliness of our house has really started to eat away at me.

I find myself apologizing when people come over, "please excuse the mess," which always welcomes the "please, you have 2 little ones" reply.  I often wonder though if people are really still silently looking around taking in the beautiful mess that has become our way of life.

In an effort to vent and simultaneously make light of the situation at hand, I recently posted on Facebook questioning what the secret was to having kids and maintaining a clean house. What I got in response was one of the reasons I love social media as much as I do... Other moms helping me to realize, that I am not alone.  The struggle is real, and we all feel it.

One mom even commented that moms who seem to have clean houses probably run around frantically cleaning just before company arrives to give the illusion that they have it all together. I laughed, and hoped that she was right.

Either way, I'm sure as moms, we all have those days where we feel defeated... that we just can't do it all.

On that note, I want to leave you with some inspiration.  Perhaps it will make you feel a little better, I know it helped me. I'm learning to accept the mess.  I'm learning to embrace it even... the reality is, in the end I don't want my kids to remember how clean our house was, I want them to remember how much fun they had, and I want them to know how much they are loved.

A short time ago, after expressing the amount of stress I was feeling about keeping up with cleaning to my mother in law, I received an email from her.  The subject line was this: "Required Reading". The email was full of little poems and quotations about forgetting the mess and enjoying your children.

I am passing it along as "required reading" for all of you... wonderful mommies who are trying your best to do it all.  You are not alone!

Cooking and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow
For babies grow up, I've learned to my sorrow
So, settle down cobwebs. Dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep

 Excuse This House 
Some houses try to hide the fact 
That children shelter there. 
Ours boasts of it quite openly, 
The signs are every where. 

For smears are on the windows, 
Little smudges on the doors; 
I should apologize I guess 
For toys strewn on the floor. 

But I sat down with the children 
And we played and laughed and read
And if the doorbell doesn't shine, 
Their eyes will shine instead. 

For when at times I'm forced to 
Choose the one job or the other, 
I want to be a housewife... 
But first I'll be a mother.

Love in the Home 
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, 
but have not love, I am a housekeeper - not a homemaker. 

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but 
have not love, my children learn cleanliness - not godliness. 

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh. 
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window. 

Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk. 
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys. 

Love is present through the trials. Love reprimands, reproves, and is 
responsive. Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs 
with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood. 

Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart. 

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I 
glory in God's perfection of my child. As a mother, there is much I 
must teach my child, but the greatest of all is love.

I also wanted to share this blog entry shared by a fellow mom/friend. Grab a tissue.

Happy Saturday... Spend the day enjoying your children, rather than cleaning house!

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