I remember when we were preparing for the birth of my firstborn and the idea that the three-piece pink polka dot nesting bins would be the perfect catch-all for baby’s toys. The idea of “just put it away at the end of the day” to stop the daily mess was so seemingly simple.
During the first couple of months, the bins were the dot on the “I’ for my rendition of House Beautiful., Family Issue. Around month 11 however, something suddenly changed. My little bundle of joy, tightly swaddled and held close, learned to walk.
And grab. And pull. And throw. And hide. The trail of “Ashley was here” was everywhere. While I put down a play mat for “play time,” I quickly discovered there were no boundaries for mess whether it was play time, reading time, quiet time, naptime, or mealtime. We had a mess.
Day after day, I tired to keep up with the mess, until one day, I waved the white flag (ok, it was a Pull-Up) and tried to see the world from Ashley’s perspective. A tactile world full of touch, feel and hold. One that was use it and lose it. Literally and figuratively.
No longer did it matter if the living room was Pinterest-worthy at 3pm or that the playgroup mom’s might sit on a Lego. We finally decided to live each day fully rather than living each day frantic.
Messy is different from dirty. Dirty says “health violation” whereas messy means “a whole lot of living happens in this home.” Sure, spotless is an enviable goal; but with two kids and a cat, I found that my minutes spent having a conversation about the little green Army men hiding in the silverware drawer was far more rewarding than nit-picking about a 3″ piece of plastic that “does not belong in there.”
Have you learned to say yes to the mess? Share your story – we would love to hear from you and possibly feature your story in an upcoming blog.
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