As a parent I have struggled throughout the years with the house getting messy, the laundry getting backed up and the dishes not being done. The one thing that bugs me most is clutter! I like to be able to see the floors and counter-tops.
I have also learned that a messy house does in fact define you, just not in the way you would think. Instead it says, “Kids live here, and we are living life.” It doesn’t make you a bad mother, or a messy housekeeper. It makes you human.
Please Excuse the Mess – We Live Here
While I don’t believe in living in filth, I do believe that some things can wait. Your kids will grow up faster than you think, and then they won’t be around to make things messy.
That pile of Legos on the floor? That is the hours spent creating a castle tower for Rapunzel. That paint smeared table? That is your little one creating a masterpiece of art that inspired them. But what about that mass pile of dishes in the sink and spilling out onto the counter? That is the sign of a mom spending time with her kids, experiences their joys and discoveries.
So don’t ever apologize for a messy house. Live in the moment with your children, as those moments are fleeting. The dishes will always be there, the laundry will always pile up, and the toys will be brought out again tomorrow to play with.
Help for Cleaning Up
All that being said, we all still need a little clean in our lives, We need dishes to eat on and clean clothes to wear. So finding a few minutes each day to do the essentials can go a long way.
While little littles can not be of a ton of help, you should consider getting kids involved as soon as possible. Pick a time that works for you. Maybe you do a little clean up once a day before bedtime where the kids put toys back in the bins or help you carry and sort laundry. Give them a sponges and a sink of soapy water and let them help you wash.
I often wait until I am in the kitchen preparing dinner to clean all the dishes and clutter from the day. Since I need to be there to prepare dinner it is a good time to clean up. I have the younger kids help me dry dishes or put away silverware. Now that they are older I have them do the dishes and unload the dishwasher.
Little ones love to play in piles of clothing. I would let me kids play in the piles of clothing as I sorted and filled the washer. I used it as a chance to teach colors, sorting, and counting.
While cleaning and chores with kids can take longer than usual, if you make it part of the routine, and include them as much as possible. It will become a task that is much more manageable than you thought.