Learning to Live with the Mess.

November 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

There was a time in my recent life that whenever we were expecting guests in our home (or on a Saturday morning after the kids have had run of the house while my hubby and I try to grab an extra hour of sleep), I turned into a monster. Like a cleaning vortex spinning through the house I pulled in everything I encountered: toys, books, clothes, children…if it was not contributing to a clean house, it got sucked in. I’d launch into the age-old rant that we mothers know all too well: “why should I have to clean up the mess that YOU made? I already do all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry, and now I have to pick up your toys as well?!” Come on mothers, I know you’re familiar with this scenario.

During the evening following one of these “vortex moments”, as I was entertaining our dinner guests, I apologized for the “mess”, pointing out the toys that had snuck back out into the open after the whirlwind had passed.  My wise and beautiful friend looked at me with love in her eyes, and said “Do not apologize, my dear, this is a children’s home”.

Ever have those moments? When someone says something to you and it feels like it has penetrated to the very core of your being? Words that stick with you forever, while the person who said them likely does not even remember the moment, let alone realize the profound impact they have had.

This is a children’s home.

Of course it is. Why am I trying to pretend it isn’t? I have four amazing children. Four amazingly messy children, but they are the centre of this home. This home would not be a home without them.

So now it’s all about learning to live with the mess. Seeing the imagination behind what was created from that mess, cherish how my children express themselves, and surrender to the simple fact that life is messy.

Not to say it is just a flip of the switch. I still cling to the tidiness of a few areas in my home. For example, each morning I make my bed.  Small thing, but impactful. I make my bed, partially so I am not tempted to crawl back into it later in the day, but mostly because when I walk into my room and see it neatly presented with several decorative pillows, it gives me a sense of calm. There are still some areas in my home that are a reflection of my own creativity and expression.

So cheers to wise friends, to small victories, and to surrendering to reality to allow the love to flow through.


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