As a mom to two little boys, things can get pretty messy. Toys strewn about, laundry piling up, dirt, fingerpaint, poop, spit-up… you get the idea. Before kids I liked things clean and tidy — I’m very type A. You’d think the mom of two boys would just give up on things being clean. But honestly, now that I have kids I almost depend on things to be clean and tidy to offset the chaos of having two little kids. When things are a mess, my mind is a mess. So balancing that need while enjoying two little boys and letting them enjoy being little can sometimes be hard. Here are some strategies I’ve developed for helping me to embrace the mess:
Clean up little bits as I go
If I’m making breakfast or packing lunch, I find it much easier to clean up as I go. It takes about ten more seconds to throw the banana peel and yogurt container away and put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. If I leave that mess out until I have more time to clean it later, our lunch and dinner messes get added and I find that the kitchen is a complete disaster at the end of the day. And at the end of the day, I’m tired and don’t feel like cleaning a huge mess.
Don’t panic (take a breath)
If I had a dollar for every time Charlie ran in from playing outside and jumped on our white couch I could buy a lot of new couches. Instead of cringing with every threat of dirtying that white couch, I try to remember it is a washable slipcovered sofa and it can be cleaned. I don’t panic each time the baby (inevitably) poops the second I lift him out of the bath tub and into his cozy white towel because I let him take an extra long bath since he was having so much fun. Or when he’s flinging food all over the floor and the nice high chair. I take a breath and remember that’s what Clorox® Regular-Bleach is for! I cannot tell you how many white things we have that look brand new thanks to Clorox® Regular-Bleach — all white towels, all white master bedding, and as I mentioned already, that bought-before-kids-all-white couch!
Try to live in the moment
Sometimes you can spend so much time worrying about the never-ending pile of laundry waiting to be folded that you miss the dance party happening right in front of you in your living room. Or you worry about the wet muddy mess that you forget how fun it is to jump in puddles (especially in LA where you almost never have puddles!) I try to remember that the laundry will still be there, the puddles may not be, and the kids — the kids are growing so fast. Those messy moments are the moments. They are what it is all about and what I will remember and miss when the boys are grown. Messy moments are bound to happen, so I might as well see the beauty in them, embrace them, and celebrate them.
This post is sponsored by Clorox—helping you find the joy in making a mess.