Being Open To Messy

The loud, boisterous sound of a vast amount of small toys being poured out onto the floor.
You know the sound I’m talking about.
I sweetly delicately  sharply and bitterly declare to Jim, “SERIOUSLY? I just put away that stupid basket of play food”
Jim lovingly says to me, “didn’t you blog about that once? About her playing specifically with something because you made it wonderful for her?”
I wish I could say that I gently and lovingly replied, but gotta be honest on this one, folks. I petulantly reply, “NO. No I didn’t.”
Er. Wait. Except? Maybe I did.

Yep. That’s the one: The Evolution Of A Living Room
I had to dig back to June ’12, but I found it alright. Here’s what I wrote at the time:
“I know it probably sounds so silly, but I have always dreamed of smudgy handprints, muddy footprints, hidden cheerios, and toys strewn everywhere. I am so thankful and so blessed that they are finally in MY house. I love knowing that someone can walk into our home and know, not only that a little girl lives here, but that she has the freedom to play and enjoy the things she has been provided. I want our house to be that for our children and for others as well.”
Oooh, burn!
Can you zing yourself? Because I totally just did.
Hello, perspective!
In my Living Room post(although, Praise the Lord the toys *have* actually all moved into a bedroom, so I REALLY shouldn’t be complaining anymore) I also added an excerpt from this article: Stingy Out Gets Stingy In
“The truth is, we need a new perspective. It is moments like this that should give us a lot of job satisfaction. These people are enjoying you. They are enjoying your work. But, like a great dinner all laid out on the table, you don’t enjoy it without touching it. A chef would not look at dishes coming back to the kitchen untouched as a sign of success. It would not mean great things about your work. Yet this is what we want from the work we do in our homes.
I’m sure most of you have noticed the magnetic power of what you clean. Clean the bookshelf up, and everyone wants to read. Organize the little toys, and everyone wants to play with the things they have been callously walking on for days. This is a sign that you are succeeding, that your people love your work. Think of it like food, because that is how it is getting used.”
What a breath of fresh air, am I right?
As a stay at home mama, I know I daily fight the battle that I’m not “doing enough”. I didn’t do any cleaning today. We just read books. We didn’t do any structured learning. We ran errands and watched Dora. I never brushed my teeth or changed out of my pajamas….until I got a text that said Jim was on his way home. On and on and on.
So, when I do finally tidy things up, I unrealistically expect them to stay that way. Instead of realizing, my little girl sees her fun toys in a entirely new light. To her, it’s like, WHOA! I’ve never seen these in this basket before! I MUST DUMP THEM NOW. And that is a beautiful, perfect, and good response to the things that she has. Mama just needs to learn to take a deep breath, thank God for that basket full of play food, the little girl who loves to dump it(and the legos, and the princesses, and the little people…) and plop myself down on the floor and sort through it all with her.
For about 3 minutes and 12 seconds before we move on to the next thing.

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  1. I've seen a quote that says something like, "Dirty floors. Piles of laundry. Happy kids." — I take that to heart! If anyone wants to see my house clean, then come back when my kids are grown and gone. Although, it is easier said than done to "embrace the mess". So, I try and keep my living room at least picked up, my kitchen somewhat presentable ~ while the rest of my house looks like a tornado most days!

    1. I grew up with a family friend who said "you always need to have a room that you can just close the door" Ha! So, I try to keep major messes contained to a place that if necessary- the door can just be shut!

  2. I agree with Amanda M. I have a quote in my kitchen that says "Good moms have sticky floors, dirty ovens, and happy kids" — so true!! I had to put it up in my kitchen to remind myself every single time my kids make an unnecessary mess, or I can't get all of the cleaning done. This age is fleeting, and I'm sure that at some point down the road, we'll be missing the days when we had to pick up their toys for the 789th time.

    Thank you for linking up!

    1. "Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby- and babies don't keep"

      Jim's grandmother made me a pillow that has that poem on it. It's sitting in Abigail's room! I need to really absorb that little poem more frequently than I do.

    1. Isn't it? I absolutely loved thinking about it like serving dinner. You want people to enjoy the things you've made for them- especially our children. The little people we want to please and enjoy the most!

  3. Very familiar with how you feel, I wrote along the same lines for the link-up as well. I have learned to get passed the mess, he is making memories and he is having fun entertaining himself. If he is happy, then mama is happy to 🙂

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