The Perception of Mess

I can tolerate a fair amount of mess, for instants on my craft room table, in my school room, at least for a while. But after a few days I feel the discomfort well up, I miss the clean lines of the floor and tabletops and then it bursts and I make the kids help me in a flurry of clean up. Usually when this happens I am a little blustery with them, huffing and puffing about how they don’t respect their things or my wishes to keep the house tidy.

The other day I was sitting at my computer which sits on the bar and I looked over into the dining room/kitchen, which is an area I like to be consistently tidy, and I caught myself sighing over the disorder:
Playing Clue on the dining room table after school

 But then I stopped myself and thought ‘you know my kids moved the table centerpiece to play a board game!’ I have these awesome kids and they are happily playing, together, in the middle of the day! This is a good thing.

At that moment I reminded myself that mess is going to happen with kids about, there will be a bulky high chair and an abundance of dishes in the sink. Reality. And instead of seeing my house as something lovely that gets messy I can choose to see that this house is a lovely backdrop for my kid's life and activities.

These chair are their thrones at meal time.
These walls are the color of their daily life.
These ornaments are the texture of their story.
Matthew, Lily, Laura, Annie, Maximus - they are the main characters, the reason for the theatre!

My home is not meant to look like a house in a magazine article. My home is meant to be for living. For the living of my babies, my little people. That is so freeing!

After choosing to change the way I look at things, later in the evening I even sat on the chaise lounge with Mark before the dishes were cleaned away! Wow, that was a big deal for me because usually I like to relax after the kitchen is clean. And it was a nice time, the kids were playing and we got to chat about the day. And then I cleaned the kitchen.

I won’t become a slob any time soon, it is not in my character, but I am practicing being a little cooler and keep my focus on the people rather than the things.

Annie Rose, 4 1/2

My house is the backdrop to the story of my kid’s life. I like that.


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