Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Temporary Mess

Right now, my shirt is soaked with baby spit up, my pants are stained with snot, and my face has a layer of dried drool over my poorly done makeup. There are toys scattered across the living room, matchbox cars in the kitchen, and an Amazon box by the TV that was made into a fort. The laundry baskets are piled on the steps, waiting to be washed. The dishwasher is waiting to be emptied and then reloaded with the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. There is baby gear cluttering every level of our house, and burp clothes stuck between the couch cushions.

Our house is a MESS! And for a type A personality like me, it is so uncomfortable. I'm used to having everything in its place and neatly organized. I have always kept our house very clean and tidy so I wouldn't have to run around like the Tasmanian Devil, straightening things up when friends or family show up at my door.

After Liam was born almost 2 and a half years ago, I learned to tolerate a certain level of mess in our house just to keep my sanity. Liam was not an easy baby, and it left me very little time to do chores. But I still kept the house relatively tidy so that I felt somewhat at ease when people came over to help with the baby.

Now, with 2 kids, the house went to hell in a handbasket. Every morning, while the kids are still sleeping, I go downstairs and quickly straighten up the house. I simply cannot sit and enjoy my coffee in a messy house. It literally makes my skin crawl. So I rush around, quietly picking up toys, sweeping up crumbs, and washing dishes. But within an hour of both kids waking up, the house is back to being a chaotic mess. Liam has dumped the box of duplo blocks out on the floor. There is maple syrup stuck to our dining room table. And powdered formula scattered across the kitchen counter.

Some day, it makes me want to scream. Who lives like this?!

Parents of young children do. When I am able to take a breath and think more clearly, I realize this is all temporary. The kids will only be this small for a short time.  So, rather than spending my days trying to keep up the house, I play cars with my son and snuggle with my daughter. I build bridges out of leggos with Liam and make funny faces at Maya in the jumperoo. I have a dance party with the kids when the birds sing in the movie Rio, which is Liam's current favorite.

I let the house get messy, and enjoy these moments that will be gone in the blink of an eye. Don't get me wrong. I still wake up early and straighten up the house. And I throw some laundry in and empty the dishwasher while the kids are napping. But I am not going to let my chores take time away from my kiddos. I already have to find a balance between work and home. Why make things more difficult than they need to be?

Right now I am at peace with this temporary chaos. When I look back on this time with the kids, I do not want to wish I had just stopped and spent more time with them. I want to look back and remember the smiles, the giggles, and the fun. And most importantly, I want the kids to remember how crazy fun their mom was when they were little!