My house is not a mess. It’s lived in.
It’s active, action packed, toy strewn and happening; but I will refuse to call it a mess.
There’s times when I contemplate putting a sign of the front door “closed for maintenance; will reopen in an undetermined amount of years.” There’s life here; there’s change and growth happening minute by minute. As each little set of hands and feet wanders around the house exploring, touching, feeling (ok, destroying, nudging, bothering too) they’re maturing and gaining.
Some days when I collapse on the couch at days end and let my eyes wander to the Magna Tiles in one direction, more Legos than I knew I owned in the other direction; some pots that the baby was playing with in the middle of the kitchen, clothes that some little people didn’t dutifully put in the hamper (like the kids in the books do) and the unpleasant thought that comes to mind is: THIS PLACE IS A MESS.
That’s when I make a quick and concerted effort with every bit of brain I have working at that hour and attempt to see the glass as half full; this is the sight of happy kids exploring, discovering, growing. I say it over and over again. I’m not in denial (most of the time:) ) I know its not neat; but this is what happy kids exploring, discovering and growing looks like.
A friend once asked me how she could keep the house clean and neat when the kids are always home. My thoughts on that question is; you can’t. Ever heard the expression, “Cleaning while the kids are growing is like shoveling while it’s snowing.” (It’s not quite as funny as I use to think it was!)
In all honesty, you can; if you want to be a taskmaster or a slave laborer. But you can’t; if you want to remain sane and have happy, active kids.
Sure, I’ve got my systems and buckets and bins and containers in all the right shapes and sizes. And just like in the books I’ve trained my kids in all my systems; but unlike the books, they appear to be more the independent thinker than the pre-programmed robot type.
So although the half full perspective doesn’t get the toys cleaned up, it does clear the brain!