Apr 19, 2015

Trying to Embrace a Messy Life

I'm trying. I really am.

My logical brain knows that life is messy and disorganized, but sometimes my brain is not ruled logically, and the ordered side of me fights with every cell inside me to accept the mess as necessary fact. I want everything to have a place and everything in its place! But life is not clean and organized.

Life is mess and chaos and unpredictable and disorganized.

I know this, and sometimes I can even accept this, but what I really want to do is embrace it. And I'm trying. Most of the time I completely suck at it, it's true. It's hard to break years of wanting everything to fit nice and neatly into whatever box I put them in. It's hard not to freak out when the dirty clothes are sitting in a heap on the floor right next to the hamper instead of in the hamper. When I've told my darling children about 19498402 times to put their dirty clothes in the hamper.

But I want to know how to embrace the mess. How do I embrace the mess!?

I'm not saying that I want to live without teaching my children how to clean up after themselves, or be okay with them not putting their toys away. I just want to be able to avoid completely losing my shit when the art supplies have exploded all over the dining room floor (again!) and there are abandoned pillow forts in our living room (again!), meanwhile the two big girls are off pulling out every outside toy we own into the backyard.

I like my life. In fact, I love my life. I love my children. I love my husband. I love the things that my children are interested in, and that they enjoy drawing and writing and using their imaginations. I love that they are creative and turn couches into houses. I love that they aren't afraid to play with their entire bodies and whatever they can find pull into their games. I love the way they play together, and even apart. I really love my family and where we are.

But (and I hate to use that word because it makes it sound like I'm not happy with what I just said I am happy with), I do not like that sometimes the chaos gets the better of me. I'm not okay with getting mad when they failed to clean up, again. I am fully supportive of teaching my kids how to clean up their stuff, and even giving consequences when they don't. I just need to work on following through on that, because my current technique of yelling and being annoyed and throwing my hands up and wanting to get away from my family and house when I'm overwhelmed and the house is messy is clearly not working well.

I am working on changing my perspective. Chaos is okay. Messy is okay. Messes do not have to be annoying and overwhelming. And they can be cleaned up. And I can help my children learn to clean them up instead of letting someone else do it for them, or living in complete disorganization.

That's the kicker though. Somewhere there is a balance between embracing the messy life yet not constantly living in a mess. Because life is messy, but that doesn't mean our dining room has be messy all the time. Yes, make a mess while you are playing and creating and doing art projects. But then put the stuff away when you're done. I just want to be able to keep myself from freaking out every time my kids have made a mess that they haven't cleaned up.

Life is crazy and messy and disorganized. That doesn't mean there can't be calm and cleanliness and organization in my home, but I just need to have the perspective that the chaos will prevail. That I can't always keep things neat and tidy without missing out on the joy that is the messiness of life. I don't need to yell at my kids and give up on everything when there are toys out in every room. I just need to find the best strategy to teaching my kids to put their stuff away when they're done.

I am trying. It is so hard though. It is hard. I just don't want to spend all this wasted time and energy on being overwhelmed and stressed out about mess. It's not worth it. Either clean the mess up or don't. But it's not worth stressing out if it doesn't get cleaned up. If the mess sits longer than a few days. Its okay. We're okay. In fact, we've got a pretty good thing going on here. And I don't want to be freaking out about mess and chaos and disorganization and not notice the goodness I already have right here in front of me.

xoxo, christine

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