Disheveled counters, shoes kicked off, and neglected coffee cups sound familiar? If you feel like motherhood right now is just one mess after another, we’ve got good news for you — you’re doing something right! Instead of shaking your head at these undone tasks, start seeing them as tally marks for your accomplishments. They are signs of your genuine engagement with your family, and evidence of how often you or your kids were distracted by the actual living of life.
Let’s fight the all-or-nothing mentality of having to be entirely “put together” or totally “a hot mess.” Because a beautiful, honest life, one lived with people valued over perfectionism, will be both messy and put together. So, if you’re overwhelmed and don’t know if you need to grab a mop or a nap, it’s time to treat yourself like a toddler and simplify your self-talk to get back the power of perspective.
Dirt doesn’t hurt! Remind yourself that surface messes are not permanent, and if your house feels like it was destroyed in 20 minutes, chances are it can also be put back into Mary-Poppins-Playroom shape in about the same time.
That’s why pencils have erasers! Just like you would tell one of your kids that mistakes and messes are part of learning and growing, we want you to acknowledge that each day will have some tidy wins and some messy losses. Even the best of us have burned two batches of cookies and filled the sink with charred chocolate chip bricks because we were too busy helping with homework to hear the timer.
Clean up, clean up, everybody do your part! Even if it’s only for a short time before dinner, you can have your kids help you restore order every day. So call them into the kitchen, Captain Von Trapp style, and have them start with the items and areas they messied, and then move on to age-appropriate tasks that contribute to the overall feng shui feeling in the home that benefits the whole family.
You did it! There is so much power in simply reminding your kids after a tedious day that they made it through in one piece. Do the same for yourself! Sometimes we have to parent ourselves, so be sure to tuck everyone in tonight with the reminder that you are safe and loved in your home. Even the long, messy days are good days. So whether today was a sidestep-the-cleanup-on-aisle-six kind of day, or an everyone-marveled-at-how-I-do-it-all kind of day, keep up the hard work, mama. There’s no crying over spilled milk, so turn those messes into your successes.