A clean house makes me feel like a good mom. Like if my house is under control, so is the rest of my life and motherhood…even if in reality it is not. I love the idea of maintaining a catalog perfect home where if a pillow is moved off the couch it is put back with the utmost care by the offender. Wouldn’t that be dreamy?
But there will be plenty of time to shoot for an
all-the-time-tidy home when these kids are gone; because, right now…
…a messy house also makes me feel like a good mom.
The mess tells a story. The stray cheerios and tiny drops of
spilled milk from my kids pouring their own bowls of cereal speaks of my
children learning to be independent. The fort my boys spent hours on (especially the inside) shows they
are developing their creativity. The mess from my children bouncing around the
house in play is evidence that my sons are bending, jumping, and moving; their
bodies are growing stronger. The toys, play dough, Legos and games remind me
that my kids are building important fine motor skills and valuable thinking
skills. The crumbled curtain on the ground behind me that you cannot see in
this photo…well, I am actually not sure of the benefit of pulling down curtains.
(I didn’t even ask how it happened. Sometimes I just…Don’t. Want. To. Know. I
just smiled and asked them to please leave the curtains alone.) But the rest of
the disarray reminds me that as my children create and imagine, they also learn.
Play builds their comprehension and understanding. Their interaction helps
shape their problem solving, reasoning, and social skills. The mess declares
that our home is alive with learning and growing. It tells the story of
education that happens informally in a place where kids can be kids.
So even though I like clean, I like messy too.
And besides, if I didn’t let them make a mess, how would I
ever teach them to clean up after themselves? (Which I am trying to do. To
raise these little boys to be good to their wives someday.) ;)