DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. If you like reading legal jargon my disclosure policy is here.
It’s the age old question passed down through the generations. How the hell do you keep your house clean when you have a toddler and furbabies? Well the answer is a short one. You don’t. I’m about to drop some truth on you. It’s time to embrace the mess.
There is a difference between mess and filth. You are not living in filth. You load your dishwasher and run it according to your daily schedule. Weekly chores like vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning the bathroom get done when you have the time. Your house isn’t filthy, your house is messy and dammit, it’s time to embrace the mess.
Having toys strewn all over your living room floor doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent, it means your kid has an active imagination. Stuffed animals set up on the couch doesn’t mean you’re lazy, it means your kid is kind enough to give them a comfortable place to sit. (BTW – here’s a suggestion for dealing with the stuffed animals.)
Check out my post How to Get Your Kid To Clean for my tips on making cleaning fun for your kid.
Animal hair on your clothes doesn’t mean you live in filth, it means you have cats, dogs, ferrets, or any other kind of animal that you pay attention to and give love to.
Stop looking at the mess and thinking it’s a horrible thing. Start looking at the mess and seeing all the wonderful things your child understood today.
The mess in your home does not mean you’re a bad housewife or a bad mom. It means your kid played hard and learned new things. So embrace the mess.
Clean according to your schedule and don’t be ashamed when last nights dinner dishes are still sitting in the sink the next morning. You relaxed that night. If that relaxation was watching a movie or playing a game with your kid. Or if it was enjoying a glass (or bottle) of wine. You needed that. Don’t feel guilty, embrace the mess.
You do not need a perfect pinterest home. I know I don’t. My home is lived in and filled with love. I have a home that is experiencing fun. So I embrace that mess because it means there is love, fun, and life in my home.
Stop trying to clean to a schedule that will get screwed up the next time you’re late for school or work. Trying to clean to a schedule someone else came up with does not work. They do not know your life. Cleaning according to how your mother and her mother cleaned is not going to work, you aren’t living the same life they lived. Clean when it’s right for you and according to your schedule.
The next time you look at the disastrous state of your home stop and look at all the fun that happened that day. Don’t feel guilty for ignoring the mess and enjoying that glass of wine. I have news for you, you can clean the mess tonight or tomorrow it’ll still get messed up again.
Turn cleaning up the mess into a daily ritual for you and your toddler or child. Make it fun. Tell them it’s a race, they clean their room and you clean the kitchen. Winner gets ice cream or winner gets to pick the movie.
For my work at home parents getting your kid to clean up their own mess will also help in occupying your children so you can work. Check out my post Time Management for the Work at Home Parent to get my tips on being more productive when working from home.
Cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore and it certainly shouldn’t be boring. Making the mess was a hell of a lot of fun for your kid, so make it fun to clean up. Don’t get mad at the mess, embrace the mess and you’ll teach your kid how to clean it up in a fun way. Your child will be more likely to pick up the habit and continue it through adulthood.
So to help you embrace the mess I’m starting the Embrace The Mess Challenge on Instagram. No matter when you read this start it today. Show us how you made clean up fun. Take a selfie with the mess. Post a picture of your kid with all their toys having fun. Use the hashtag #EmbraceTheMess and tag me in so I can encourage you on this challenge.
Share this post and see how many of your friends are brave enough to take the challenge. Follow me on Pinterest to see more parenting tips.
- 6 Chores For Toddlers
- Diary Of A Mom: My Living Room Is A Mess
- How To Care For Your Kids Stuffed Animals
- Diary Of A Mom: Mom Anxiety Is Real