Making Memories

While not everyone may agree, there is nothing that makes me feel more relaxed than coming home from a long day at work to a nice clean house.  I value the saying, “a place for everything and everything in its place”. Some people look at cleaning and organizing as a chore that must be done, however for me cleaning and organizing is one of my main ways to relieve stress. 

So, you can only imagine how hard it can be to enjoy a nice clean house with three kids, a husband, and a new puppy.  While I feel I do a good job of staying on top of things, some days I feel as though my anxiety level will go through the roof as I look around my home and see nothing but clutter.  For me, nothing is more frustrating than cleaning my kid’s bedrooms and then having them destroyed an hour later by my loving offspring.  It is not unusual to find myself cleaning their rooms 5 or 6 times a day and not letting them do anything fun, like play with playdough or color. 

But then one day I was walking past my three-year-old daughters room and noticed that she was playing with a couple of her baby dolls.  I stopped to spy and gush over how cute she was when to my surprise she was scolding her toys for making a mess!  I was so shocked!  I didn’t even realize that my constant need for things to be clean was making my kids feel like they couldn’t even play with their toys. 

I instantly felt like a horrible mother.  How could I not realize that my need for everything to be so neat and tidy was ruining my children’s childhood!  As I reflected on this, I remembered the saying, “please excuse the mess, our children are making memories.”  It suddenly occurred to me that I needed to change the way I looked at my house and my family.  How could we spend time together as a family making lasting memories if I was spending all my time worrying about my house being perfect.  I vowed that day to make sure I stopped making a clean house my top priority.  

Life isn’t perfect and I working on finding that right balance between my need for order and my family’s need for expression. However, I now know that when my kids are grown and gone I want them to only look back on their childhood home and remember a place where there was fun, love and laughter. I’m pretty sure it won’t bother them at all that it wasn’t always perfectly clean.