Bad Mum

Magazine

8 May 2018

Loving messy life with a toddler

I often feel as though I am just one more dirty diaper, sharp toy under my bare foot, spilled cup of water, whiney “I'm hungry” away from a complete breakdown. Daily. Multiple times a day actually.



When I was expecting for the first time I was forewarned about the sleep deprivation to come. But no one really mentioned the messes that come with having children. Especially a 3 year old boy.

I think nobody mentions the messes because nobody sees the messes. I myself like to pretend they don’t exist. Me? Messy home and messy kids? Certainly not.

There are no messes to be seen on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. Or at birthday parties, dinners, or get together's. That’s because I feel I must hide them. Disguise them.

I’m figuring out what messes really are- signs of life. The dishes in the sink mean that my family is being fed and eating- everyday. The laundry in the hamper: clothes being worn, lived in and played in.

When I see yet another book, toy, craft, marker, or piece of scrap paper left behind by my toddler instead of a mess I choose to see life. Life lived by my messy toddler. Our messy life together.

If my son stopped making messes it would mean that he was no longer creating, problem solving, or using his imagination or learning. The messes are definitely worth this. He can be taught to clean up his messes. Even though it will require patience, we will learn together.

There is certainly value in cleanliness and organisation. There are so many articles, products, and books to this end. But there is also a priceless value in loving my messy life with my 3 year old.

One day there won’t be messes for me to clean anymore or at least not the same ones. No trail of hot wheel cars or legos. Stinky finger prints to wipe off the doors and mirrors. Or bread crumbs of tiny shoes and socks.

One day there won’t be goldfish and cheerios all over my kitchen floor. There won’t be chicken nuggets and fries and kids meal toys all over the floor board of the car. Or cars, scooters, and bikes covering the lawn.

Today there are plenty of messes to be seen and cleaned. And that's OK. I only have a toddler once. A fry eater, lego player,  stinky finger smearer once. Today messes mean we played, learned and loved life together.  If I choose to define messes this way then they can be OK.

By Hannah Lacyn @theblesslittlelife


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2 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! :)

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  2. You are very right about this!!! Enjoy it!! Living and messes!! I wish someone would have told me this when I had toddlers. Now mine are double-digits. The sooner we can let go of the mess, the happier life will be. Thank you for writing about your mess! It made me cry happy tears!! Keep writing!! Your inspiring!!

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