Five days out of the week my house is a mess. Actually, lets make that seven days, minus the few hours that it stays clean after I just finished straightening it up. Laundry and dishes are piled high, toys are all over the place and the floors need a good washing. I can’t say that this doesn’t bother me, but I have come to be okay with it most of the time.
Since my first son was born, the biggest piece of advice I’ve gotten from family and strangers alike, is this: “Time goes so fast. Before you know it, they’ll be grown and you’ll be longing for this time, so enjoy it now.” Seriously, I’ve probably been told this over 200 times in the past five years. Thankfully, I’ve always understood this, but I am grateful for the constant reminder, because without it, I may have forgotten to stop and take it all in during the times that it mattered most.
It’s been five years of little sleep, big messes, some tears, some hardship, and some frustration, but mostly it’s been happiness, laughter, learning and triumph. I think it was around two years of no sleep that I realized this is just the way it is; my babies need me and that’s that (I am not a fan of letting a child cry it out; I mean really, if any adult or teenager was alone and afraid of something, would he or she want to be left to cry and deal with it while others just listened?).
It has taken the birth of my third child for me to realize that my own instinct is the best parenting tool that I have. With my first born I was so obsessed with “doing it right,” that I was spending more time seeking answers via the computer, books, friends and ‘experts in their field,’ rather than just following my gut and cuddling my precious boy. I didn’t get to relax and enjoy him as much as I do now with Lucas, my third. This time around I have come to realize how important (and much more enjoyable for both baby and me) this is.
My days are currently spent playing, taking pictures, writing down things my children say and do, and making good, healthy meals and snacks for my family. In the mix I do try to keep at least one or two rooms clean, while also trying to keep up with my writing and the blog.
As far as the other stuff, outside of the daily routine of getting the kids out the door and where they need to be, shopping for groceries and spending time cultivating the love and bond within my family, it can wait. There will always be laundry, and somehow, it will always get done, eventually. Dirty floors, as long as they are at least vacuumed, have never hurt anyone, and a house with 3 young children is going to get messy – it’s the sign of good play!
As I reflect on this past year and look to the year ahead, I realize that I am truly blessed. Blessed with the love of my family and with the ability to recognize the importance or living in the moment, even if it is a bit messy at times.