Our house is always a mess. I used to get agitated when things were out of order, toys were not where they should be, dishes in the sink, multiple shoes flung about and coats on the ground. I would think, “what the hell, why is this not cleaned up?” Then I stopped and began to imagine how these messes came to be and that gave me a new perspective. I began to embrace the mess.
I pictured my kids having a blast, dragging all the toys out and playing with them how they want, undisturbed and using their imagination. The placement of the toys seem chaotic to me, but how they got there was a complete adventure filled with fun and enjoyment for my children. The entire reason for having toys is for my kids to learn, play, and enjoy. So, when I see a pile of out-of-place toys, I no longer stress, I smile and know that my kids had a great time.
Instead of seeing a sink filled with dirty dishes, I now see that my wife has prepared food and fed the kids. They have been nourished and it didn’t involve a trip to a fast food restaurant. I see the healthy meals that my wife carefully planned and prepared for our family. I know she sat with the kids and engaged in conversation while they ate, instead of running off to tend to the sink. All of this is reflected in those dirty dishes.
If the shoes and coats are out in the foyer, that now signals to me that my family has been doing something outside of the house, which is what I want. The shoes resemble some sort of fun or adventure that was had. There might be different types of shoes and jackets, each one represents something different; a day at school, a trip to the park, or riding scooters. They all have a story if I just take the time to imagine how the shoes got there.
Eventually things get put back in order, everything goes in its place. The MESS will eventually be straightened out. Life does not have to stop or be restricted in order to keep up with itself. I want my kids to play how they want to play, drag out as many toys as they want, freely without restriction. When they get older, I will teach them to clean up the toys, but for now, I just want them to play. I don’t worry about the dishes, they won’t be sitting in the sink forever. I don’t ever want my wife or myself to waste the time my kids are awake, doing things we can do when they are asleep.
I Embrace the MESS.