Listen, I have 4 boys and work 2 full time jobs while my husband works 3. Our home is tidy yet not ”clean” it is not purged of crap or crumbs. We have cob webs and food stains on our cabinet from the boys attempting to make their own food.
We have dirty hand prints on all the door frames and light switches throughout our house. Our handrails on our stairs have crayon colorings and dirty basketball palm marks. There’s food crusted in my stairs carpet and living room rug. I find popcorn crumbs and half eaten raisins inside my couch.
There are loose crayons around the bedrooms and markers with no caps hiding under furniture. Toothpaste is literally embedded in the bathroom counter and random dirty socks strung upstairs in random places.
I am a mom. It doesn’t define me nor does their sexual orientation, disability or personality’s. They are my kids and as much as the mess drives my husband and I up the wall. Makes us feel Claustrophobic and grimey. We are getting by and choosing our battles. Yes , the floor needs mopping and the carpet needs to be cleaned. Or even replaced. but our boys need to tell us about their day, ask is scientific questions or ask what is the fastest car in the world 5 times a day.
Reality is, our boys are healthy, happy (for the most part) and have what they need!!!! Not everything they want but their needs are met! They fight and whine and compromise and ask for more. I try not to sweat the mess or the cleaning. I know they will just make a mess again. I’ll get to it eventually. Or my husband will.
The days of getting on your bike or walking down the street to your neighbor friends house till the street lights are on- are over. It’s not the same as it was for us back in the 80’s. It’s scary and dangerous and folks are crazy. My job is to keep them safe and healthy. Happy and teach them about life. Not to stress them out because their dirty hand prints are on the bathroom walls while trying to wash them for dinner after playing together as a family outside. While laughing and learning. While getting exercise and bonding.
Isn‘t that is the ultimate goal??? Let them be kids and teach them. Show them how much fun they had and how dirty they got because of it. Have them help as a family clean the house. Show them the importance of keeping things nice and clean. The value of a dollar spent.
Toys will always be in your way and all over the floor. Its an inconvenience, yes. But we need to enjoy the fact that they want to play near us. Or around us at this stage in their life. Or if they are lucky in this fast pace world, with us. When we put our phones down and remotes away and just talked and laughed and encouraged our kids to be themselves. Not a big boy- not a cute girl. A smart, nice person. Whose number one job is to learn at school. Be nice to people, be funny and kind. Make friends. Be respectful. And safe.
I love my boys not because they are boys but because they are mine and each one unique. I don’t expect each to be the same , react the same, learn the same, have the same amount of friends. but be treated the same with the same teachings by us parents.
Quality time vs Quantity. They would rather have us parent all the time and we need to be there all the time. But we need to make sure they have our attention. And not fret the mess.