When my two older children were babies I took great pride in keeping a very clean house. I would spend hours upon hours sweeping, dusting, washing dishes, washing laundry and everything in between. In fact many of my friends back then would swear you could eat off my floors. My house seemed perfectly in order. Should make me happy right? As I unpack the last of our boxes and flip through the stakes of pictures, needing to go into photo albums, I noticed something. If I’m in them (which is not many) I look so unhappy. Did I really spend all my energy on cleaning a house and making it perfect that I missed out on enjoying time with my kids then? They needed an “in the moment mom” not one who was worried if the kitchen floor needed swept. I wish I had picked up on that earlier, sorry Sie and Dev better late than never.
Now jump ahead to the present. My house is completely full and crazy 24/7. My OCD did not stand a chance against this category 5 storm that I am blessed to call my young children. The days of been able to eat off my floor are long gone. Well correct that….you could literally eat off my floor now I am sure. From hidden pop tarts to suckers to cheerios and yogurt bits if you’re looking for it chances are you can find it’s on the floor somewhere in this house. The kids have a knack for hiding these type of treasures for me. And let’s not forget the endless cycle of laundry the Littles create. I mean who knew 7 people would dirty so much laundry in a week’s time? Our baby girl goes through a clean outfit just about everytime she eats now. She’s hit that “No give me the spoon phase” And our six year old thinks she’s 13 so she’s changing clothes if the boys look at her and get their “eye germs” on her, it’s a thing ask any little girl in first grade. Oh and I can’t forget my boys, my sweet,sticky, dirt loving, bug eating,potty training, not want to take a bath, I swear I don’t have poo on my hand mom, loving boys. Gotta love them. So thankful our new house has a laundry room. I average 4 loads(give or take if one of the boys have an “accident” at night) a day and somehow it seems 6 loads get strung all over the house when I ask the Littles to help carry their clothes upstairs to be put away. Trying to teach them responsibility will be the death of me.
With this much fun going on my parenting style has changed alittle. With my older kids I worried what other people thought. I felt I needed to go above and beyond because everyone always seemed to be looking down on me for being so young or at least that’s what it felt like. I needed to prove to them I was able to be a super mom. I look back now and realize I was so busy been a super mom I forgot to be just mom. I’m not in many pictures with my kids being silly on the swing set or hanging in the pool. I was always cleaning up after the party or taking the pictures. I’m sorry for that. I wish I would have given the camera to some else and been in more pictures. I wish I would have left the cake on the counter and jumped in that pool. I know they know they are my everything. I made sure, still do, to tell them how much I love them and how proud I am of them but I heard something on the radio a while back that said something like, “Once you’re gone and all they have left are memories make sure you are in the photo” It was for a camera company or something but the slogan has stuck with me.
I don’t want to be a side line mom. One who is so worried about all the mom stuff like if the car is cleaned out or if the bathroom needs picked up. There will always be time for that. I want to be the mom running on the backyard chasing bubbles and butterflies. The mom who sings, quit loudly and badly my kids would add, along with every Disney song that comes on the TV or radio. The mom who stops folding the laundry to go catch the ghost and zombies under the bed. The mom who stops everything for dance breaks and tickles times. I want to be the mom taking selfies with her kids on the swing set or at the park. I want to be in their life not looking at their life. I just want to be mom. A good mom. Screw this cleaning house stuff all the time. With 7 people living here I could clean 24/7 and it still would not be perfect. I can guarantee it. If you come to my house to see a spotlesd house just save us both the trouble and don’t come at all. I am enjoying life as mommy and wife and if that means there’s dishes in the sink then so be it. Now I’m not saying if there’s a major bathroom situation I’m not going to clean it cause the good Lord knows I will. But I won’t my kids to be happy and enjoy being kids. They have to grow up so fast these days it seems. And years from now when I am long gone and they look back at the stacks of photos that probably still won’t be in albums (sorry kids I am trying lol) they will be able to see a mom,their mom, who loved them with all her heart in the good times and the not so good times. A mom who didn’t care if her hair was done or of she had makeup on she was just living in the moment. A mom that was just happy being a mom.
From our beautiful chaos to yours stop doing the dishes tonight it will be there in the morning. Go steal an extra goodnight kiss from your Littles.. .they are only this small for a while