As a first time mom it took some time to get comfortable with the mess of having a child…and I’m still adjusting to it. I set up rules in my head, prior to birth, that because I like to stay clean I won’t have any problems keeping my kid clean too. My diaper bag would stay organized. My car would not turn into those mom cars with smashed food in the carpet. My kid’s appearance would be tidy. And my house would remain clean and organized.
But then I had that epiphany that setting rules for myself was the greatest parenting advice I never received. And this rule about keeping my diaper bag, car, house and my kid clean 24/7 is just plain silly.
First the diaper bag…HA HA HA. Once your kid hits the stage of puffs and cheerios you will have crushed “snacks” in every nook & cranny of that diaper bag. I have lost track of the amount of times I’ve had to remove everything and just dump my bag over the kitchen sink while pieces of Goldfish, Cheerios and graham crackers poured out. Reminder: make sure you take out everything and look in those side pockets…my keys fell out into the cereal bowl once. Awesome. And if you think that’s bad….well say toot-a-loo to that clean car…or at least the back seat!
The house….let the laughs continue. With a newborn it was just the regular house cleaning that would fall to the wayside once in a while. This momma took a snooze with the baby, so cleaning during naptime just didn’t happen. Baby toys start appearing, then books and more and more continue to just appear as your child grows. I found some pretty cool baskets to hold those toys, but it still looks (and still does!) like organized chaos. Then there are the toddler toys. I have a flipping trampoline in my living room at the moment….talk about an eyesore. But I don’t care…it keeps her busy and tires her out for bedtime.
Of course I try and stay on top of keeping my house, diaper bag and that backseat. I might get two great days of a clean house….but then snack time rolls around and the smashed Goldfish crackers seem to be everywhere. On pillows, the rug, couch, trampoline, her toddler chair and somehow the dog will have some on his back.
With a kid comes a mess. But what a beautiful mess. Some of my most favorite memories have been letting Lily loose to get as dirty as it is humanly possible. The smiles are so worth it….and a bath (maybe even two) will get your kid back to being clean. I’ve learned to not fight the mess. Let it happen and just enjoy the messy moments.
Like in my backyard. All Lily wanted to do was dig in my herbs and flower pots, leaving a trail of black soil all over the pavers. While she would scoop and pour the dirt I would be busy cleaning up the last mess she made. She would move on to her sandbox and I would start to sweep up the soil, only to have her come back five minutes later to scoop and pour the soil again. So I gave up, pulled up a chair, grabbed my camera and started to enjoy the moment instead of freaking over the mess. There are bigger problems to worry about then your kid’s dress getting filthy. As your can tell from the picture above and below, Lily’s friends Gryphon & Piper enjoy getting dirty too!