Sometimes when I’m sitting and waiting for one or both of the kids to finish eating lunch (which let’s be honest- takes FOREVER) I think about how things have changed over the past 5 or so years. I think about how much I have learned when it comes to children, raising them, feeding them, generally not fucking them up. I could also think about how much left I have to learn still and how much improvement I could make- but that would just be depressing so instead I think about the positive.
I vividly remember not getting any sleep for MONTHS and beginning to believe that people who said they had “happy” babies were LIARS- and all of the screaming and not sleeping and being home alone with a baby when I had zero experience- but I still had to do it and take care of the household stressing me out to the point of tears by the time Thomas got home from work some days.
Rarely did I ever get anything done around the house; no dishes, no vacuuming or laundry. There were even weeks at a time where I would go without eating a single thing until dinner time because I just couldn’t figure out how to put Holden down without him screaming- and I always felt guilty for that.
There I was, the stay at home mom- the “homemaker”- and I wasn’t making the home. I wasn’t doing any of the things I thought I should be able to get done in a 9 hour span, or that I assumed I should have been doing- and I felt guilty. I don’t want to say I felt like a failure- but I did feel I wasn’t living up to my obligations. My “job,” so to speak.
I carried that around (as well as Holden) for a long time. It’s lucky for Thomas that he’s a wise enough man only to make the “what the hell are you DOING all day?” comment once before realizing the error of his ways. I like to think it’s because he realized just how hard running a household and raising a child was- but it’s likely that I threatened his life and he was afraid to utter any similar phrase ever again.
On any occasion where guests would be entering our home- I felt embarrassed.
No corner of this house or any house I have lived in since children entered it is untouched by children. Everywhere you look, you can tell little kids live here. There is absolutely no hiding it. There are toys and crayons and of course the random deadly Lego. There might be a lonely sock, a misplaced shoe, a piece of plastic food or a magnet in the shape of a letter or number strewn about the floor.
I used to hate it. It used to annoy me SO much that my house was NEVER really “clean” even if I just cleaned it. Every mess I cleaned was immediately followed by another mess being created and I could never just catch up. I could never have a floor free of toys or socks or shoes.
What would people think? Would they think I was lazy? Would they think I never cleaned or that we just live in mess and squalor? Would they think our house should be picked up? Would theirs be?
Over time I learned to love the mess- as much as it still annoys me- I love it. I don’t care if people think I didn’t clean enough, or pick up enough, or get after my kids all the time to clean up every toy or sock that gets tossed about. Why?
This house won’t have little kids making messes in it forever- childhood flashes past us so quickly that sometimes we don’t even notice it’s over until it’s already passed- and when I look back at any place we lived in- I don’t want these homes to have just been LIVED in. I want it to look back at them and say we had LOVE in these houses- these HOMES; and love is more important than always having an empty sink or clean floors.
my life. pic.twitter.com/qLhD6ISx7p
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