There are many days since becoming a mother that I miss my clean, spotless, organized home. I miss the days of not having to do much housework or cleaning, and my house stayed clean for days, or even a week or more! Even when Connor and Merasia were babies, the house stayed very clean and organized, because they never got into anything or made messes. It got a little more challenging when they were a year old and into toddler-hood but even then, for having two tornado toddlers, the house was always clean and organized. These days, not so much. I feel like all I ever do it clean, but at least the 3 days a week that all 3 kids go to daycare, the house is as clean and organized as it used to be before kiddos. Though I wouldn't trade it for the world, I still miss those days. It's normal!
However, over the years and the more recent months, I have relaxed a bit and realized that sometimes, you just have to let go. You have to let go of the urge to constantly clean. You can't follow your children around every second and clean up behind them. It's unrealistic and you need to let children GROW and be messy and MAKE messes, regardless of if you need to clean it up or how long it takes to pick up toys or vacuum or any other number of things to do to clean.
Lately, we have had lots of picnic nights. A few weeks ago, we ordered in Chinese on a Sunday evening, and had a dinner picnic on the living room floor.
Earlier this week, we did this dinner picnic twice. Once we got Subway take out, and had a picnic on the living room floor again, and another night that we had take out we did it as well. I love making memories like these, for me, but mostly for the children. I want them to have special memories from their childhood of doing cool, fun things like this, and not just of mommy cleaning all the time or stressing out or being too strict because I am all worried about messes or the clean up afterwards.
So, my new mindset is sometimes, you just have to let go. Let go of the urge to follow behind and clean up every little thing your children do. Let go of the urge to ruin your neat house for one day or night, and let the kids make a mess that you don't clean up right away. Because at the end of the day, the food crumbs on the floor and the toys can all be picked up, put away, thrown away, and cleaned, but these days when your children are small and these opportunities to make memories like this will be gone before you know it, and you can't get them back.