Things you get used to once you have kids: loud, irrational sobs; unfathomable tiredness; the weight of endless snacks in your bag. And, of course, mess.
The kind of mess that involves 5 lone LEGO bricks spread around the house, just waiting to be stepped on. The kind of mess that’s not too messy, but is just there, the kind you accept and simply embrace as part of the chaos of parenthood.
Then, there’s the kind that’s everywhere. Especially near your child’s toy box – or their entire playroom, if they’re lucky enough to have one.
House-proud mum Heidi Hamm’s mess was firmly in the latter category – and she’d had enough of it.
Heidi, who blogs at Her View From Home, had reached the end of her tether, until her husband came up with a simple solution for getting rid: simply closing the door on it.
On Facebook, she explained:
“Today I shut a door. On this.
“For years I would spend a few minutes every night, cleaning up after my kids. I would hate to calculate just how many hours of my life have been spent picking up toys. A heck of a lot. Too many.
“I love a clean house. I do. It’s the one thing in my life that I feel like I have complete control over. If my environment is organised, life is just, better.
“But, kids. I love them. So much. They’re amazing little humans. But they’re messy. And they don’t care. I don’t get it. Clearly they are lacking in the clean gene department.
“I don’t know how many times I have had the same conversation with them. Me: “How can you stand it? You can’t even walk in here.” Kids: “Yes we can! We just play hopscotch around the toys.”
“One night my husband found me on my hands and knees, colour coordinating the Lego. Did I mention I like things organised?
“I was exhausted. Which is a common state for me. “”Why don’t you just shut the door?” He asked. “I stared up at him. It’s possible it was more of a glare.
“I had been expecting him to join me on the floor, sifting through the mountain of Lego. Instead he offered me those seven words. “Apparently It was all I needed. I got up and closed the door.
“These days everybody is talking about how self care is so important when you’re a parent. And it is. It’s so easy to lose yourself in taking care of everyone else. But self care? Yeah, it’s not so easy. It takes time, and energy and asking for help.
“Self care is hiding a stash of chocolate bars and keeping them all for yourself. Self care is turning on Netflix for the kids so you can drink your coffee. Hot.
“Self care is putting the kids to bed early and cuddling with hubby on the couch. Self care is closing a door.
“So now? The kids clean the play room once a week. Not me. Them.
“The other 95% of the time? It looks like this. And that’s okay. Because this shut door in my life? Is one that I can live with.”
??? all around. Like Heidi, we’re not always so great at accepting the mess, and let’s be honest, keeping it behind closed doors is SO much easier than trying to purge it for good.
Share your thoughts
Do you like to keep your house as tidy as possible? Or do you give in to the madness and don’t mind toys out of their box?
Perhaps you’ve always had a casual approach to ‘mess’? We’d love to know what you think! Tell us on Facebook, or in the comments below
Image: Facebook/Heidi Hamm