You walk into your kitchen and see an empty sink, every dish is clean and away, the counter tops are clean and clutter free and left over food is away in the fridge. You walk into your living room and the cushions are neatly placed on the couch, the top of the TV stand is clear, every toy is away in its proper spot and you can see the entire floor. You walk around to the rest of your house and the bathroom is clean, your bed is made and clothes are put away and there is nothing sitting in the hallways. Now wouldn’t that be perfect!
Having a clean house with every room organized and everything in its right place, is a great feeling and leaves you with a sense of relief and calmness. As great as that sounds, it’s not always possible and it takes a lot of work to constantly maintain that level of organization and neatness, at least in my opinion it does! During the day there is so much going on, from feeding, changing bums and playing around, it’s hard to always find the time to step away and clean. Sometimes I find myself focusing so much on the mess that I end up stressing myself out.
I spend most of my day in the living room and the kitchen with Emily and the triplets.
In our house, those are the two rooms on the first floor and the two rooms everyone hangs out in when we have company. The kitchen is always full of dishes, either clean that need to be put away or dirty sitting in the sink waiting to be washed. The living room is overflowing with toys and baby things, such as swings, bouncers and high chairs. Sometimes I can barely walk from the gate to the couch. I am either tripping over a large toy, a baby seat or the dreaded building block and let me tell you, you have not experienced pain until you have stepped on one of those blocks!
It is impossible to keep up with all the chores in a house of 6 people and I find I have to tell myself multiple times through out the day, just leave the mess! I need to realize, with 4 kids I may not always have that perfectly organized and clean house and that’s okay. I also have to realize that there will be a time, either a free moment during the day or in the evening when everyone is asleep that I can go around and tidy things up. I have to understand that as long as I am doing the best I can to keep things somewhat tidy and organized, then that’s all that matters.
I think the biggest thing I need to remember is that the majority of the mess involves all the toys that Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi are playing with. I need to stop, look around and just watch them learning and playing together. Instead of trying to clean it up while they are playing, I should get down on the floor and join them. I know one day I will look back and wish they were this little again, just sitting on the floor playing. I won’t have these moments all the time, so I really should just take the time to appreciate and live them.
One of Emily’s favorite things to do during the day is to dump out all of the toys we have stored away in buckets under the TV. As soon as she starts it’s only a matter of minutes before the entire floor is covered in toys. My initial reaction almost every time is to say “Oh no! Why would you do that?” I know they are going to be playing with the toys, but it leaves no space for anything else.
When Emily did this just a couple weeks ago, I stopped myself from thinking “NO!” and thought, okay I am just going to let them play and not worry about trying to clean it all up right away.
So I did just that and let them be, playing with all of their toys while they went everywhere. It was so nice to sit back and watch them play and it kept them entertained for so long. I even sat down and joined in on their fun. Life seemed a little bit easier that day and knowing I was going to leave the toys reduced some of the stress I felt about trying to keep everything clean.
From that day on, I have used the thought of just leave the mess on more than one occasion and it has worked wonders. I take my time and enjoy it while watching and playing with Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi. There is no greater feeling then spending time with them and knowing there will be another time to clean!
7 thoughts on “Just leave the MESS!”
All very true… We are a family of 5, soon to be 6 ~ my husband, myself, 6year old, 3 year old, 2 year old and baby due in a fortnight. It is an impossible task to stay neat and tidy and finish all your chores with that many people, especially if you want to get some good quality time in with your kiddoes. One trick Inuse to keep me sane is I make a real effort first thing to make sure all the bedrooms are tidy, beds made etc and the kitchen is clean and then relax completely about the lounge/toy room until the end of the day. That way they can make mess in there- and I don’t stress but if I go into another room at any point it is clean and calming. I also get all the kids to hell me tidy up the lounge after dinner so they associate making a mess with having to tidy up at some point. That’s my sanity tip 😉
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That’s a good idea! I have recently tried to clean the kitchen in the morning while everyone is playing. I do the dishes after breakfast is done and just organize things a bit and it seems to help. Just to have the counters cleared makes it feel so much cleaner. Emily is pretty good at helping clean up too but the triplets may take some time to learn lol. They are at the stage of pulling everything out when I try to put them away.
I love this so much! It’s the truth and although I don’t have four kids, I have one busy one (15 months walking and opening every drawer and cupboard) and I run my own business out of my basement. I never got a mat leave so days are tough when I work and take care of my baby and only see my husband in passing when he gets home and watches her so I can work every night. He does help a lot but also stresses a lot about it! We both need to have more of a “just leave the mess mentatlity” or were going to go crazy! You can’t clean when they’re having fun playing with it or they’ll just go take out more stuff haha! Anyways I’m blabbing! Just have to say I love the honesty !
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Thank you for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it! Multitasking is a hard job to do and even with just one little one running around you constantly have to watch them and everything they do. It’s surprising how much mess one toddler can make lol!
This is so refreshing to read. I have a 5 year old, a two year old and I am pregnant with number three. Sometimes i just watch the mess and cringe. My husband and i have a new rule. We only clean up after 6pm. There is no point to clean before as it just gets messier and messier. Sometimes i cant wait that long but it does help having a time frame.
Kuddos to you! The kids are super cute, enjoy them.
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Thank you, that is so nice to hear! You are going to have your hands full soon, but it will be lots of fun! That’s a good rule to have. Even though it’s hard to wait sometimes it makes sense to wait. Just like you said it would just get messier anyways! I find as soon as I clean all the dishes, I look over and there is a brand new pile ready to be washed. So I just try to wait and wash them all at once, but I do try to wash the ones after breakfast while everyone is playing!
Thank you for making me feel better about our mess here! You’re so right about the struggle between keeping a tidy home and happy active kids! I’ve recently had my third (2wks old!) and have a 17mnth old girl (also Emily!) and 3.5 year old boy and know that I’ll need to step back from the tidying until my husband gets home each eve! We dont have any other help so I’m a bit nervous about the coming months, any more tips gratefully received! Claire in London