When we were married and I moved into our house, everything was always near perfect. Throw pillows on the couch, pretty items on the coffee table– the clutter was mostly kept to a minimum. Enter kids and all the things that they bring: swings, bouncy seats, toys, jumparoos, blankets, pacifiers, diapers– well, you get the picture.
It’s a constant process– picking up toys, organizing them, keeping them together. Constant. Brayden has been getting a LOT better about helping to put things away, and Kenley follows suit for the most part. But long gone are my days of a “perfect” house.
At any given moment in our home, you might find plastic food nowhere close to the toy kitchen, remnants of a snack, a random cup, puzzles out, crayons with papers trailing behind. Most of the time, it drives me bonkers. After Kenley was born, I got borderline OCD about messes and wanting certain things done. My sometimes-insane rule is that I don’t go to bed with a dirty kitchen. (I know, I know– it will be there tomorrow!)
Over time, I have realized that just because my house isn’t perfectly organized 100% of the time, doesn’t mean I am failing. I have two kids and a husband to tend to and sometimes, I just can’t have it all. I have had to take a deep breath and relax, do what is important for that moment, and move on. If there are dirty dishes in the sink in the morning? So be it. The beds aren’t made every single day? Ok! I gave myself permission to not be perfect. I do believe in a place for everything and everything in its place, but I also believe in grace.
I have to give myself grace so that my kids know that I am present, and not always worried about a mess or neat beds or perfectly organized play rooms. And while it is important to teach kids to clean up after themselves, make their beds, and to do other chores, the other important thing they can learn from me is balance. It’s not perfect, nothing ever is– but balance and grace help me know that it’s ok to not be.