When I became a mom I had a struggle within myself about ensuring everything was always in order. Physically and mentally. I put a lot of stress on myself in those early months and years. It was honestly somewhat of a blur. My husband was early in his career, after making a switch from construction contracting to HVAC, with work and schooling, I was a mama who was rocking the kiddos, house and work. There were some very tough days though…
I can remember the fight within myself and then finally understanding that I needed to let something go and if the house was a mess… so be it! Let me be real here though, our house wasn’t dirty, it was however at times cluttered and messy. Our children were less than 18 months apart, they were creating memories and sometimes those memories involved various pieces of whatever toys or games on our floor.
The mess of other mom’s. Why is there competition between women, more specifically mom’s? I will never forget being at a play date. I had my two children, my youngest was a babe. I was off on mat leave with full intention of returning to work – I enjoy being a working mama. This play date involved a couple other women and their children. The entire time they bashed working moms and how ridiculous it is that “they have someone else raise their kids”…
As a “new mom” myself, at the time with a 2 mth old and almost 20 mth old this hit me like a ton of bricks. I will never forget leaving, calling my husband crying and vowing I would never have another “play date” with those judgmental b*tches again. I was much weaker back then, as I did continue to join them for play dates. However I began to guard myself against their words and think about how much “the mess” didn’t matter.
Yes being a working mom meant my home was never spotless and tidy all the time… but neither was theirs.
Being a working mom also meant at times dinner wasn’t as thought out and planned as well as I would like to… but neither was theirs.
Our marriage was no longer first priority and was taking a back seat to being parents, especially working parents and required more “work” to keep it together… but neither was theirs.
Our bank account didn’t look the same as it previously did. Daycare costs for two babes was a big part of what I was making by going back to work… but neither was theirs.
I allowed the thoughts and opinions of others and their judgment to cause an incredible amount of stress and sorrow in my life.
I became stronger over the years, life with two babes under 18 months old taught me to prioritize where and with who my time was spent. I was no longer able to tolerate “fake” emotionless friendships and began allowing myself to focus more on me. A tough thing to do when your husband is also at a very busy time in his career with work and school.
Make your mess… your message!
Kiddos began school and we were thrown for a new loop of navigating through this new stage in life, for all of us. A great theory of children being in school at 4 years of age. A huge cost savings for parents – massive actually. However it was a tough adjustment for our boy, we later found out the tough adjustment was justified. However it was a struggle for me, kiddos still young I was still very vulnerable. The same women I mentioned above, continued to be horribly judgmental – I allowed this to permeate my soul. I began feeling like a bad mom.
I wasn’t a bad mom, I never was. I was the best mom that my kids needed me to be – as ME, everything about me is exactly what they needed… when I am being true to ME!
The mess, whatever that may be in your life, doesn’t matter. Honestly it doesn’t. A life I once thought was so overwhelming, not just having children but also my own health. My body felt like it was “a mess”… literally! My body being “messed up” I was not feeling well at all which made me even more sensitive, at the mercy of these judgmental Judy’s and second guessing everything about me as a woman and especially a mom.
As children grow and experience life, there are messes – toys, clothes… food. Having a dog when you have kids is a MUST HAVE in my opinion. In valuable honestly. To clean up all the food thrown to the floor. Its such a fun game… not! A true benefit, win-win having a dog 😉
Our daughter shares the love of baking that her Grama has. We are truly blessed as she learned from the best and is always eager to try out a new recipe. Our girl is an independent woman just like her mama. A beautiful quality. Also an incredible mess… do you know flour can be like drywall dust – and you all know we have a lot of experience with drywall 😉 Being the type A Virgo personality that I am… this range of independence gave my heart palpitations. There were a few times walking into the kitchen and gasping… but then getting a hold of myself and reminding that the mess is temporary – the memories, however will last a lifetime!
The mess doesn’t matter.
Behind that mess is playing, learning, having fun, finding their own way, experimenting, making mistakes and learning. Always learning. Always growing.
Messes can be cleaned up. They are temporary – whatever they might be. A physical mess or feeling emotionally “messed up” and lost. Its all temporary. An opportunity for growth.
What helped me – admitting to my kids that “the mess” gave me anxiety and that its perfectly ok to feel that way. Opening up to them, was opening up myself. Admitting that takes away the desire for perfection – because lets be real. Life isn’t perfect, NO ONE’S life is perfect. Life is a journey, through the good times and the messes. The more one tries to control, the less control they actually have. The more someone can admit defeat, the freer you can be.
Find the magic in your “mess”.
Remove comparison and judgment.
Simply be YOU and encourage your children to be themselves!