I am sitting in my living room looking around at 9:30pm. The coffee table is pushed into the middle of the room, there are baby socks in every corner, the Diaper Genie is tipped over, and all the plastic covers on our books are everywhere. The laundry that was taken out of the dryer two days ago is in a hamper next to me, with some of the clothes finding a home on the couch after some deep digging to find clean underwear. Our couch looks clean on the outside, but in the cushions you might find animal crackers, and I am slightly scared to look under it.
If you asked me a couple years ago what I thought my living room would look like in two years, I would have probably shown you some ridiculous Pinterest picture of a perfect couch and matching rug with a fireplace and “rustic chic” light fixtures. Now, my living room can go from a tidy and cozy room to chaos in about five minutes. My son has figured out how to spread every toy so each one has its own place in the middle of the room. I do not understand how such a tiny human can be such a tornado.
I can’t lie, some days I walk downstairs and I instantly get stressed and annoyed at the toys and books laying around everywhere. And since I have a one-year old, he dances to the clean up song instead of helping me pick up. I see Instagram pictures of those moms who apparently have time to clean their house top to bottom 50 times a day, and for a moment I feel guilty for not being a super-mom. There is a brief moment of shame and wishing that somehow there were more hours in the day or that I could hire a full-time maid, but the reality is that life is about balance and learning to prioritize. I have to set one cleaning goal every day and by the end of the week, my house is manageable.
When I look at my son playing with all his toys and exploring the house, I cannot help but feel pride instead of worrying about the mess. He loves his house, his toys, and every new discovery he makes day to day. Yes, in an ideal world I would have that Pinterest house with clean rooms everyday, but it would never replace the joy I have when I see Jude playing and laughing. He makes the mess so worth it.