How I’m learning to let my kids be messy
I knew I was going overboard on organizing when my son said he didn’t want to play with his toys because he would make a mess on the floor. Kids should not be afraid to play because mom is going to freak out over the mess. Kids are messy that’s just a fact. By my actions I was telling my kids that it’s not alright to be messy. That being messy is bad. I knew then that something had to change.
I would spend Saturday cleaning my house and making it look perfect. I would send my kids to their rooms and make them clean them to my satisfaction every Saturday. That did not go over well. My daughter and I fought all the time because she didn’t want to spend her weekend cleaning. She wanted to play with her friends or ride her bike. I wouldn’t let her though until her room was clean. I wanted it done perfectly. So instead of spending quality time with my kids on the weekend we cleaned and I fought with them.
It hit me one day that this is not how I want to be remembered by my kids. I don’t want to be the mom who didn’t let them have any fun and just made them clean all day. I wanted a clean house but to also be able to let my kids be kids. So I went into her room one Saturday while she was cleaning to help and see what I could do. She told me that she had no idea where to put anything. I then realized that my daughter was organizing her room the way I wanted it not the way that worked best for her.
After talking to her I figured out that she was a visual person. She felt that if she couldn’t see something that she would forget about it. That was why everything was always all over the floor so she could see it. I switched out the pretty bins I had bought her for her shelves for see through ones that way she could see everything in that bin. She loved that idea.
I then decided that we do not need to clean the entire house every Saturday. As long as we kept up with the basic things like dishes, laundry and sweeping the downstairs then the house didn’t really get that dirty since we are really only there during the evenings. So I decided to go to a once a month whole house cleaning day. We pick one Saturday that we are not busy and we clean. I try to make it fun now too like playing music or making it into a game. They still complain about having to clean but at least they know in advance what day it is and I only have to listen to it once a month now.
Now my daughters room still gets very messy but when we have a big cleaning day she knows where everything goes. It takes her less time now. I still freak out sometimes about stuff all over my living room or the kids not putting things away but I am learning to not let it ruin my day. Kids just don’t think about those things they are too busy trying to have fun and be kids. They are only little for a while and I want them to enjoy it. There will be plenty of time in the future where they will be the ones keeping a house clean but for now I will forget the toys all over the floor or the cups all over my counter and enjoy what precious time I have with them.