A friend of mine asked me not that long ago if I have time to clean the kitchen before I walk my daughter to school. My first reaction was to laugh and I told her no, it’s usually done sometime in the morning after we get back from drop off. I even admitted that sometimes I go out in the morning just so I don’t have to deal with the kitchen after the morning rush. Then I was curious, did she have time to do tidy up before school and if so what was her secret. There was no secret to share, she was like me and admitted the kitchen waited until after the drop off was done. Phew. I always knew there must be other moms like me out there, happy to get the kids up, fed, dressed and out the door at a decent time to make it to school without going completely crazy accepting that the Cheerios on the floor would have to wait. We both acknowledged we would be pretty embarrassed if someone saw the state we often left our kitchen in. But why? We have multiple kids, limited time and there are enough things in life to stress over more important than some spilled milk and a counter of dirty dishes.
This morning I came home from dropping off my daughter and saw cereal bowls on the table, the spoons on the floor and a few left over dishes that got forgotten from last nights dinner on the counter. I stood and looked at it for a minute and took a deep breath and thought I should just get this done. So I did the natural thing and turned on the kettle to have a cup of tea instead. I leaned against the counter, just looking at the mess I could be cleaning and listening to my kids playing with their cars and dolls. I made my tea, left the kitchen and sat on the sofa and watched my kids. I would rather be were they were then in the kitchen missing out on their giggles. I am so glad I did. My son dropped his truck climbed up beside me and placed his head on my lap. He stayed that way for a whole 5 minutes, which is huge, he usually can’t still for more than 1 minute. My daughter saw the snuggling and joined in on the other side of me.
Yes, I probably could have had the dishes in the dishwasher and the table wiped in less than 5 minutes but I might have missed out on the best 5 minutes of my day. The Cheerios weren’t going anywhere but my kids are always getting older and tomorrow might be the day they decide they don’t want to cuddle anymore. So, I am not giving up on having a tidy kitchen or a swept floor but I am going to be more conscious of when I get those things done to make sure I am not missing out on hugs and giggles.
I read a quote on one of those poster art things that read “Good Moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles and Happy Kids.” While I do think good moms can also have clean floors, neat kitchens and the laundry done in addition to happy kids, this is one quote that definitely reminds me that my kids really don’t care about the mess and would much rather me be participating in the chaos instead of always worrying about trying to control it. So as long as your kids are happy, worry about all that other stuff later.
Have a wonderful day