Back when my daughter started nursery at the tender age of 11 months, I was a complete newby mum. I used to send her in pretty dresses, with ribbons in her hair and pristine white socks. As she grew older, she developed a penchant for climbing trees and playing football so the dresses were swapped for jeans and shorts, but she still attended each morning clean and fresh with neat hair.
As she got older and her play became more physical, she started to come home dirtier and dirtier. Once, I arrived to pick her up and saw that she was playing in the garden. I say ‘playing’, but it was more like ‘wallowing’ actually. My daughter and a couple of the other kids were making a dirty version of snow angels. They were lying in the mud and scraping their arms and legs out to the sides to make angels. Oh my.
She was filthy on a daily basis but I was told, and agreed, that the dirtier she was the happier she was as it meant she had been playing and having fun. We’ve never worried about how dirty the kids get- they have a bath every night and we totally believe that the saying is true- dirt= happiness.
The only thing is, does it have to extend to the house too? My daughter loves to quote me on this whole subject.
Me: your room is a tip!
Daughter: that’s because I’ve been having fun!
Hmmm. Since the toddler came along with his projectile vomiting and his boisterous love of digging up plant pots and scattering crumbs everywhere, my house has become a full time job to keep clean and tidy. There have been definite spills (due to blog about this soon!) and stains and hastily relocated rugs to compensate. It sometimes feels as though the house is going to one day give a big sigh and give up completely. If I didn’t know any better, I would swear our home insurance should have a separate clause for ‘child induced wreckage’ or something.
But does it really matter? Ghostwriterdaddy and I are of the thinking now that if the house is clean, the mess doesn’t really matter too much. I recently downloaded a Fly Lady app onto my phone in a bid to become organised and for one whole week it worked. And then the baby got a cold and her sleeping patterns are still all over the place so I’m finding the housework has to be done in bits these days. So my precious home is looking a little bit like… well, like we all have a lot of fun.
My daughter says that a messy home is a sign of a happy family and I think I will just have to agree. An overflowing toy basket is no problem- a child who is scared to drink from a cup in case it spills is. An overflowing washing pile waiting to be put away is not the end of the world- a child who is afraid to have fun in case a mess is made certainly is.
So if you happen to come across my house in real life, please don’t be shocked. I have three children and a husband. We are a happy family.