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Why Caring Less In Parenting Has Helped My Sanity

My husband will tell you that I am a very neat and organized person naturally. I am constantly cleaning the house, doing laundry, sweeping, mopping etc.

With children, it can be frustrating knowing that house cleaning takes 10 hours a week for me (or at least it should :) )

I do get frustrated often by the mess around my home. I think it's easy as a mom to see pictures on the internet of a "perfect" home that matches and is themed according to each holiday.

I get frustrated sometimes when my husband wants to invite people over and I get all freaked out saying,"I have to clean up everything!" or "Why can't we just meet at a restaurant or something?" or "Our house is embarrassing."

Come on Ladies, this is just not possible to have the "perfect home" with little children, am I right?

Sometimes, it's okay to have a little mess. Mess means my children are learning, growing, playing and most of all, HAVING FUN!

I think one of my favorite quotes from a movie comes from the film "Yours, Mine and Ours" with Dennis Quaid. I love the part of the movie where the mom and the dad are having an argument where the dad is a neat freak and the mom loves having a messy home.

The mom tells the dad, "A home is not for first impressions, it's for free expression."

That is so true.

No matter how much I try to clean my house, Marth Stewart would hate it. There are Crayon markings on the table, rollerblade skids on the floor, old playdough stuck under the couch. Oh, and today, I found cat poop on the floor. Oh joy!

That is my life.

We shouldn't hide our mess either. Being really and authentic with others is a very important life skill. Adults are always hiding their true feelings around others because they don't want to see less of a person. Christians are especially bad at being genuine.

People at church all the time ask me, "How are you." I've honestly stopped saying, "Fine." I've said everything from, "It was honestly a really rough week for me" or "I'm here with my kids at church and they are dressed in matching clothes and fed. I am so proud of myself!"

How we approach our lives to others and ultimately to God is so important. Are we always trying to "clean up our lives" to be presentable to God? Or are we honest with ourselves and tell God with a broken heart, "God, you can have everything, the good, the bad and the ugly."

I have sat in the car before and just wept, crying out to God saying, "I can't do this anymore."

I absolutely hate the saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle." That saying comes from a out-of-context verse that talks about temptation. I totally believe that God gives you more than you can handle! We are supposed to 100% rely on HIM! Not just Him handle 10% and we can handle 90%.

We aren't supposed to have everything figured out! And that is okay!

Honestly, I don't even know how to entertain my kids all day. Sometimes I just throw stuff together. Or make up something to take up time.

Sometimes I am just lazy and want to lay on the couch all day. To be honest!

The goal of my parenting is to raise Jesus-loving, creative and inventive kids. Sometimes that means "Making messes, taking chances and making mistakes." (Thanks Mrs. Frizzle."

My Children love to be goofy. I think If I was constantly saying things like "Don't do this," or "Sit up," or "Don't slurp," then my children wouldn't feel free to have fun!

Believe me, letting go and letting God has be very difficult (the most difficult thing in my life so far.)

Even having my daughter do the dishes (she volunteered) was more mess for me to clean up at the end and there were bubbles EVERYWHERE!

But I applaud her initiative in wanting to clean the dishes by herself. That is showing me that she wants to take responsibility and grow up. Even though she had more fun making bubbles and wasting my dish soap...

So here is my messy life. The good, the bad, the ugly. I don't want to hide it and "crop" everything out of my photos and photoshop stuff so that my life becomes a "perfected palace." That's just not real life people! I think the more real that we become with our selves and with our kids, the more that they will want to communicate and open up to us later in life.

Have a messy-beautiful and real day today!

Christal

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