“The house is a mess, but the kids love it!”
“The kids love how unorganized our lives are. They feel they have more freedom to explore and be creative.”
“Toys on the floor, peanut butter on the curtains, cracker crumbs all over the house and smiling dirty faces is what happiness is about at my house!”
Have you ever heard a mother say these things? I have. Too many times. It actually saddens me that some moms tell themselves this over and over and soon believe their kids’ happiness stems from living in an untidy home.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My house is not always spic and span. I want it to be, but sometimes I get sick, the kids get sick, or we lose track of time. But, if my kids are smiling and giggling, I don’t attribute their happiness to the mess that is sitting in our home.
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When days are going as planned and we are staying on our routine, I can see that my family enjoys a clean home. The kids love that there are lots of clean floors to play on and plenty of dishes and cups to drink and eat from. They also love the freedom that they can invite a friend over last minute without me getting jumpy about the house.
Seriously, if you think that your kids are happy because of a messy home, why not ask them? Why not sit down and ask your kids when they are laughing and playing, “Is this messy house what makes you happy?”
Chances are, you won’t ask that question. Why? Because if we moms truly take time to ponder the root of our child’s happiness, we will know the answer is not a messy home.
One day as my friend’s mom was taking me home from a play practice, my friend leaned over and whispered, ‘I want to see what your house looks like. Invite me in.’ Immediately I had to come up with some lame excuse so I would not be embarrassed about how unkempt our family’s home was.” Accounts one mom of a childhood memory.
An unclean home has many negative effects on children, such as: sickness from unhygienic conditions, stress from others seeing the mess, no freedom in inviting someone over last minute, unable to locate important items and learned untidiness from their parents. A messy home can also wreak havoc on your finances. In a messy home you unable to find things, so you go and buy more. Items also get torn up or having missing pieces that need to be replaced. There are so many benefits from having a clean and tidy home that no one should desire to have a messy one!
When I spend extra time making my house shine, do you know who notices first? It’s not my husband — it’s my kids. I am often greeted with a, “Wow, Mom! The house looks great!” after a longer clean-up evening routine. The smile and happiness in their eyes speaks a million words of thanks and appreciation. Don’t tell me kids love messy homes! I have yet to meet one kid who says the reason they love their home is because it is always a mess.
I am afraid some moms have just accepted the untruth that having kids means your house will always be a disaster. Piles of laundry, toys, trash and dishes will just have to be a part of life until your kids are grown and out of the house. That is simply not true. Yes, it takes extra time and effort, but you can keep your house tidy. Don’t worry, your kids won’t cry because the house is clean!
On the other hand, an over-tidy mom can add stress to the home if all she cares about is a clean floor and folded laundry. She may be so consumed with the appearance of her home that she spends little time investing in playtime with her kids or date nights with her hubby. You have to achieve balance in this area. Leave the dishes in the sink while you tuck your kids in bed and read them a story. Just, don’t leave them there all night and the next day. Go back and wash them after the kids are asleep.
With the holidays near, this is is the perfect time to change the tidiness level of your home. Simple steps can get your home back on track. Keeping a tidy home will cut down on stress in your child’s life. Everyone needs a clean, peaceful place to relax and breathe — including your munchkins!
If this post has inspired you to clean up your act, then start with these small steps today!
- Turn off the t.v., internet and cell phone.
- Grab a trash bag and start throwing trash and broken things away.
- Wash all dishes, dry and put away.
- Start a load of laundry and continue until all clothes are washed, folded and put away. Remember, laundry is not done until it is put away! This is a quick clean-up , so no ironing is neccessary.
- Make all beds.
- Put all toys away.
- Sweep and mop all hard floors. Vacuum all carpeted areas.
- Clean kitchen counters and sink.
- Give all bathrooms a good wipe down and toilets a good scrub.
Now, that you did a basic clean-up of your house, wait for the reaction of your family. Happiness is guaranteed and no one will be groaning for the return of a messy house! Just a little bit here and a little bit there will keep your home tidy. It may not look like your home belongs in a magazine, but it’s definitely a cheerier place to be!
Enjoy having a happy, CLEAN home and happy kids!