Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oh, The Mess!

The "play-date" mess picture I posted.
The other day, my girls had their friends Lexi and Audrey come over for a play-date after Kidz Camp at church. They were beyond excited, I was going over the list of rules which the four of them agreed to with pleasure!
At the end of the play date, I posted a picture on Facebook of the "damage" our little apartment suffered at the hands of four little girls "creativity". I was honestly a bit shocked at many of my friends reaction to the picture...but, let me back up for a minute...
When my girls were much younger, they frequently made a huge mess- much bigger than the other day. My friend, Annette (who has children the same age as mine), shared with me an article she had read that encouraged parents to allow a modge podge (not to enforce the "one thing out at a time" rule) of all different toys to be played with at the same time because it fosters creativity. After thinking about it, I totally agreed and embraced the huge mess of toys that began to encompass my house daily. My Mom to this day says she was always so proud- and shocked- of my allowing this to happen.
I didn't mind the mess as long as it came with the understanding that they would also clean it up. When they were younger, I of course would help clean it up- but insisted they be right along side me doing it. As they were older, I naturally expected them to do more with less enforcement. Well, let's just say as I starting getting more resistance instead of compliance- I drew the line! I was all for creativity, but not at my expense and sanity every day!
Yes, I am one of "those Mom's" who insists that everything is put away in it's proper place before anyone is in bed every day. Yes, I even pull them out of bed if it's not done right.  My girls are at the age that I do expect them to care for, take care of, and put away there things in an orderly fashion. So, we now implement the "only one thing out at a time" rule. They actually have grown to appreciate it now, because it only takes them minutes to clean up instead of an hour (with constant reminders of "clean up", "get busy", and "you only have 5 minutes left" in their ear). I do have the same expectations of myself, I do not get into bed until everything is cleaned up and put away- neither does Lupe (poor man, lol).
So, back to my picture the other day. I had a few people comment on the picture "that's nothing" or "that's how my house looks every day"- which gave me a little laugh. The next day, I was speaking to my friends Joanne and Joelle- I had an "aha" moment which I feel kind of stupid about, lol.
They were both telling me how they laughed at the picture also because, "that's nothing" they said. Apparently, I am not grouped in the group of "typical Mom's with typical expectations". They informed me that there are times they cannot even walk in their kids bedrooms because of all the stuff everywhere, it is common to wake up to a sink full of dishes, it is common to leave the house with unmade beds, etc. 
Don't get me wrong, I knew that there were Mom's who went day to day like this- but I really didn't realize that it was more the norm than what my "norm" is. I asked other Mom's later that day how they ran there households and what there expectations were. There were a couple who were like me, some fell in between, but 7 Mom's out of the 11 I asked were more laid back like my friends, Joanne and Joelle.
Not that one is right or one is wrong. Sometimes I wish I could just roll with the punches and make other things the priority- but I just can't do it! I do realize it all comes down to balance, my friends tell me they wish  they could be more like me as I am wishing I could be a little more like them.
I say all of that to say this: So, many things are a matter of perspective, awareness, and a willingness to learn and change. This silly little "Aha Moment" I had,has made me want to reach out to others for their perspective because I have a willingness to learn and perhaps make changes. I have some Mom's who have so graciously told their stories and answered questions. It has been so intriguing to see other points of view. I will be honest, there are are certain idea's that I firmly believe in as a Mom- well, reading about a different perspective on those ideas, I now understand much better why Mom's choose to be that way.
I remember when all of Tenly's toys fit in this box!
I hope you enjoy reading and learning from other Mom's, as I know I will, over the next few weeks.

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