It took me a little while to learn to embrace the mess. I never did painting or any other activity I deemed “too messy” with my oldest when she was younger. I kept certain books out of her room in fear of them getting ruined. Yup I was that mom.
After having my second it became a lot more work to do those things. I knew I needed to let go, I mean they are kids. What’s the worst that would happen? A book would get ruined? All well, it means it was well read. An outfit got dirty? They played hard, learned something and showed creativity. I can always buy a new book or clean an outfit. I can’t buy memories for my children.
I still struggle from time to time on embracing the mess, Christmas time for instance. We made sugar cookies. I knew that I wanted to start making memories they could remember. We made a huge mess, ate cookie dough and broke rules. It took longer to make them and more time to clean up, but we had fun. And that is the kind of thing that I want my kids to remember, the fun.
I’ve also just come to terms that as long as I have kids my house won’t be clean. And I’m ok with that. I embrace the mess my kids make, because one day I’ll miss it. And because it’s not worth the anxiety of constantly picking up after kids.