Once Upon a Time, I had a blog. . . . . when my kids were still in preschool, kindergarten & elementary school. These are "diary entries" from then. I'm so happy that I documented along the way. These memories and thoughts are precious to me. They'll be mixed in with modern day musings as well. I hope it helps you know that all mothers are both perfect & imperfect in their own ways. . . . . and we're all just doing our best and trying to raise productive, happy humans.

Letting Kids be Kids

Dear Diary,

***I kind of remember this day.  And the girl, although not AS messy anymore, still likes her crafts & stuff. She's a total slime girl now, but whose isn't?  Eeegads!  The slime!  I hope that I was a good enough mother when she was 4.  Here's a memory from:

August 7, 2011
It is so hard to be a good parent and keep the house clean at the same time.  Or the children for that matter!  I have two children.  If you've been here before, you've probably caught onto that fact.  I have a little boy who loves LEGOs, Star Wars and does NOT love showers or brushing his teeth.  He loves to draw his own comic books based on movies he's seen.  And his Daddy loves those!  

And then I have a daughter.  Who is 4.  Who thinks that she rules the house.  And has never met a mess that she didn't like.  She is the child who got black ink on our carpet and new couches (thank goodness the couch seems to have some kind of supernatural finish on it) .  The child who got pink paint on the floor, by licking a painted salt dough ornament we made 2 years ago.  The child who wrote with pen on the new loft daddy built for her.  The daughter who would not look "normal" if she did not have some kind of stain on her clothes by the end of the day.  The same girl who drew on the princess castle paintings that I so lovingly made for her 3 year old princess party.  The girl who cut her own hair so short in 6 places that we had no choice but get her a pixie cut.  So, it should be no surprise that she ended up looking like this when we painted yesterday.  
Oh wait.  So far, so good!
Still okay, I guess.
Getting a little messy.
Whoa!  Wait a minute!  What happened?  Oh yeah.  Jaycee happened.
That's okay.  It came right off, in the sprinkler.

And because this quote is perfect for my kids and you and all of your kids (and I know you've probably heard it before)

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing."  ~Phyllis Diller

I've got to tell you, the dirty kids/clean house thing is a hard thing for me.  I can't keep the house clean to save my life.  And so, at which point do we just let our kids be kids and enjoy their childhood?  Without screaming about the messes and not wanting to hug them because of all of their gooeyness?   I wish I had it in me to just get out there, get dirty and muddy, make mud pies and not care about the house!  My kids are only going to be kids for so long.  Now, for the scripture:
"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."--Matthew 18:2-5 (NIV)

See, here's the thing.  Most of the messes are innocent.  The messes aren't being made to make me angry.  Or to make more work for me.  The kids are just being kids, having fun.  They're learning things.  They are innocent in  these actions (not all of their actions!).  They aren't thinking about the future.  They aren't worrying.  They're exploring the world that God made for them.  They have faith.  They believe.  So, they're a little messy.  It wouldn't hurt being a little more like them, a little more often.

How do you handle the innocent messes?  Do you sit down and get dirty yourself?


  1. Great article and very truthful I have 3 kids. The youngest being 4 and my house floor is like landmine of toys literally everyday. I let life happen and come the weekend everyone has to help clean 🙂

    1. Sounds like a great plan and it's good to get them helping at a young age!

  2. I know a friend of mine has the same mindset as you. While having her two kids might be chaotic at times, she's fine being a "messy mom" and doesn't need everything put away immediately. She lets her kids be kids.

    1. Sounds like she's taking the time to enjoy her kids! They're only small for so long & grow way too fast. It's hard to know that when you're in the middle of it, but sounds like she does!

  3. Your post made me smile and brought back childhood memories. Blessings