a case for the dust bunnies

messy house kids motherhood

I’m sitting on my floor. I was supposed to be tossing trains back into the wicker toy box we attempt to hide in the corner of the living room, but instead, I’m sitting on my floor.

The kids are asleep, the husband is working late, and here I am, sitting between Sheriff Woody and Lightning McQueen.

I’m looking at my used-to-be-new skinny jeans with the worn-out knees and my sad little toes that desperately could use a some fresh paint. There’s a sippy cup with fermenting apple juice sitting on my bookshelf and the chevron rug I was so excited about getting is littered with puzzle pieces and a half-ripped book about tractors. My fat dog is snoring as she flattens the couch cushions and the lone survivor of our pre-children end tables is collecting dust.

And I’m realizing that the mess is okay. Actually, it’s more than okay.

Maybe you need to hear this, too: Dust bunnies are beautiful.

There’s beauty in the mess of a home well-loved. There’s something magical about reading the last bit of Green Eggs and Ham, kissing the forehead of a sleeping toddler, and coming into my living room that looks like two little tornadoes zoomed through.

These precious little boys that call me Mommy have messed up my life in all the right ways. I don’t get to keep them in the nest for long, so I’m not going to worry if my gallery wall is crooked because my four-year-old was attempting his version of Plinko.

I’m trading that endless pursuit of perfection for the joy in the every day. (Want to know something? That perfect living room you saw on Pinterest from that blogger you love? Go un-pin it right now. It doesn’t exist. And, if it makes you feel discouraged instead of inspired, go delete all your pins right now. Hide yo kids. Hide yo wives.)

Ladies, we are on the same team here. We are in the mothering trenches and the last thing we need is to fall into the trap of feeling burnt-out or stressed because there are a few Happy Meal (yeah, I said it) toys on the floor and a mystery substance is sticking to the wall. (Okay, maybe go clean that one up. I’ll wait.)

But for real. Mamas, would you let yourselves exhale and just dwell in this thrilling and boring, gratifying and frustrating mess that is motherhood?

Would you come sit on the floor with me and stay awhile? There might be some crumbs, but I think you’ll like it here. There’s courage to be found among the clutter and joy waiting in the junk. I do hope you’ll join me.

Just don’t step on a Lego in the dark.

Those things hurt.

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38 thoughts on “a case for the dust bunnies

  1. Yes, I totally agree with all of this because at the point I realized I was overwhelming myself trying to clean up after my kids (when they were toddlers) I STOPPED IT.

    I was just telling my husband that I am so grateful that my kids are now at the age where they can come down stairs and make some instant oatmeal or grab some cereal to hold them over. However, they always want a second breakfast.

    And, If I don’t feel like getting out of bed right away and it is super early. I linger there too!

    Great job beautiful!

    Visiting from The Peony Project!

    Have a magnificently blessed week!

    Yulunda

  2. I’m not yet a mama but I really appreciate this post 🙂 Reminds me of Ann Voskamp actually! Just to embrace authenticity, contentment, and just let loose once in a while.

  3. I came to the realization early on that I’m okay with a messy house, because one day my son won’t be here to mess it up when he finally leaves home, and then… I’ll have all the time in the world to keep my home all neat and clean. The dirty dishes will wait. Love this post!

  4. Legos do hurt. And I’ve been married a LONG time, and have four kids (two grown, one almost, and one still a youngin’), and I still hate the messes. But I learned long ago not to grouch too much about them, because like the meaning of your post indicates, it’s not really what’s important at all. 🙂

  5. I’m totally ok with a mess, in fact, probably a little too ok. I might need to sit down there with you and reflect on how to pick it up a little. Luckily, Jake was never really into legos so I got to skip the horror that is stepping on them.

  6. Sometimes you just have to go with it and live with the mess. Otherwise you’ll be clean, but you’ll be missing life with your kids!

  7. Yep, I do just let the house be from time to time. Though after about 2 days of messes, my ocd kick in and I run around like a mad woman trying to get everything back together lol.

  8. This is so true, my house was always a mess when my son was little. Now that he is grown I have more time to keep up with things.

  9. I’m just waiting for someone to come knocking on my door with a mop bucket and a broom. That’s the only way it’ll look perfect.

  10. Very sweet. We are working on a family. Hopefully I will experience the love of dust bunnies some time soon…. and hopefully watch out for Legos.

  11. I totally get it! I wish I could have just let things go a bit more when kiddo was small but I’m a germaphobe so even though I wanted to leave things be sometimes I just couldn’t. Lol. I did get to a point that minor messes didn’t bother me much. Now I don’t feel the need to clean everything right away, I enjoy the moments and clean later. Unless it’s really gross lol.

  12. I couldn’t agree with you more! I have actually written two posts on it. However I find myself needing this reminder lately! I may owe my kids an apology about my behaviour lately!

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