My house isn’t messy. It’s custom designed by a one-year old.
I know that some people (glaring at my husband while writing this) think that I am a bit of a perfectionist with just a touch of OCD. I love homemaking and decorating, but since becoming the parent of a messy little boy, I only clean up the house twice a day: once during his morning nap and then after he goes to bed at night. That hour and a half of enjoying a clean house, has become my saving grace.
I’m struggling to find the balance between a happy, messy little boy and simply an unclean, dirty house. I’ve always been really meticulous when it comes to my kitchen and living areas, but now that my entire pot and pan drawer has become William’s music studio, I’ve had to let that part of myself go. He’s profoundly interested in putting weird things in the freezer and heaven forbid if he gets into the bathroom.
Other moms and especially moms of boys, should be able to relate to the struggle that is a little man. I’m constantly tidying either the house, or the person responsible for the untidy house. Ever heard the saying that boys will be boys? Well, if that’s true, then ‘moms will be moms’ is also true. I want my little boy to stay clean and perfect forever, but he is such an adventurous little soul that it’s become impossible. I’ve learned to relax a bit, although the act of forcing myself to relax about the cleanliness of my house and child has become extremely hard work.
My favourite time of day is the 10 minutes after William’s bath when he is clean and warm and happy and healthy. There really is nothing like the look and feel of a freshly bathed baby. I’m also a total control freak and I overreact about anything that might or might not cause William harm. Before lockdown, we went to the beach and I was secretly happy that he didn’t want to run around and eat sand. But recently, we went to a big, flat beach and let him loose. At first he was sceptical, and my heart leapt with joy when I thought that I would be able to return home with a sand-free toddler. But then he got used to the sand and for the next 30 minutes, I had to chase him up and down the beach, wiping sand out of his eyes and keeping him from eating sea snails and jelly fish.
He looked extremely cute and content, but I couldn’t help but worry about the wind and waves and sand and germs. Eventually, I forced myself to loosen the reigns a tiny bit and I actually started to enjoy our wintery beach day. It was during this time that a wave swept in beneath his feet and I was just a millisecond too late to help him. He got such a fright and so did I, but after rinsing his eyes, nose, ears and hands, he was at it again while I was still trembling with shock an hour later. It really just is a mom thing and I don’t think it ever changes. We’ll worry and care for as long as there is someone to worry and care about. As long as his eyes are sparkling and his heart is happy, I don’t mind messy hair, dirty feet or retrieving tiny baby socks from the freezer.