Have you ever noticed that your kids are most creative when their play area is a complete mess? It’s like they can only play with their toys if they are all spread all over the house and there is no path for the adults to walk through.
As a parent of two beautiful children who are only 18 months apart (youngest is 11 months), this dynamic can become overwhelming to keep up with. How do I keep the house neat when my kids are creatively making a mess of my house? I mean I want them to explore their world and expand their imagination but their chaos is sometimes too much to handle. As I reflected on this dilemma I found that underneath this tension I found my unhealthy need to maintain an image of always being put together. Not only do I want my kid’s imaginations to flourish but I also want my house to look like Leave it to Beaver. This tension is exhausting.
So how do I deal? Well, what I have come to realize is that this is my calling: God has called me to be a stay at home mom, and the difficulty of this calling is that I want an environment where my children can flourish but where I can relax. Some days my kids flourish all over the house and some days I keep things neat like Martha Stewart. But in the midst of it all my favorite part is taking a second to just watch my kids play together and explore a new imaginary adventure.
Creativity, learning, and reading are all important for our kids and despite the chaos I have realized that it is a part of my calling to allow their creativity to flow. This doesn’t mean that I stop trying to maintain a clean and orderly house but it does mean that I can get to the end of the day knowing that it is OK to let their imaginations run wild! After all, keeping up an image is just that, an image! I say moms should let their kids be themselves, be authentic to their families, sit back, and see where that creativity goes!