A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of my kitchen on the Preschoolers and Peace Facebook page.
It was taken in the middle of the afternoon, on one of those days when I had been working hard to say yes to my kids more than I said no. This meant that my 10 year old daughter made scones for her piano teacher RIGHT BEFORE WE LEFT. They were literally steaming when we got into the car. And the mess they created was left on the counter.
It meant that the mess from lunch was still on the counter because I had said yes to sitting down with one of my other children and filling up her love tank with conversation, instead of cleaning up the kitchen.
It also meant that the groceries were still on the counter, the dishes were still in the sink, and the piles of stuff were still piled. You have piles, too, right?
I didn't post it to say Woe is me, look at my kitchen with all the mess. This is what I wrote:
Blow up this picture really big. I want you to really see the mess. Notice the nibbled pear, the grocery bags, the avocado peels, the dirty dishes, the scones left on the stove to cool. This is a day when I tried to say yes to my kids more than I said no. When we choose to do one thing, it means we say no to something else. Relationships are more important than all clean, all the time. It's okay.
And the response was enormous. Lots of ladies saying thank you for being honest; thank you for being real; what a relief to know I'm not the only one; and some expressed relief at knowing that it really was okay.
I'm writing today to reiterate that IT IS OKAY. It is okay if your home doesn't look magazine perfect all the time. Or ever. It is okay if you choose to sit down to rest in the afternoon sometimes, instead of cleaning the kitchen. It is okay.
I also want to encourage you moms with all littles. This is what my kitchen looked like before I went to bed:
You know what the beautiful thing about this picture is? My three big kids did most of the cleaning up. They are ages 10, 8, and 6. When those same kids were 4, 2, and infant, my kitchen rarely looked like that. I was happy to just get them all fed and dressed (often in pajamas!) every day with relatively clean bottoms. I had priorities and a sparkling kitchen was not one of them. Sleep was very high on the list. If that is the season you are in, IT IS OKAY.
Your relationship with your children and your husband is always going to be more important than the state of your kitchen counters.