Wednesday, March 12, 2014

71/365 • messy rooms and shouty mamas

Some days I surprise myself, and I can overlook bedrooms that have literally been turned upside down. I shrug my shoulders and feel grateful that they've spent time playing and chatting away in there together, and the gigantic task of tidying it doesn't worry me. 
I leave it for another day. 

But this is not normal.
Note: Some days.
Most days I live permanently on edge; gritting my teeth, clenching my jaw at just the sound of mess being made. I swallow frustration at socks stuffed in hidey holes because the walk to the laundry basket is too far and I snap at toys kicked under the bed, Lego not kept on the rug, and books making a new home behind the shelves.

They play, and they are completely absorbed in their play, and they drag toys from bedrooms to bathrooms and some days I explode at the sheer overwhelming mess of it all.
And those days I become shouty, scathing, rip-you-to-shreds-for-clothes-hanging-out-of-the-drawers mama.

I try to breathe, I do. 
And I speak as kindly as I can, and they drag their feet and complain that it's too haaaaaarrd to clean up all the mess they have spent so long in making. 
I stomp and bark my orders and they walk to and fro and tidy and they are glum and I hold back tears.
And then the guilt comes and afterwards I reason with myself and wonder and I tell myself it is just mess. You are overreacting.
Even when I hold it all in, the frustration over the mess, the cluttered brain with the cluttered floor, the feeling is still there.
Thank. God. for. grace.

So yesterday sparked a cull. A gigantic throw-out. Baby toys, broken toys, old books.
Stuff sucks and I don't need it, and if I simplify it will make it kinder on all of us.
Joel has space for Lego, and boxes for other things.
The girls have only a couple of dolls each (why do they need 8?!) and we kept the Barbies all in a tub, with a lid.
They know where everything belongs, it's a fresh start for us all, and I can breathe.



  1. This is so me!!!! I did this big cull a while back and it did help but I'm hungry for less again and might recull next time the kids are away! i have 1 kid who becomes very clingy about her things but doesn't take good care of it. i still need to work on breathing. And caring about what other people think about my mess.

    1. Oh the culling just has to be done so often doesn't it? It's not long before the clutter builds up! It was interesting seeing the different personalities in my children. I have one who is very attached to everything, one who wants to sell all his stuff to make money, and the other who couldn't care less and told me to throw it all in the garbage! ;)

  2. It's so true, mess really does create stress. I love nothing more than a good declutter. Children are given and collect so many things, it's amazing how their piles of stuff grow and overflow so quickly!

    1. It grows SO quickly! And we are about to hit birthday season so it's probably good we made room for the new junk they will be given. Sigh. ;)

  3. I did a big cull recently. Thought it would help but they seem to create just as big a mess. Looks like Lifeline is getting more toys and books! I've cancelled thoughts of going to a bookfest, and had vowed their not getting toys for any birthdays this year. Someone please tell me they grow out of this eventually......


I love that you visited, and love LOVE that you took time to say hello!