I hope you had a wonderful weekend. For us, we ended Mother’s Day with a conversation about hiring a house cleaner. I wanted to share with you why it broke my heart at first and how now I am now embracing being a messy mom and have since found my own way to clean up my home.
I’m proud to be a messy mom. I will admit that I have always been a mess in one way or another, but now I love the messes about myself because they make me who I am and bring me closer to God. From my messy childhood to adulthood, being one to spill or trip, or forgetting something on top of the car, to a messy motherhood (that I have come to embrace).
P.S. Hi, I am Tracy Murdock, writer and a teacher made mom of twin girls plus one boy. I love to share momspiration and kids tips with you to help you love your motherhood at Your Twin Mom. Plus, I am sharing my journey as I follow my dream, writing and illustrating my first children’s book for twins and twin moms (even as a busy mom).
Things just seem to kind of go haywire around me, or maybe I’m just imagining it. Sometimes, it feels as though God brings messy situations around me because he knows I have the heart to deal with them.
Lately, many of my messes seem to always occur right when my particular husband is present too. Sometimes, I think I am here to bring him a relief of imperfection. I appreciate how well he fixes things but it can be hard to be a flexible lady with a stickler hubby….still God does show a lot of good in my husband. It push him past his comfort zone and he helps me grow.
Quick Story: The first time, I was invited for a big vacation with my husband’s parents, I walked in holding a bag of glass bottles. They ripped through the bag and spilled all over the kitchen floor of this vacation house. My husband and his family were super sweet and cleaned it up all around me.
Lately God has been showing me how messes are good. When I look back, that first big mess in front of my husband, was kind of symbolic of the messes I make and how the message of love can still pour through the mess. It was such a loving, helpful, forgiving moment from his family. One of my first clues of how much they would all love me as one of their own in the future.
Another great thing about messes, is I have found a gift in not being afraid to make a mess with a recipe or an art project, for the sake of self-expression. I think every idea we get in our hearts, is God speaking to our hearts and it may be messy to step forward and obey Him, but the good that comes out of it all is well worth it, just like in motherhood.
Quick Mess Story: Even though I haven’t always been known to be a great cook, this Christmas, I was asked to cook a new recipe that would be fed to the whole family! I think my mother in law handed it off to me because I said I wasn’t afraid to “do it wrong” or make a mess of it. Guess what, everyone ate it and it was delicious! So, no I did not start out as a great cook, but because I was brave enough to make a mess with a brand new recipe, cooked under pressure, the night of the event; I was calm and it turned out great! Being messy is a good thing:)
Today, here I am once again surrounded by a mess, the mess of moving deep in the trenches of young motherhood…boxes everywhere, no peace in sight, and lots of kid energy, yet still I am seeking the opportunity God is showing us here. As a family, we make it home no matter where we live and no matter how messy it gets. The boxes are filled with blessings of memories and more goodness ahead. How can I seek peace in the chaos? I start being thankful and praying. God always brings me peace and shows me it is all in His hands.
Now on the definition of “messy”, my husband and I have 2 different views of what this all means. My husband loves me and I love him, but God brought together opposite people-I shake it up for him and he steadies the boat for me. Anyhoo, we have 2 different opinions about what it means to be a clean mom or a messy mom. Any of you have this at home or the other way around?
SO, this whole messy mom thing spoke to my heart when this Mother’s Day ended with a conversation about needing a house cleaner. Mind you, we are moving so I thought okay we could use the help. I am already on a learning curve with homemaking and cleaning, so I knew I would need help with being so busy with packing already. This conversation however led to another debate about how I clean and what a mess is to my husband (I’m sharing later on how this ended in strengthening our marriage).
So, instead of letting the enemy get me angry, I admitted I needed help with cleaning yesterday and instead embraced what I am more gifted at, as a creative, fun, filled with nurturing kind of mama.
So, with Mother’s Day, we all loved the day but it was all how I looked at it that made it wonderful. I could have easily let the enemy focus my attention on the one thing I felt bad about (my hubby saying we need a house cleaner for deep cleaning), which would have made me miss out on all of the blessings in the day, like my husband helping me get the kids to church and making me coffee. There were little gifts throughout the day, but as you know still moms are moms even on the holidays, if you know what I mean:) It does make you realize how irreplaceable you are though when you see how hard it is for another person, like the daddy to keep up with everything you do.
Okay back to messes, since messes still happen and are bound to stress us out, here are 12 reasons you can remember why messy moms are still really good moms:)
6 of the many REASONS I am a messy mom and 12 Reasons Why I am still a Good Mom :
- Messes are memories. The stain on my shirt today reminds me how my son grabbed me after I cleaned yogurt off of his messy face, but I just loved how he spread that yogurt all over his hair. (NURTURING and COMPASSION)
- The marker stain on my daughter’s sweatshirt was from drawing on my picture for Mother’s Day. (CREATIVITY and CONNECTION)
- The Dirt on the floor, is from when I let my kids play in the mud and giggle as their brother squirted them with water. (FREEDOM and BONDING)
- The bathroom is a mess because my toddler son snuck off to the bathroom and started scooping toilet bowl water all over the floor. He’s potty training and obsessed with the potty now. (EXCITED for a new LIFE SKILL)
- The dishes are overflowing because I tried to feed my kids 5-8 balanced meals throughout the day and I wanted to spend time with them before we went out. At least I rinsed them:)) (NUTRITION and SERVING with love)
- There’s a stain on the couch because my daughter wanted to carry her drink herself and tripped on her way to the couch, which meant the milk spilled everywhere. (INDEPENDENCE and FORGIVENESS when we make mistakes).
The list can go on and on. Yes, I do have a light cleaning schedule and yes I do believe you can let your kids know when you need to get things done around the house and how they can stay quiet or how they can help you, but NO, I will no longer beat myself up for one of the many factors of motherhood in which I struggle: a clean and shiny house. Instead, I will know in my heart that I am consciously choosing my kids needs, my values, and connecting with my family-over perfection in my house cleaning.
For some of you, a clean house comes easy. For some of you it is not. Either way you are an amazing mom; just find what you are good at as a mom, and build off of it. Any time the thing that is hard for you gets brought up, remember why you were not able to achieve it the way another person may expect you to. Remember your season, your family’s needs, your values and your gifts. Remember God made you in His image and He loves you even in your messy moments.
Since I did not want to end my Mother’s day with focusing on how I just can’t clean the house the way my husband expects, I asked him to tell me, “what do you think I do really well as a mom for our kids?”
His answer: Nurturing and using your love of education to teach our children. So that is what I went to sleep with instead of letting the enemy obliterate the goodness of my Mother’s Day by solely focusing on “you’re not great at cleaning the house”.
UPDATE after the House Cleaners Came:
Quick Story: When I started out as a stay at home mom, I had no clue what I was doing. The first year with my twins, I left messes everywhere, except the playroom and my twin girls’ room (my 2 favorite places at the time) but I played with them every single moment they were awake, I read to them, I breastfed them…but I did not by any means do well with the kitchen.
The second time at being a stay at home mom when I had my son, I prayed for God to help me get better at homemaking….and He did, but still I never got it down the way I pictured and once again I think God is trying to show me that love is not about earning it because I do things well enough, love is about connection:) So, this debate about messes with my husband has connected us more and this desire I have to learn to clean in healthy ways, while teaching my kids will lead to connection with them too. We all have our ways, and our family needs depending on the season and this is what we need right now.
I Learned I AM DOING BETTER THAN I thought at Cleaning!
And may I just say, I still had the many dish messes to clean after the house cleaners…it was like they cleaned and then I had a second level of dish cleaning that made the kitchen a mess 5 minutes after they left:) The messes are always going to be there and that’s okay.
Yesterday, the house cleaners arrived. This is the 3rd try in my homemaking days we have tried a house cleaner and every time, it shows me that I am doing A LOT maintaining the messes that come with a home, a family, cooking, and kids activities.
Here I am getting messy hair from tickle time with my son…so worth it!!
My Husband’s Refreshed Messy Mindset & Cleaning Experience with House Cleaners:
Even 3 people coming for 3 hours, only cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen, could not deep clean the way we needed, plus all of the disinfecting and maintenance I needed was still not done. It was uncomfortable because they were all over my home, and I couldn’t let my kids leave their little playroom for way too long. It just felt like it was a lot of money, a lot of time with strangers in my home, with my husband still unhappy with the results (he cleaned up where they didn’t), and no outlet for the kids.
We each have different strengths, his is deep cleaning for a long period of time, mine is decluttering quickly with many tiny hands around me.
My husband and I ended up agreeing that we are still hoping in our new home to have a new way to look at cleaning and I honestly love the way he deep cleans (plus he looks cute doing it) so maybe that is where he can be a big help. I also learned more about what stands out to him. I’m honestly excited to have a renewed chance to clean my home the way I want to, but I will be much more willing to ask for help knowing this is not one of my strong points.
Here I was snuggling with Jack while they cleaned at the beginning.
As of now, I am leaning towards going back to my simple, kid-friendly way of cleaning, sprinkled with tips and help from friends and family. At first I thought it was great to have people helping me clean while I got to relax and snuggle my babies, but then it all took a turn for the worst with everything I said above. Plus, I hate being the boss of people and I had to tell them to re-do things and it was uncomfortable, especially since every time I got up to give feedback the kids went crazy. So, it may work better to get some tips from my friends who love to clean and plan a house cleaner when I go back to work or something. I don’t know, but I am excited to get a fresh start in our new home.
If you are a mom who has the cleaning thing together, share how you do it:)