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Living with chaos

One of the most difficult things I have struggled with since having children is the amount of chaos and mess that they cause all the time. Some days I feel like all I'm doing is picking things up. Some days I don't pick anything up and then start getting grumpy. It doesn't take long before I explode. I do not deal with chaos and mess very well.

I spend far too much time reading interior design magazines and blogs. This does not help my chaos issues at all. All the houses look beautiful and tidy. I know they only look tidy because they are in a photoshoot but I am always sure that the level of mess that these beautiful spaces ever see is far, far less than I do. That's probably not true but it's hard to believe otherwise. Chaos and mess make me feel like a failed mother/wife. (Even in my most feminist of moments!)

Yesterday morning before 8am two out of three children's bedrooms had been completely turned inside out and upside down. This does not help me start the day very well at all. The problem is that my children just can't see the mess. It doesn't bother them in any way. Although, I'm crossing my fingers that it's starting to bother my daughter a little bit. Some days she gets home from school and says "Oh I hate coming home when it's all messy. What have you all been doing in here?" This makes me laugh because she's just copying me of course but it gives me a glimmer of hope that maybe one day she really will see and be able to do her bit to tidy up. Oren likes things to be in order when he plays his games, so that's a hopeful sign too. But I'm probably clutching at straws! A family of 5 is never going to be without some chaos and mess is it?

I am getting better at embracing the chaos. But I still find it my biggest challenge. I love the series of Living with Kids that Design Mom runs. Yesterday's post showing Joanna Gaines' beautiful home {you must go and look at this gorgeous house!} filled me with inspiration for our home but it also filled me with hope. Joanna has four children and has realized that picking up toys and children's stuff all day long meant that she was missing out on precious moments with her children. Instead she tidies up each evening, so she wakes up in the morning to a tidy home to start the day. I love this idea and I love her realization. Indeed, it's even in my 12 for 2012. Play more, worry about the housework less.

I need to let go of the worry about chaos and learn to live with it. It's part of having children. If everything was all neat and tidy, it would mean no playing, no art and craft, no family meals.... The chaos represents all the love, fun, excitement and creativity in my family. Time to embrace the chaos! Can you?

Our first 12 for 2012 treat

March for Mothers