I’m a Messy Mom

I (Amerey) am a messy mom. I’m sure most of you moms out there feel like this, I’m sure that you look around your house at least twenty times a day and say to yourself, “My house is so messy!!” Well, let me take a moment to explain to you why I look around my messy house and smile with relief.

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As a self-proclaimed messy mom, I don’t mind the toys strewn all over my floor, or the dust on the mantel piece, or the dust bunnies under the couch. And while I will admit that this would drive many moms crazy, I have worked hard in recent months to not worry about it. It seemed an impossible task to set aside the cleanness of my house. I grew up with a chore chart, my bed had to be made every morning, my mother never left for a trip without making sure we had a clean house to come home to. And while these were all GREAT life skills, ones that I will impart to my own children, I noticed that I was obsessing a little over everything in my house being straightened and put away, cleaned and swept, dusted and wiped down. My husband was the one that pointed it out to me. Evening after evening when he would come home from work I would apologize to him for the messiness of the house and he would always tell me it was perfectly fine (I have a great husband). I decided I needed to re-examine my motives for living day by day. Was my goal each day to have a clean house? What would I rather be doing with my time? What could I be spending my energy on instead? And of course, because I have a toddler, while all these thoughts were running through my head a small, high-pitched voice was calling to me outside of my head, “Mama, mama, mama…..MAMA! Mama DEEEEEESSSS.” (That’s how my 18-month-old pronounces “this.”)

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DES, or this, little girl is who made my impossible task oh so very possible. What is more important to an 18-month-old than playing with mama? NOTHING. I agree with you. You’re thinking of all the things you want your children to learn, all the tasks you want to become normal to them, and yet at this age how do they learn all those things? Through play. I am now a messy mom because I play with my little girl. Instead of just making the beds, Cecilia and I have fun throwing all the blankets and pillows on the floor and jumping on them, sometimes the bed gets made right after we’re done, sometimes it gets made later and the pillows and blankets sit on the floor for a couple hours. Instead of just unloading the dishwasher and trying to keep my daughter distracted, we now play the “thank you” game. Cecilia hands me piece after piece of silverware and she says, “daDA” every time. She takes bowls out and puts them away in the wrong place, she puts the tupperware things on her head, and we laugh and laugh and laugh. We make blankets into swings instead of folding them up, we sit down and pull all the books of the shelves and read every single one instead of putting them away, we take all the clothes out of the laundry basket and go for rides inside the basket. Everything is entertaining to her, everything is entertaining to me now. Sometimes all the tasks we “need” to get done that day get done, sometimes we only finish half of the ones that we start. Sometimes after we eat snack outside we see too many things down in the grass to do instead of taking our dishes in right away.

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Wearing Daddy’s underwear

I love being a messy mom. It has made my life so much easier and so much more enjoyable. And of course I want Cecilia to learn all of the things that I learned as a younger girl, but I also want her to grow up and have fun with her children and make all the same memories I am making with her. She is the reason I am a messy momma, she is my motivation to not clean everything all the time. I will play with her forever.

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After a morning of reading

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Fun Friday

Earlier this week, I stumbled on this: The One-Minute Writer  in one of Lorrie Young’s posts.  Lorrie is a kindred-spirit-writer-sister.  Writing is one of  her passions- as well as mine.  Writing for one minute is a great exercise! Try it!  Just for fun!
Writing is an important part of the homeschooling day at the Guire Shire.  My kids have a twenty-five minute timed writing period (nearly) every morning. I write an age appropriate prompt on the white board.  The kids copy it before I set the timer.  We discuss the prompt.  I set the timer. They write.
  If your kids are young or new at writing, i.e., it scares you to death- let me back track down memory lane for you.

I was once a scribe in the inner courts of the Guire Shire.
1. Stage One
At one point in my early schooling career, I had several young non-writers, that is they were not able to write.  Add to that- some of my children do not have a writing bent. I was determined to start their writing careers at an early age, so I became the household scribe.  I read  the writing prompt and listened as the child poured out his story.  I wrote it down for him without the one thousand ‘ands’.  

2. Stage Two
After the pre-writing stage comes the I-can-write-a-little stage when a child’s expansive imagination outlasts his writing stamina.  During this stage, I held the position of part-time scribe.  I hovered in the background until needed.  “I can’t write anymore” usually meant the hand muscles were tiring, but the brain sped forward in imagination overdrive.

3. Stage Three
The independent writer.  This is the stage when, with proper discussion of the topic, the child can write all by himself.    A child without a writing bent may slide back and forth between these stages needing more help on some days than others.
*  If you are blessed with a child who has a writing bent, they may sail through the phases and beg for more writing!



Here is one of my youngest son’s writing prompts from this week:

“Did you ever think when you were a child, what fun it would be if your toys could come to life?  Well suppose you could really have brought them to life.  Imagine turning the tin into flesh.  And suppose the tin soldier did not like it….”  C.S. Lewis

For your avid writers, here are some tips from C.S. Lewis.












Friday Fun

Rice Therapy

When my five stair-step children were small, the sand and water table from Discovery Toys was a big hit, at least in other homes.  I just couldn’t bring myself to having sand and water in a container, together inside my home.  I came up with this fun, less messy alternative.  I bought a rubbermaid container filled it with white rice and  TADA- fun, sensory rich play for hours!  The girls played with measuring cups and made food.  The boys drove, dug and sifted.

Gourmet House - Long Grain White Rice - 14oz Bag


                                   

plus


= hours of less mess, more sensory fun!

Children who are struggling with attachment may be hypo-sensitive and sensory-seekers, striving to get their fill of sensation.-Attachment and Integration Methods
Submerging wiggly hands into rice has a calming effect on the brain and prepares little bodies to handle other sensory stimuli- a pat on the back, lotion, a sweater, a hug.  When rice therapy is finished, children are calmer, less likely to lash out and more focused.