19.5.12

learning to let go

chair
The house is a mess right now. Toys are littered across every room along with jewelry boxes, mail, dirty dishes stacked in the sink and baskets of laundry waited to be folded.
It's not a good feeling, especially when you are at home as much as I am.

When Jeremiah & I were first married we lived in this tiny, cute old house with white walls & a white kitchen, wood floors and two rooms along with a super small bathroom. We loved it. Since it was just the two of us and we didn't have much stuff the house was always spotless. I made sure that everything was put away each time we left and when we came home, the house smelled perfect.
Now in this house where we have Israel, more stuff, the jewelry business and a whole lot less time, I've had to learn to let some things go. Many days we leave the house not picked up because if we stayed to clean every time I doubt we could ever leave.
It bothers me. I feel unsuccessful and frustrated and like the mess of the house creeps into my thinking a bit and makes me feel even mentally messy.
That's not to say the house is never clean, it's clean at least once a day but that doesn't last long. I think what I've learned is that I need to find a way to be content with the way things are. Eventually we would like to have another child so it's not going to get easier any time soon!

19 comments:

  1. Your home is beautiful even when it's messy, but you're right, kids are a lesson in letting go and learning what's really important. That said, it still freaks me out when my house gets messy. One thing that helps me is to identify the one are in my home that I can keep clean all the time. For me, it's our bedroom. Even if the rest of the house is a disaster (mostly toys, forts, homework, art supplies...) having my bed made and the room organized gives me a sense of order among the chaos.

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  2. ah i totally empathise with you, it freaks me out a little too much! My head gets jumbled and i can't think straight or more importantly make art - friends always say how nice the house is so it can't be that bad? Like you, I need to learn to chill out and go play lego with Charlie instead ;)

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  3. I know exactly how you feel. Totally get the mentally cluttered feeling. It’s hard to create when you’re surrounded by mess too. The best thing I ever did a month back was hire a cleaner. We aren’t a wealthy family in any way, but I have managed to budget for 2-3 hours a week (fortunately our place is small and easy to clean). I justify it by saying there’s now more time for me to work so I can sell more prints to pay for the cleaner! It has made such a massive difference to our life and my own attitude towards the house - and also encourages me to at least keep the place tidy all week until the cleaner next comes. It’s working really well so far. Maybe something to consider? :) x

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  4. I too am having a difficult time dealing with the mess that a busy life and a two year old brings. My beautiful loft is now covered in trains. They're everywhere! I swear they're like gremlins and keep on multiplying. I also get a whiff of milk every time we walk in from outdoors. I secretly think my son is dumping milk in places that I don't know about just to mess with me.

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  5. I know exactly what you mean. I have three kids... so it just gets worst.
    When you work from home it´s slightly frustrating to start you work day by cleaning... I hate that.

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  6. I feel it difficult to avoid the guilt. When I take time to clean the house I feel guilty for not playing with me child. When I take time to play with my child, I look at the mess and feel guilty for not cleaning the house.

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  7. I have twin one year olds and a 2 yr old. My husband works two jobs and so it's just me and the kids a lot. God knows I have had to let things go or I would never play with my kids. I always say, if you want to come see me, the door is open. If you want to see the house, make an appointment! :) I am a clean freak by nature so this has been hard but I, too, am learning to let go. Glad I'm not the only one out there!

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  8. I struggle with the same thing everyday! I was notorious for having a spotless home before kids; now with a 3 year old and a 7 month old, life has changed drastically! I have unfolded laundry that just keeps piling up, and I could list a whole slew of things that I need to do. However, i've had to let it go because i just don't have the time and as much as I think I am superhuman, I really am not. You're not alone:-)

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  9. I came here from Flickr. I love the photo. I lived like this for many years, now my first three children are twenty and over and have just moved out. I have a ten year old still at home. The house is suddenly, magically so much more tranquil tidy. But I miss them... Goes to show, one never wins:) Saying that, I do expect to have lots more time in the studio plus lots more clarity in my head.Maybe it will be a win-win in the end:)

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  10. I love seeing family stuff amongst lovely furniture, best photo ever! I too am surrounded by trains and train track, I live on Sodor, didn't you know?

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  11. And it still looks absolutely perfect at yours, even if it's messy! (And, there you go, the most stupid question ever, but after I have been looking for such ones for like ever: where are those laundry baskets from?)

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  12. ohh I understand you so well! Mom of a 4 years old + wife of a collector :) who dreams of some tidiness at home in order to hear any/some own thoughts.

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  13. Aww! Learning to let go can be difficult but once you master it - it'll bring a lot of peace to you.

    Adjusting is always tough but possible. That photo is awesome, by the way.

    Cathy Trails

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  14. I understand your dilemma too! I have 3 kids and a husband who are all messy and it does my head in. I can keep my side of the bedroom neat and tidy and that is my little santuary - until I look to my husband's side of the room!
    I am getting used to the idea that my home can't look like the beautiful homes I see in magazines and on blogs and realise that the photos are a snap shot taken for a magazine/blog so they're going to tidy and organised. My home is mostly tidy but lived in, the way it should be for a family of 5. xx

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  15. I've got two messy children and a very small home, that means I tidy up several times a day and it still doesn't look right;) I think it just has to be like that or maybe the solution is not to buy any toys for the little ones?;) Anyway it's too late for me;)

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  16. I can completely relate to what you are saying, and we don't even have kids (or pets)! The description of your previous house reminds me a lot of ours. That being said, most of the time our house does not look spotless. My partner is a teacher and not only does he collect approx. 150 student papers several times a month, but also magazines, newspapers and other teaching materials. You can probably picture the paper load we're surrounded by each day - it drives me crazy! :) Also, our levels of tolerance for messiness are very different, and I feel like I'm cleaning all.the.time! It's like Sisyphus work - in a small house the tiniest mess is just so much more noticeable, especially, when certain items (paper) don't have a designated place to go to. And like you, the physical mess always has an impact on how I feel emotionally. I've come up with quick "clean as you go" solutions (e.g. putting things away immediately, quickly wiping down the bathroom sink, after both of us are done in the morning, etc.) - it seems to help a little. P.S. I love your blog so much and always feel like I'm in a cozy, clean space, whenever I visit!

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  17. We're in the same boat. We've got one little almost three-year-old dude, and we both work from home. I tripped on a toy car last night and almost started crying. Every inch of our house was a disaster. And we're talking about more kids lately too!

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  18. Are you kidding me, you have FRESH FLOWERS in your living room!! On a more serious note, I hear your pain. I have a toddler son, and sometimes the house is cleaner if I don´t clean/tidy anything and instead grab the little one and get out of the place as soon as I can!

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  19. More kids def ='s more mess. And it's not like it doubles it multiplies -ha. Seriously, though, this is my daily battle. And you would think with 4 kids, I would have waved the flag and surrenderd but I haven't. I still have such a hard time letting go and living in a bit of mess because, like you, it just makes for major mental clutter. I'm hoping that somehow, someway, this summer, I can learn to let go a bit because I am realizing that I'm only stressing myself (and my kids) out even more. Maybe it is better to do one big pile of dishes at the end of the day rather than 3 times a day? I don't know but I might try that experiment. Good luck and just so you know... you are doing a great job juggling all that you do! xo . trina

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