Leave it

Thursday, January 5, 2017
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a person that appreciates organization and order. I have always thrived in environments that are well kept, cleaned, and have a steady routine. I distinctly remember during my first year of marriage a comment that one of Justin's battle buddies made to me. He looked at our home and he said, "Wow. It is so clean in here. It doesn't even look like anyone lives here." At the time, I was ecstatic about that. A comment like that was a compliment for me. It made me happy and stress free to have such a clean space to call home. When we found out we were pregnant with Ava - I was bound and determined to keep my old ways in tact. I planned out my days and how they would look before she arrived. How I would fit certain tasks into certain time blocks (oh how naive the first time mom can be). I remember hanging out with friends that already had children and wondering why their dish pile up or their laundry room fiascos didn't see to push them over the edge? Little did I know I would soon find out. 

Weeks before Ava arrived I made the decision to utilize a "first time parent liaison" through a service the Army provided. In one of our home visits she said something that forever changed my outlook. Christa said, "Just remember, the house comes second to all things baby. It doesn't matter if your dishes are sky high, you haven't vacuumed in days, as long as your baby is happy - you've had a successful day." Wow. Somehow that stuck in the back of my mind for always. When Ava arrived, that advice was sure to be true (though I didn't use it). I didn't have the time I once had, so I used the moments Ava was asleep to cram in all the work I had to do. It was exhausting, but I was content with the fact that my baby AND my home were taken care of.

As Ava grew, I developed a pretty solid routine. Ava was such a big helper and there wasn't anything I couldn't do with her awake or asleep. I had found a way to do it all - I felt like super mom. When we found out that we were pregnant with Olivia, I had very little doubt that my routine would be shaken forever.. again pretty naive on my part. I knew it would be an adjustment and that we would just have to find a new normal. Fast forward to today... Olivia is 11 months old and that new normal doesn't include ANY of the old normal. My dishes are piled, my floors aren't swept, my laundry is backed up, and I'm pretty sure my bathrooms could use a GOOD washing. I do the dishes in the pockets of time when both girls are eating and I can load a dishwasher in record time. At one point (and by that i mean currently) I was using Olivia's pack and play (that's she's literally never used) to hold ALL of my clean laundry. Ava calls it adventure digging... gotta love the creativity, right? 

The whole point of me dishing out all of this truth it to basically say, I'm done. I am done stressing about my house. I looked around this morning and almost had a mini panic attack. Cheerios were stuck to my foot, mashed potatoes from last night's dinner were crusted over on the island.. and I forgot to switch the laundry i put in yesterday afternoon... BUT, both of my girls are happy. It literally took almost 4 years for me to realize the advice I'd been given couldn't hold more truth. It took me almost 4 years to realize WHY my friends were ditching the dishes and just soaking up the time they had with their babies. DISHES will always be DISHES. Babies WON'T always be babies. The time you have with your kids is precious and it goes by so fast. I literally walked back into the living room, sat on the couch, and snuggled both of my girls. 

It isn't about a clean home - because a clean home isn't better. We live here and our home SHOWS that it is lived in. My kids aren't going to remember if the dishes were done on a schedule or not - but they will remember a present mom. Our new normal may stick for the rest of our lives, or it may change once the girls get older.. either way - I am accepting and owning this. And that whole "super mom" feeling? Well, super mom is just a term for those mamas out there that can make it through the day after all the juggling that is required with a home, a life, and babies. 

Here's to less stress, being present THAT much more, and making the most of your time. 

Happy Thursday all! 

♥- Leilani

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