When simple was easy(er)

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About Emily

Emily Walker writes about making your home a haven, and is a stay at home mom to two littles. While she and her husband have fixed up their 1960s ranch home, Emily has learned lessons along the way in do-it-yourself, making do with what you have, simplifying, and living life to the fullest. When she's not busy bossing her husband around on remodel projects, Emily blogs at Remodeling This Life.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately feeling frustrated with my home. I went back to working outside the home after six years, and as a result, went from having plenty of time in a day to make things just the way I wanted them in my home—to having just enough time to make things pretty good.

I’ve had to let go of perfection and be okay with pretty good. If the laundry is done and the kitchen is clean simultaneously, I am fine with there being toys everywhere (or at least I try really hard to be). I am not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy. Somehow, having kids right under my feet making art and toy messes zaps all my motivation to clean up. It feels like an uphill battle, and more than ever, it feels like if my home is anything, it’s not a simple one.

This morning, like many others, I spent some time grumbling inwardly (and a little bit outwardly, too) about how complicated it seems to just keep the living room clean for more than twenty minutes. The second a surface is cleared, it becomes a magnet for more stuff to get set there.

As soon as I clean the floors, someone tramples them with summer feet.

As soon as I get to the bottom of the laundry hamper, there is more thrown in.


I headed out for a run today, happy to be stepping away from the chaos for a little while, and into the outdoors where the only things in my way were fallen branches and puddles from last night’s storm. My normally enjoyable run became everything I hoped it wouldn’t be.

I ended up feeling terrible, it was too hot out, my iPod died, I got stuck at a red light and there—a mile and a half into my jaunt—I gave up. I was left feeling deflated, too tired, too hot, too everything to keep going. I altered my route and texted my hubby to let him know, tears streaming down my face. I felt like a miserable failure.

I headed home, walking, mad at myself, wondering what the heck was wrong with me that I couldn’t just keep going. I tried a few times, but it was just too hot and hurt too much. With about three-fourths of a mile from home, I decided to gut out running the rest of the way back, and arrived at our driveway feeling slightly better but still frustrated that things had not gone as I expected. Apparently, I am always supposed to be perfect.

This time, I walked inside my pretty-good-but-not-perfect home, and realized that while it may not look perfect, and it looks slightly past the point of lived in, it is quite perfect in its non-visible ways.

My hubby was there with a hug and a big glass of water to make me feel better. My kids were there to welcome me home. I thought about all the things that you can’t see in our home, and suddenly all the things that were driving me crazy no longer were.

So there’s some clutter at the moment, and you probably don’t want to walk on my floors in bare feet. It’s also a home that is full of love and support, the things we need when we are feeling our least perfect: the things we need when all of our silly expectations go unmet, and we feel like failures for not reaching the ridiculous and unattainable.

Since this morning, I have thought about the things that we have to let go of in order to gain other things. I got a job outside the home—which has been wonderful in a million ways for our family—but it has also taken a lot of balance-shifting. Now, in order to keep my house perfect, it’ll have to come at the cost of time with my family in the evenings and on the weekends. And my running legs aren’t the same because I don’t have as much time to run.

I’ve realized that there are things that we have to make choices about, and sometimes we can’t be everything or do everything perfectly. And there certainly is no award for Supermom given out at the end of the day, with the criteria being a spotless house or a fast run time.

At the end of the day, what matters are the things you can’t see—not the things that spend more time on the floor or counter than they should.

If there’s one thing I have learned recently, it’s that having a simple home isn’t simple at all. And it has to do with more than organization. Sometimes the simple and organized has to make room for the complicated mess of love and life—however full of disappointments and unmet expectations they may be. That’s what makes home life so wonderful—the beautiful mess.

What messes in your home right now speak of the love and creativity that happen within those walls?

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Comments

  1. LOVE this!!!! Thank you!

    • avatar
      Liz Masterson says:

      The peanut butter and jelly on my beautiful hardwood floors represents (I hope) the love and creativity of my son trying to do it all “by himself”.

  2. Today our church had preschool day camp. I went and helped wrangle 30ish preschoolers for 3+ hours, and I’m all wiped out. Right now my kitchen floor is a sticky mess, because my 2 year old and I sat on the floor and played with the “slime” that the Mad Science Guy helped her make today.

    I’m too tired to clean up the neon green streaks tonight, but she had a blast all day, and went to bed happy, so I’m calling it a win!

  3. I’m with you 100%, Emily. It’s impossible to keep up at home when you have so many things going on (and so many hours committed to) being outside of your home. I have two baskets of clean laundry right next to me. Sheesh. All I need to do is fold the clothes and put them away, RIGHT?!

  4. avatar
    Aleks Totic says:

    I think you need to try running in Luna Sandals. They are the simplest possible shoe, and even come as a cheap DIY kit. I’ve never cried while running.
    https://www.lunasandals.com/

    • Really? I shouldn’t validate this is as a comment because you might be spam or know the writer, but totally not the point or encouraging to discuss running shoes. Not sure how you could have gotten that from what little she described about running.

  5. Great post! I keep stepping on crayons….I don’t know if they were catapulting them around the living room or just finding new coloring spots….all I know is I have a fridge covered in beautiful pieces of art:)

  6. Wonderful post. As a working mom, this speaks volumes to me!

  7. Emily – I loved this post. I like how you wrote out the lie that I struggle with believing — “I am supposed to be perfect.” Your post brings freedom and truth and love. Thank you.

  8. I love the proverb about, where there is no ox the crib is clean, but much gain comes by the strength of the ox.

    It is hard to remember with two littles, another on the way, and not always a lot of energy, but our house is bursting with love and I wouldn’t trade it for a clean home.

  9. Ummm, yup. This describes my home most of the time. It’s hard to remember that there are a lot of things going on in this season and having a heart at peace makes any home more comfortable.

  10. My 5 years old daughter likes to spread her things everywhere. Crayons on the couch, little horses on the floor… so i remind her the whole day.

  11. I, too, am making peace with imperfection. In one year I went from living in a house we spent 7 years fixing while I worked part-time, to living in a total fixer-upper in a new town with a full time job. I have two littles, lots of legos, and a desperate need for these types of posts! Thanks so much:)

  12. Oh, so true! I feel the same way, like I just can’t get ahead of the clutter. BUT I remind myself that our crazy messy office space is also the site of the craft table, where many many happy hours of creating happen for all of us. When I run out of laundry baskets (because they are all full of laundry waiting to be put away!), I take a deep breath and put it all away. But if they sit in the hall a few days, in the grand scheme of life, it won’t matter a whit.

  13. Very interesting post, it was truly indeed that can surely catch everyone’s attention…

  14. I love that you wrote this today! The very thing I am struggling with lately and I feel like such a grouch mama – big sigh of relief that I’m not the only one. Whew! My laundry mounds have been so ginormous I’ve tried to just treat them as beautiful works of art on display. I’m ready to start charging a small fee for viewings. :)

  15. Sometimes the simple and organized has to make room for the complicated mess of love and life — YES!
    A disaster in the kitchen: means my family was well-nourished.
    A mess on the floor: means my kids were having fun playing.
    Extra laundry from this weekend (Oh yes, there was!): means my kids got to swim, spend time with friends and family, and get ketchup all over them from a barbecue.
    Life is messy: in a good sort of way! Thanks for a great perspective!

    • I like these analogies, so true! Find the beauty behind the messes. Our house was a disaster at the end of this long weekend but we had a weekend full of strawberry picking, fun with family, time at the beach, good homemade food and board games on the floor. The messes were not a sign of shear laziness but a product of much love, fun and togetherness!

    • Yes, great analogies! Thank you for putting these out there – I will think of them often as I try to change my mindset about the little messes that bother me.

  16. You read my mind about the messy nest syndrome! I have felt like grouch mama over this issue lately. So hard to find that beautiful balance sometimes. We go in spurts I find.

  17. It’s amazing how you find an article or post right when you need it. Thank you, Emily! I have felt the way you have so many times, when the mess seems to be spinning out of control and my mood then goes right along with it! When that happens, I try to steal away for 2 minutes alone in my room to breathe and focus so that I can freshen my perspective and see the countless blessings even amidst the mess! Thank you. Elizabeth Lane

  18. So beautifully written, Emily! Love this.

  19. So well written, but so much to comment on!

    I have a wonderful friedn Rhonda who says that housework is a journey, not an end state: you’re never going to get it all done – there is no “finish”. I found this incredibly depressing, until I realised that it is, in fact, freeing. I can only do what I am able, in the hours that are available to me today. And then, I can do some more tomorrow. It’s doesn’t need to be “finished”, because that state is literally unachievable. That concept freed my mind immeasurably.

    Your husband sounds like a gem :)

    • I like that “housework is a journey”…I didn’t sweep for a couple of days, kind of in protest, of all the crumbs in the floor. Seriously, sometimes I want everyone to Just. Stop. Eating. (and wearing clothes). But since that isn’t going to happen I will try to enjoy my “journey”. I just wish it didn’t feel like a death march some days.

  20. I’m sorry you had such a tough morning. We can so relate!!! You beautifully pulled wisdom from your troubles instead of sinking deeper into negativity. Your family is blessed.

  21. So true! I used to worry so much about trying to keep on top of the mess (and failing miserably) but, now that my kids are older and in school and in after school activities, they don’t have time to make such a mess and I kind of miss it!

  22. five of us at home together all day – working, learning, playing. It’s almost always messy somewhere. We create, live, learn, explore together. I’m learning to see the beauty in this. It’s not about having it all “perfect”.

    PS. I love your very real photos and yellow walls. These kind of posts are much more meaningful to me than magazine home photos. I love this very “real” and beautiful feel. Thank you for sharing it Emily.

  23. Legos, they’re everywhere in my house! But when the kids come up and describe to me their creations, with their excited voices, it’s hard to get too upset about it.

  24. I myself have been struggling with realizing that the crazy expectations that I think exist are all of my own construct. At the end of the day, or week, does it really matter if the laundry went unfolded on the couch if I’ve spent quality time with my family, had lots of cuddles, helped with homework, read stories, and coached my stepson’s soccer team? Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone.

  25. This speaks to me this morning. Our life just got even more complicated…but simpler in other ways. I am just telling myself that we will take one step at a time and my expectations are going to be lowered dramatically. This is when priorities play out and the happiness of our little family always wins out over having vacuumed floors!

    Thanks for the post.

  26. The “stuff” for all the little projects I’m working on is scattered all over the dining room table, but they are keeping the big sheet in place that my two young boys are using for their fort! One mess is helping another mess – but we are al being creative and productive!

  27. It’s a little sad that we all need to remind ourselves that we can’t be perfect. Where did that idea even come from!? Of course we’re not perfect! I need to remember that more often.

    Thank you for a great and timely post!

  28. This is a lesson I have had to learn or be miserable – as a working, single mother of three, I can choose to be obsessed and rigid or flexible, fun and present for my children. My floors only get mopped about four times a year, but we have memories of much laughter, many adventures and lots of bonding. Simplicity keeps me sane, but not clean. =)!

  29. I have laundry, and a sink full of dishes from breakfast because there wasn’t time to do it before leaving for work at 7:10 this morning. Jesus Christ offered us grace, we need to learn to offer ourselves grace, too. Accepting that we aren’t perfect but are continually trying is all that He asks, (and I think that can apply to our homes as well.)

  30. This is a wonderful post :) I once read a quote that said, “You can do anything, but not everything.” I have to remind myself of that often as well. Working and trying to keep up a home at the same time is NOT easy, and when you do have time to take care of things at home on the weekend, it’s not what you want to spend your time doing. I’m still working on feeling “complete” and caught up even if my house isn’t perfect.

  31. I love this post…it makes me feel better about myself for sure…everyday i spend a lot of time cleaning just like the author and its endless, right now my only son is at school and though this house does need a vacuum and hot chocolate messes mopped up, i can say it still remains my house in spite of all of that..

  32. Thanks for a great post! I struggle with this constantly… the perfection that can’t be seen is definitely the most important!

  33. avatar
    Christy says:

    I wish we could all remember that there REALLY is no award for being Supermom! We strive for it every day, and it isn’t even a possibility! I so wish I could remember to keep my hope and my eyes on things that are real-my family, my faith, joy, living in the moment.
    The evidence of love and mess in my home right now are baskets upon baskets of folded laundry waiting to be put away-my least favorite job. Thank you for reminding me that we are so lucky to have more than we need in the clothes department in spite of my decision to stay home again for a while. That we have somehow found a way for my daughter to continue riding horses, so she needs to change from her dusty stable clothes on several days. That my amazing non-walking four year old doesn’t let that hold her down, and crawls black spots into several pairs of pants a day as she does laps around our house! That my 12-yr-old son somehow got a fashion sense, and needs to change depending on the activity he is undertaking! Thank you, thank you for this post and all it made me think about. Very thankful!

  34. avatar
    Sarah Abberton says:

    I feel better now thank you.

  35. My messy out messes your messy. If that’s your messy, in my eyes you are SuperMom! Ditto with struggling to embrace imperfection and accept that at this point my house is just not going to be as clean as it was before children. May we all see the love instead of the mess!

    • avatar
      Brittney says:

      Haha, that is exactly what I thought when I read this! I actually studied the pictures for a minute trying to find more mess while thinking “I wish this was my messy…” :P

  36. avatar
    Stephanie says:

    It was like this post was written for me! It is really hard to let go of trying to make things “just so” especially when you have limited time. I have to constantly remind myself, especially with summer on the brink, that I can spend my evening hours after work racing around like crazy trying to clean up or I can let it go every once in awhile and spend time doing something fun with the kids I’ve been away from all day. Your run sounds like mine from last Saturday – too hot, just couldn’t go anymore, ended up running only half the distance I intended, feeling defeated and mad at myself!

  37. avatar
    Kimberly Russell says:

    UGH!!! My house looks like a tornado went thru it every day. I work full time and have a soon to be 4 yr old and a 9 month old. And a 40 yr old who refuses to throw anything away. It is SO frustrating to see the clutter all the time. But after you get home from work, do dinner, get dishes “cleaned”……the only thing you want to do is spend that last hour before bed sitting on the couch!

  38. The other day I had similar feelings! In a quest to simplify my life, I had to stop and redefine what Simple Living is to me. It’s one of the joys of blogging- you find out so much about yourself, and it helps to refocus on your goals.

  39. This is so me right now.

  40. Oh my soul, I needed this. I strive so hard to keep my home to a level of perfection at all times. I work 4 days a week, I am finishing my degree, a mother, a wife and I want to have fun sometimes. I would be so upset and ashamed if someone came to my home today… the dishes aren’t finished from our breakfast, my floors were swept yesterday, but with 10 trips to the garden and just one quick run through with my shoes on, they are a mess again. There are toys on the bathroom counter from my daughter’s bath, and a pile of laundry in there too waiting to go downstairs. I made my bed, but there are baskets of laundry folded in my bedroom waiting to be put away. I went to my boot camp class last night, upset to be leaving the mess, frustrated from my day, and came home emotional and exhausted and had to leave things. I haven’t mastered being OK with “lived in” I shouldn’t feel ashamed of a bit of untidiness… especially since we are making memories and having fun outside instead. When did we become such perfectionists? I really needed this post today, as a simple reminder that I’m not alone. Thank you.

  41. I got a little teary reading this. With two toddlers underfoot your story describes out day to day life. Although I stay at home with the kids, I still can’t get the house just-so. Oh well. The kitchen is often trashed from an afternoon of baking, but I realize that our mission to eat real food has to come ahead of a sparkling clean kitchen all the time. At least we are having fun doing it. Good luck on your next run :)

  42. Oh, how I can relate! So much wisdom here. Yes! We have to let some things go so we can embrace other (better) things with open arms. Life is happening inside these walls and life is messy! Especially with little people. During this season with little ones, I’ve decided whatever you can’t see from a galloping horse, will have to wait.

  43. This is exactly how I have been feeling lately! Thank you so much for writing this!

  44. Legos — everywhere! So many I don’t know what to do with them! But the children love them, and they are a creative toy. So I count my blessings — they aren’t asking for movies or video games. Thanks for the encouragement this morning! We’re just back from a two-week vacation, and the house feels particularly unkempt today.

  45. Thanks… this really spoke to me. I am such a perfectionist. It is so hard to ignore the mess… but you are right… it is the loving family – not the house that matters.

  46. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this article! It was in my inbox at just the right time! I’ve been struggling with keeping things tidy and trying to delegate more to the kiddos and this reminded me of what I can’t see in our home and how important those things are!

  47. So right Emily, at some point we have to learn to be okay with the way things are in our lives. Sure we may not have planned to have a “messy” house, but we learn that there are more important things than perfection. Like spending time with your family even when the floors are slightly crunchy!

  48. I totally agree with you it is really hard to keep up with everything and try to do it perfectly. Sometimes you just need to set up some priorities and do the important things first.

  49. The messes in my home right now are a sink full of dishes – because my hubby isn’t a taskmaster making me get them all done before bed – and a living room floor full of blocks and cars – because the boys were playing together this morning instead of watching tv. How awful, right? (smirk) Thanks for this EVER. NECESSARY. REMINDER.

  50. A friend walked into our house for the first time on a Sunday evening. Even at ages 10 and 13, my kids can lay waste to our house in just a short time. My friend’s comment was “I’m glad I’m not the only one whose house doesn’t have to be perfect.”

    Didn’t know where to go with that but I know that I do what I can…..and I know that it’s summer break now so I have extra help. LOL

  51. My friend said something that totally sums up my life right now:

    “Cleanish is my new ‘sparkling’.”

  52. avatar
    Kristin says:

    Thanks! I needed to read this today… I”m a mom of 4 kiddos with the youngest just shy of 1 month… Night are pretty sleepless and fustarating and all the kids are home for summer now and the house is far from my liking… I wish sometimes it didn’t bother me… but I guess its just part of ‘me’ and the house is a mess by my standards but you know what… the kids are happy and fed, they have clean clothes to wear and they have each other – and I LOVE hearing them play and laugh together and their little hidden conversations and couldn’t imagine them not having each other around….. so a messy house or things not exaclty how I want it will just have to be!

  53. My kitchen table is covered with art in process as well as some play dough and a few monster trucks that drove through that play dough. Normally this drives me crazy but today after reading this post I decided to keep my table full of life and we ate lunch as a picnic outside. We may just do dinner outside as well. To soon they will grow up and I will have no more glitter glued to my table.

  54. Thank you for you beautiful honesty. I have recently started working too – after 4 years of being a stay at home mom and committing to never having to work. Life changes. I sometimes feel guilty or frustrated for not being able to do everything I did when I was home but we are not called to do it all. I often read Proverbs 31 – the woman of nobel character – when I am in one of these moods. She is also a working mother. I know I am not perfect but I am doing all that God has called me to do at this time – to be a faithful wife, loving mother and servant of all.

  55. Your house doesn’t seam that messy to me especially in the first picture I had trouble seeing the mess. All I see is space, clean and calm with you chilled out child. It’s funny how other peoples perspective can be so different to our own.

  56. Great post and one that spoke to my heart and frustration. We have so many messes in our home from my 4 children and the fun they have. biggest of all are shoes that track in sand from the sandbox and my budding artist 6 yo and her many, many art supplies.

  57. I was feeling like this today, also! I finished a post about 30 minutes before I got onto facebook & followed the link here.

    It is hard to go from being a house wife & mom, to a working wife & mom who also has to keep up with the house. We are very fortunate women to have men in our lives to help us along with that.
    I know I’m very grateful for mine! :)

  58. avatar
    Mary Erickson says:

    I feel your pain with 3 boys (and another I’m watching for the summer) nothing is ever clean or clear and every room feels cluttered! I have a sign posted in my kitchen where I pass it dozens of times a day and also where my whole family can keep it the front of their minds…
    Good Moms have
    Sticky floors,
    Dirty ovens,
    And happy kids.

    I think it sums it up beautifully!! hang in there :)

  59. This is such a great post, because we all need to remember that the entire point of home is for us to feel sheltered from the pressures of the outside world, and safe from having to constantly compare our lives to some standard “they” set (whoever “they” are). Good enough is all we need to strive for. Anything higher, and we’re not really living our own lives, we’re living what someone else imagined for us.

  60. thank you for this post…. it’s nice to see in words what i live with often! it also helps to know there are others out there with the same frustrations!

  61. When I was pregnant, I always thought that I would contain all of my future kids’ messes. And that they wouldn’t take over every single room in the house. And that things would be in their proper places, at all times.

    Well, you can guess how things are right now ;)

  62. Great post! I don’t get too frustrated with a messy home because I don’t believe it’s primarily my responsibility to keep it clean. When I was a kid I had a chore list to help do my share of household work. I plan to do the same for my toddler. My husband cleans at least half of the time: He’s good at it, and it’s his job, too! So, if it’s messy there are three of us that caused it, and three to fix it…or to ignore it. :)

  63. i love this post. it rings true! both my husband and i work full time (though as a teacher my summers are off). We don’t have a huge house (which right now is a saving grace i believe) . i just work at the clutter and occasionally find something that is beyond my breaking point and that is when it gets a super clean. every couple weeks we set aside a sunday to just dive in and clean.

    i find its best when we all clean together and find a way to make it more fun.

    but some things like: art projects, science projects, lounging in the warm sun reading, riding a bike, walks, hikes etc. are more important than keeping the house clean especially when we have so limited amount of time. (plus sleep is essential to me!)

  64. Thank you! you captioned how I feel about mess a lot of the time but it is so true that we don’t have to be perfect, we don’t have to rid the mess because what really matters is love, living in the present and being thankful – often easy to forget.

  65. Thank you : ) This post couldn’t have come at a better time!

  66. avatar
    Jennifer says:

    I read this post this morning at work and tears started streaming down my face. At last, someone I can relate to. Thank you so much for remining me that I am not alone.

  67. This post encourages me more than 100 posts on the perfectly organized home. Sticky floors? Got ‘em. Sticky kisses, hand-holds? Got those too.

  68. Thanks for being a voice for the Moms who work outside the home! I have felt all of the things you have expressed.

    The messes in our house right now? Library books strewn everywhere (my boys love to read!) and Duplo blocks underfoot (they love to create, too!).

  69. avatar
    Hannah Jeffers says:

    You are not alone in this Emily, many mothers go through the same situation like yours. I for one try not hard to focus on the perfection of everything in my house because I know that is just so hard. I have kids who are so playful and they will mess around with everything, and you know I cannot stop them because it matters to me a lot to see that they are happy.

  70. First off I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks!

  71. I have a countertop in the kitchen covered with teacups and saucers that I haven’t gotten properly put away. We had them out this weekend to host a “tea Party” bridal shower for my future sister in law. The good news is everyone had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed the party. The bad news is that it will soon be the weekend again and I haven’t clean up from last Saturday.
    Oh, and we’re going camping and I have about 4 loads of clean lanudry that needs to be folded and put away so we can pack properly for the camping trip.
    A quote for you “Never stay home to do housework if you get a better offer.” I read it on a blog a while back and wrote it down, but forgot to write the name of the blog. Sorry I can’t give credit where credit is due.

  72. i have a newborn and a deployed husband…my days seem insane. the table is never,a nd i mean NEVER clean. clutter is everywhere…but the table is covered up with little girl artwork, most of which are love notes to the baby and daddy, and also pictures of octopi with lots and lots of legs. it’s not company-ready but it’s our little house for now. thanks for reminding me that it’s not just me; it’s everyone. well, mostly everyone. =)

  73. From another mom who works outside the home likes to run and have a tidy house and spend time with her family and friends, thank you. I feel like you were in my brain.

  74. This is a good reminder for me of “the grass is always greener”. When child #3 came along coincident with a move to NoVa and it’s higher cost childcare but not higher pay for what I do — we made the decision that I’d become a SAHM. I now look back on my working mom days as “so much easier”. In my day dreams, my house was cleaner, I never found myself out of groceries/supplies, I actually got to have a lunch break and/or meet a friend for coffee, etc. etc. I was feeling really frustrated and like such a failure because after all I am HOME so home should be “perfect” and I should never have to stay up until 2 am to get laundry done or the floors mopped — and then it hit me a while ago. Yes I am at home — but so are my kids (the goofy sweet high maintenance mess makers). And in the process all of the fun messy things that my older kids did in day-care, my youngest is doing here. I need to be happy and count my blessings and remember that I am not here to be the housekeeper. (And maybe, just maybe when the last one goes to school, my house will be neat again and I’ll get a chance to go to the store by-my-self???)

  75. I am really impressed with this post. You really did a very great job with your home. How long did it take you to finish this whole thing? Thanks for sharing this with us!

    -Nick

  76. avatar
    Irina Blue says:

    Wonderful article!

  77. Love this post. We all have bad runs and we all have bad days where everything seems overwhelming, but yes its the loved ones that make it worth it, and who can bring us out of our funk in a matter of mere moments.

  78. Nice post. You’re such a working mom. I am encouraged by those accomplishments..

  79. LOVE this post!

  80. I’m a working mom, too, and feel like this way too much. I’m trying to become more aware of when I am putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect and am reminding myself that I have SO MANY blessings in my life. The reality is that I will never be perfect and there are only so many hours in a day. It is up to us to use these hours wisely. With a full time job, a busy husband and two young girls, I need to focus my energy on my priorities, not chasing the impossible.

  81. Bravo! I’m right there with you. My kitchen is a constant space for clutter but I’m okay with it because I can still function to prepare my family those meals where we all catch up with eachother.

  82. avatar
    Krysta N. says:

    I tidied up the living room and kitchen a bit today, but previously I had a basket of laundry, sundry pairs of shoes, and stacks of books or knick-knacks on the floor that needed to find a new place to be put away and dirty dishes in the sink. The books and other items were there because I’ve been cleaning out our spare room so we have a nursery to welcome our baby into in a few months. The laundry, shoes, and dishes were there because we spent the weekend visiting with family and sharing food and good memories. I’ve gotten the room to “good enough” for now, but thanks for giving me that shift in perspective. When it comes down to it, family and the experiences we share with them are what life is all about – not having a spotless home (though cleanliness is always nice of course). :)

  83. You have no idea how much I needed to read this right this very minute after having an early morning meltdown following a discussion about health insurance with my husband. Why were we discussing something so serious at 6:30am? We know better. Life is in the fast lane for us in this season and we are grabbing time where we can to do our “business” talking, and sometimes, like this morning, it happens to be really poor timing. I put so much pressure on myself — even after years of working through perfectionism and performance-orientation. I do like a cleaner and neater home (who doesn’t?) but at what cost? And, like you, we are blessed with so many invisible and completely free-of-cost gifts daily. Our family is a good, God-loving family. Sometimes I just need to pause, regroup, know God has it in hand. If He wants me to do more with my day or life, He’ll work it out. In the meantime, there are toys out (yes, I just did clean up and they are out again) and a pile of “to do” on the kitchen counter, but I’m going to sit with a cup of coffee and color with my toddler :)

  84. You can even track nutritional information and cost breakdown of all of your recipes and menus! And for those of you that love going paperless, you can use Plan to Eat’s mobile app to carry all your menu planning with you.

  85. Love, love, love this perspective. Very refreshing and EXACTLY what I needed to hear and reflect upon at this very moment. Thank you! The tiny clothes strewn across the floor right now represent my kids’ fantastic ability to transform into super heroes several times a day!

  86. “At the end of the day, what matters are the things you can’t see” – I needed to hear that, thank you. Love, Peace, Joy…. those are the things that matter in a home. And if I’m harping about the mess, there is not much love, peace, or joy in that!

  87. This is exactly how I feel! The crayon all over my white walls and the barely there border in my dining room all because my 4 year old thought the walls needed decorating & dislikes the border because there weren’t any rainbows! She is my overly energetic, spit-fire of a girl, and I wouldn’t want her any other way! I am very blessed no matter how tired & frustrated I am.

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