I spent at least the first year after completing this project pushing myself and the kids to maintain a level of order and "cuteness" in their playroom that frankly ended up driving us all crazy. I would be like, "Oh my God! Why is this tiny car in the "Blocks" bucket again?! Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who put this squishy ball with the trains?!" and this would send me into a session of frenzied sorting until once again every label accurately defined what was inside each bin.
Slowly, as we accumulated new toys and outgrew old ones - and as I lost some of my initial SAHM energy and ambition - several bins lost their labels altogether and many toys were inaccurately sorted. I eased up on the kids, only asking them to assist with clean-up once or twice a week, rather than after every play session.
Much of these external changes were a result of deep internal changes occurring in my life. I was moving from a place of perfectionism, appearances and striving, and finding my footing in a beautiful place of authenticity, vulnerability and uncertainty.
I was learning to love myself for my essence, not my exertion. I was learning to speak my truth, to own my voice, and to let that be enough. I was learning that perfection isn't real.
This is our playroom today. It has looked like this for the past couple of weeks, and will probably go back and forth between this state of outright-chaos and one of semi-organization throughout the coming months and years.
Author Parker Palmer wisely says, "Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life." As mamas, and as humans, I think we need a lot more of this truth running through our veins.
We need the courage and the freedom to show the imperfect sides of ourselves and our lives - our makeup-less faces, our midnight fears, our messy homes. Not because messes are a virtue, but because they are a real part of life, sometimes in our homes, but often in us.
Momastery's Glennon Doyle Melton wrote in her book, Carry on Warrior, "Since brokenness is the way of folks, the only way to live peacefully is to forgive everyone constantly, including yourself." I find myself needing to forgive, myself most of all, every single day.
If you find messes in your life today, know you are not alone. Because perfection isn't real. And you are enough.
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