Sometimes it’s just a bit too easy for my focus to be on keeping our home super clean and tidy — only then will I be happy, I think to myself. But really, that mindset is a huge lie. Especially for our mama hearts when we already feel like we are juggling a small circus for 12 hours a day ;)
But I’m determined to not let that kind of discouragement into my home.
If I’m spending all of my time cleaning and tidying (or even too much time, since cleaning a small space doesn’t take long) then other areas of our home aren’t being tended to.
- loving on the people inside our home
- going on long walks where our hearts and minds are exercised
- feeding my family through meals and conversation around the table
- the purpose of our home: to grow and learn and rest and encourage one another, daily.
I try to reserve two small windows of time each week towards tidying our home, usually at the start and end of the week, so we (I) can fully enjoy the weekend in all it’s glory. This easy exercise has helped me find the joy in a lived-in home, especially since I “stay at home”.
Walking around plastic toy hammers, and blocks, and books, and the dog’s toy, and don’t forget about the laundry drying on the rack — these all shout LIFE to me, and life should be celebrated. If my focus is on putting all of these things away, what kind of message am I sending out?
It doesn’t take much for our home to feel unclean or untidy since we’re in a small space. But I’ve learned to know the difference between a home that feels comfortable to us and our friends, or a home that feels uncomfortable.
And perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned with all of this: when I set too high of expectations on myself it’s not just our home that suffers, the people who live inside our home suffer, too.
It’s not my ability to clean and tidy well that should bring me joy…
It’s the day-to-day of life that brings me joy: having a messy kitchen, owning clothing that needs to be laundered, having floors that need to be swept of beach sand and pretzels, and tidying our toys because we play with them.
And this joy? It also brings me freedom.