Let them be dirty.
Easier said than done for mothers like me. I like a tidy home, clean hands, and no slime in my child’s hair. When I allow activities that come with a mess I try my best to keep it contained. But, I usually end up missing out on the fun or ruining the fun for my kids. So I vowed to let them be dirty.
We boil spaghetti noodles and put them in a baby pool. My children love the squishy textures.
We make ice creams cones and I allow them to drip all over the place… outside (Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all).
We make mud pies in the yard with the kitchen utensils.
After a rainy day, I allow my son to go running through puddles of mud. Clothes can be washed and shoes can be replaced. His joy in those small moments has become more to me than clean fingernails.
I have become a fan of the five second rule.
Did my son just eat dirt? I guess what doesn’t kill you…
My way of living has changed since having children.
Certain home decor has been put into storage and toys have taken their place.
My signature look of dresses and heels has been downgraded to… well, whatever is clean (I need to schedule a laundry day).
Makeup items are purchased once a year as opposed to monthly.
My new life required me to evolve with it. At first, I tried to hang on to my old self. I always said I wouldn’t allow certain things with kids, but I was wrong. In order to truly enjoy them I had to let them enjoy life. Embrace the mess, the chaos, the unpredictability.
I had to make a few changes, a few downgrades — but the laughter and memories that took the place is true joy.
Embrace those dirty fingernails and the handprints on the front door. They have become my favorite part of my home.
This story originally appeared on Instagram