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Dirty House = Happy Kids?

This post is sponsored by Seventh Generation.

I've seen the quote "Good moms have sticky floors, dirty ovens and happy kids" many times. And while I understand the bigger picture and want my children to be happy, obviously, I have a hard time with this one. Can't we have both? Isn't it really about managing your time wisely and cleaning up when your child is napping, at school or otherwise entertained? I certainly feel better when our apt is reasonably clean (notice I said "reasonably"... I'm no perfectionist), which brings to mind another quote: "When mama's happy, everyone's happy." Or maybe I just made that up.

In any case, here's my takeaway:

Being present when you're with your kids is a gift to both of you -- especially this time of year. Don't decide to clean the floors when your child asks to do a puzzle with you or read a book together (though if a particular task must be done at that exact moment, it's a great lesson in patience for your child).

Let go of perfection; it's overrated (and stressful).

I find the weight of that mom who "does it all while wearing heels" to be suffocating. First of all, she's not. Comparing yourself to others who seemingly have it all -- with a clean house to boot -- will get you nowhere... I think I'm finally grasping this at the ripe old age of 36.

Manage your time wisely. Find those moments when the kids are engaged in something, as I said above. When cleaning, I find if I think about what needs doing in the whole apartment (all 1000 feet of it) I get overwhelmed. Take it one room -- or countertop -- at a time.

Embrace the little things. Enjoy the moment. Use your time wisely. Free yourself from Instagram image perfection. Your happy kids will be living in a home with a happy mom who does it all the best way she can (though this mom prefers sneakers).


For some of my favorite eco-friendly cleaning products by Seventh Generation, check out my Pinterest board.


hatton said...

Ellen, AMEN! Great post. I definitely like our house to be straightened up - I'm not a perfectionist either and I only wear flats - but some things I read endorse the mess and clutter, which I find equally as irritating as the perfectionist posts! Sometimes 5 - 10 minutes makes all the difference.

Brianne said...

Such a great post and so true. I am more stressed when I am trying to clean and forcing my kids to do the same.

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