Laughing With the Dust Bunnies
Before I had kids, I would harshly judge others' homes. I had a friend who literally had a dust bunny hopping across her kitchen floor. I was shocked, grossed out, and my opinion of this friend plummeted. My house was in order. My house was dusted. I cleaned my shower on a daily basis. I could eat off of my kitchen floor. Yet, I failed to recognize that she had something I didn't: a passel of kids.
Then, I had my first baby. Not only did my world change; my world turned upside down. No one can fully prepare you for how much time that little eight pounder is going to require. No one can fully prepare you for how toddlers toss things EVERYWHERE. No one can fully prepare you for how much energy those kiddos take. No one can prepare you for the things you'll see on that kitchen floor you once thought you could eat off of...Remember the Bible verse about "Judge not, lest you be judged?" OUCH!!!
What suffered in this new stage of life? My house: my beautiful, totally clean, spotless, clutter-free house. I actually have pictures in a scrapbook of what my house looked like before kids and then after. You wouldn't even think that they were the same house--truly. The new "I have kids" version of my house belonged on some kind of a "We need to help this woman and do a home makeover" type show. This house soon became overrun by toys that made loud noises, pack 'n plays, stuffed animals, gates, exersaucers, swings...the list goes on. Yet, I wouldn't want to go back to that spotless life. There's a blessing in messy that I never knew.
I was recently talking to a friend who has a fairly large amount of children. She kept saying how tired she was. What I picked up on during this conversation is that she was basically too tired to judge others anymore. How often as moms--as women--do we harshly cut down, tear apart, size up (and down) other women? We think we know best. What I really admired about her is that she kept saying, "I don't care. I'm too tired." Then, she'd laugh. I honestly LOVE that philosophy. She doesn't care about the things that once ruled our lives before kids. Toys on the floor? Who cares? Dust bunnies hopping along with the kids? Hey, at least they have company! Eating crackers off the kitchen floor? Really...who cares?? Loud noises, laughing, screaming, giggling, crying? It's all okay. We only have so much time in the day. Our children are an investment...an eternal investment. I can't take my house with me when my time on this earth is done. The investment in my children will live on, though. The things I thought mattered really don't. I'm reminded of Isaiah 40:8 which says, "The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever." That verse always brings me back to the idea that some things in life matter, and others don't; I need an eternal perspective sometimes.
As I tell my one dear friend: ONE day, we'll have our spotless houses back. ONE day, we'll be able to have uninterrupted phone conversations with absolutely no background noise. One day...we'll miss the clutter, the dust, the chatter, the noise. So, for now, I'll embrace those adorable little dust bunnies and, like my tired friend, simply LAUGH.
*Disclaimer: Contrary to how this post sounds, I do clean. Decluttering, however, is a constant battle...especially since Little Sparkle seems to specialize in paper throwing, toy spreading, and mess making. I'm getting my kids to help in my endeavor to beat clutter. Eventually, we will win. However, despite all of our attempts, I'm sure there will still be some cute dust bunnies hopping around behind the sofa somewhere or other.