I can’t help but feel a wave of nostalgia when I walk into a clean, tidy home with no signs of a toddler in sight. I unexpectedly stopped in on a neighbor the other day, which is something I try very hard not to do, because I am all too familiar with that sudden feeling of panic you get when there’s a knock at the door with no time to change your shirt that was just smeared with peas or pick up the pile of puzzles, books and blocks that is ever-growing in your living room. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life, but a mix of emotion comes with remembering what life was like before I became a mommy, when I could set something down and it would still be there later, of freshly swept floors and visible table tops, or when my bathtub was lined with bubble baths and body scrubs instead of foam letters and bath crayons. I was reminded when my beautiful toddler-less neighbor casually opened her door to her spotless and serene home of just how much my every day life has truly changed.
I now feel a huge sense of accomplishment if I change out of my pajamas by noon. I no longer stress about whether every dish is clean and put away, as long as my visitor has enough space to set her purse down. When asked if they can use my restroom, my auto response is now, “At your own risk!” I had a mini panic attack the other day when the cable guy sprung a bathroom break on me, and all I could think of is whether or not I removed the tiny little potty seat from the toilet or if he was going to have to navigate around it. My bedroom is NEVER clean anymore, so I quickly pull the door shut if someone comes over. Against every idea I had before having J, my living room has become the official playroom in the house. All that was once decorative and pretty has been replaced by what would survive being thrown on the ground or played with as if it were part of a drum set.
But, my goodness, is he worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There’s almost a weird sense of pride that comes with every scribble on the wall or every truck I kick out the way to open a door. While I do look forward to the days where I can see my floor again, I know that I will probably feel a whole new sense of nostalgia when I walk into someones home who’s little one is just learning how much fun it is to build a tower of blocks and knock them all down over and over again. Until that days comes, I will just enjoy the beautiful mess I live in and as a blanket statement, my door is always open just don’t expect to find the fresh and tidy home you once would have, but expect to find a ton of mess, a bunch of noise, and a whole lot of fun instead!
“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14