pardon the mess

When I think back to my life without children, I can take a sensory journey through my once clean and organized life.  I can see my neatly labeled totes which were OBVIOUSLY color coded and typed in fun fonts.  I can smell my Vanilla Rum Butter Candle from Bath & Body Works, because at that time in my life it was completely acceptable to leave open flames lying on low level tables.  No worries!!  I can taste the  late night pizza that my husband and I ordered at midnight.  Because we were getting ready to start our next movie.  On a TUESDAY night.  Because we could!  I can feel the cool tile floor in our kitchen under my bare feet at 10am, having just rolled out of bed on a Saturday morning.  Chilly yet acceptable, as my morning commute was nothing more than grabbing a quick cup of coffee before climbing back under the covers to enjoy a lazy weekend.  Because lazy weekends used to exist.

Ahhhhhhhh.  This sensory journey has reawakened my love for all things beautiful, and by beautiful I of course mean organized.  Sadly, it has also time warped me back to the present.  In the present, none of these things exist.  In the present, I am a disheveled mom of two who can no longer proudly boast of my organizational skills.  I still have the elegantly typed color coded labels on my totes and bins, only the content inside no longer matches the label.  They are also torn from years of neglect and covered with crayon marks from the atrocity of unattended children with crayons in their hands.  And yes, a Magic Eraser could probably fix those blemishes, but I no longer have the time or energy to try.  That burning candle that used to scream CLEAN, INVITING, and WARM to guests??  No chance.  I get nervous just thinking about letting my kids blow out candles on their birthday cakes.  With a hockey loving son (yes, we let him play in the house) and a toddler whom we frequently find atop tables and counter tops, I’m sure they would gladly accept the challenge of burning down all of our earthly possessions if given the chance.  In a nano-second!

My late night pizza dates with my husband have been traded with late night barf sessions with tiny humans.  Or, if we’re lucky, family snuggles in our Queen size bed with two kicking heaters.  Did I mention we also have two dogs that insist on sleeping with us??  QUEEN BED!!

Do I still walk out to the kitchen for morning coffee?  Sure.  Instead of feeling cold tile under my bare feet, my mind now focuses on sticky spots from last week’s dinner… Was that the lasagna or spaghetti from last Thursday??  And that’s only if I can find the floor under the coloring books, doll blankets and lego sets.  I definitely need to mop the floors.  Tomorrow…  I now make a pot of coffee instead of a cup.  And it is no longer to feel like a modern age grown-up.  It is now necessary for my survival, not to mention the survival of those around me.

The truth is that being organized used to be a priority of mine.  It used to be a reflection of who I was.  Now, my messy floors and the toys in every crevice of my house (just today I found a football in my make-up bag!) are a more accurate reflection of who I am.  Our new schedule of organization is to throw things into a closet and go on a crazy cleaning binge 12 hours before people arrive at our house.  This, of course, is limited to birthday parties and family holidays.  If you want to challenge this cleaning schedule we have, show up unannounced to see what lies behind the closets.  But enter at your own risk:  Remember, I may not have had my morning coffee yet 🙂