Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creative Tidy

For many years now I have clung to the idea my house needed to be really clean. Secretly, I think I thought if my house was not super clean I was somehow a failure. Probably to my detriment, I was able to keep up this delusion after the birth of my daughter. She was a pretty easy kid and has always self entertained. Therefore I was able to quietly have the smug mommy knowledge I could keep up with it all.

Now you all know life is just hilarious and there is a twisted sense of humor ever present in this universe.

So then I had my son. Now I will wait a moment of those of you who know me to stop laughing. Go ahead, wipe away the tears. I will wait. Needless to say, the birth of my son turned my world upside down and made me realize that the state of my home had a lot less to do with my acumen as a mother and homemaker and far more to do with a child who could happily self entertain.

In the past few years we have fallen into a new normal. The house was still clean but it took a lot more to keep up. I did lower my standards but I still spent a lot of time on keeping everything tidy.

However recently, I am reconsidering this mindset. We are now fully into homeschooling and our brand of homeschooling is very hands on and exploratory Or we can call it what it really is, messy. Add to that chaos my new found love of art and creativity and the result is more chaos and disorder than I am used to having in my home. But here is the thing, I think I am okay with it. That is a little crazy to me.

We are already a rather counter-culture family in many ways What if I take it a step further and just not worry so much about what our home looks like? What if I put a higher value on creativity and learning? What if I spend my already limited time focused more on what is really important to our family rather than on mopping? How revolutionary would that be?

Now for many of you, it wouldn't be. You are already there. I think I am pretty much there myself. The funny thing is I have had to let myself be okay with being okay with it? Isn't that crazy? Seriously? I have to allow myself to be okay with this intentional decision? Well, yes I do. I have moved far on my journey and I have dropped many societal expectations and baggage of my past but like an onion, I am still peeling back layers.

I am sure we will maintain a foundation of clean. I doubt we get to the point where the neighbors are having a secret meeting over calling the health department. Perhaps the biggest change is my mindset. I want to be okay with leaving the intricate castle system the children built together in the living room for a few days. I don't want to stress that my current mixed media art project is spread out some place for many days as I work on it. This is good stuff. Learning is happening here. Creation is being achieved right here, right now. Is getting everything cleaned up right away really that important? No, I don't think so either.

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