October 9, 2013

Clutter and Kids

Last night my husband and I were able to visit with a couple that we have gotten to know pretty well over the last year. This couple is younger than we are (mid-20s), newly married (3 years) and they don’t have children yet. They have just moved to the same town that my husband and I live in and so we were bringing them our push mower to borrow until they can get one of their own. Naturally, we stayed and visited for a couple of hours while our almost 1-year old crawled around the living room and the 5 year old played Angry Birds on the iPad.

Christy, the wife, has managed to get about half of their boxes unpacked already and most of her furniture arranged in the way that she wants it. (I fondly remember the days when I was able to work uninterrupted…too bad I didn’t appreciate it when I had it!) Anyways, while we were talking we got to talking about our husbands and how they like to just shove things in places when they don’t know where to put them (instead of just asking).
Of course our husbands were both right there and contributing their thoughts and trying to defend their actions with good-natured humor. At one point Christy and her husband got in a playful argument about how everything has its “spot” and how much simpler things are when they both keep the items in their respective places. I looked at my husband during this playful argument and we both just laughed. Our friends both looked at us like “what’s so funny.”
I informed them that I remember the days when Beau and I had a place for everything. It was great…and then children came along. Now our house constantly looks like a tornado went through it and it is next to impossible to keep things in their respective places with little people in the house who think all of our possessions are their personal toys.
I love my children dearly and understand that this is just part of parenting young children. I know that it will get better, but right now (and probably for the next 10 years) this is where we are at. To be frank: I’ve accepted it. I choose not to stress myself out over the fact that my son insists on hanging his play jeans up next to his church suit. Or that I’m constantly finding his toys under the couch, on my dining room table and in other non-toy places. Yes, I do make him pick up his toys when I find them, but I’ve chosen to accept that he’s still a kid and clutter just comes with having kids. My husband, on the other hand, still hasn’t accepted this fact quite yet…but he will eventually.
I guess my post was inspired by my amusement from the conversation we had with our childfree friends last night. I remember the early years of our marriage and life without children. I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything, but I remember how easy it was to keep things in a nice, orderly state and not having to rush around like a crazy person when expecting company and there are days when I’m just a little bit envious.
What about you? Have you accepted the clutter that comes with children or are you like my husband and still fighting it?