“Put those pillows back on the couch!!!” I said in a very frustrated tone. “but momma!!!! I need them to stay safe from the hot lava!” he cried back at me. His face was saddened as he started to pick up the pillows. I watched his disappointment and something changed for me, “never mind, leave the pillows, I don’t want you to step in hot lava!”
I like order. I love a tidy house. Being organized makes me incredibly happy. Messes, disfunction, chaos, all cause me to be frustrated and sometimes can make me feel a little crazy. But today I decided it wasn’t a big deal that my throw pillows were on the floor. I can wash the covers if they get dirty. I let the kids climb all over the couches, even though we normally say “stop climbing all over the furniture”.
Forcing him to put up the pillows was a big deal to him and I am glad I didn’t make him. I watched as his imagination soared. He invited his sisters on his adventure and I sat back and watched them laugh, then squeal when danger approached, and then celebrate when they made it to safety. The smile on my face as I watched them could have never come from the couches being made up right with pillows perfectly placed.
I started to wonder how often I miss everyday joys because of some expectation I have set. Obviously my kids need rules and boundaries and they need to obey me, but they also need room to let their imaginations take them to places fun and exciting. I recently listened to a podcast on parenting with Bob Goff. He said something along these lines: Kids need less punishment and more adventure. When I heard it, I wasn’t really sure what he meant. But today, I think I get it. I could get on to Harvey for using my pillows in the floor or I could let him go on an adventure! There are times that this won’t work but I am confident I could relax a little bit more and allow more adventures!
Maybe you are the mom like me who likes things tidy, clean, organized, and the thought of letting your kids make messes stresses you out- this is for you momma! I want to encourage you to find ways to relax and let your kids imagination and creativity run wild. I haven’t mastered this but I am trying to find ways to do this without going crazy. One thing I do is give boundaries with messy things. Like letting them play play dough or do watercolors but they know to keep it on the placemat (this isn’t perfect and it is still messy but not as bad) I try to ignore the mess until they are finished and then we just clean it up. Also, we bought Ikea slipcover couches and that has been amazing! If dirty feet or hands make a mess on the couch, I don’t even worry about it because I know I can wash it! I am no where close to being good at this. I also want to say that my house is rarely clean and organized, even though that is what I prefer.
If you are a mom who is really good at adventure and letting your kids run with creativity I would love your feedback on ways to do this! We all have strengths and we should share and learn from each other!