I had just returned from a rare weekend away with friends when I walked into my house to find a mess—clothes all over the floor, living room pillows scattered everywhere, papers littering the table and floor, and about fifty tiny staples stuck in the carpet. I felt my frustration rising as my calm, relaxing weekend faded away by the second. This is a familiar scene in my house, since I have three kids ages eight and under. Even though they have a playroom full of toys, they love to play with my things—namely office supplies and the pillows on our couches.
I like order. I think things to be the way I left them when I left them. I like the pillows to stay on the couch. This has been a hot-button issue for me, these pillows. Having three young kids, things don’t always go how I want them to go. This has been a huge adjustment for someone who is orderly, on time and structured—because kids are not orderly, on time or structured. I used to react really negatively when my kids would mess up my tidy house. Over the past few years, though, I have been working on adjusting my mindset around how we live, setting new expectations for the reality of our daily life. I remind myself regularly that kids are kids, and that getting angry or upset every time I find the pillows on the floor will only make me miserable, not fix the problem. I am working on embracing the chaos, even though it goes against my values and triggers my hot buttons.
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