Yes our house is messy, but our life is full of love

This is where we learn, where we grow, where we play, and where we explore.

Yes our house is messy, but our life is full of love

My house is a mess right now, which—truth be told—has sort of become the norm these days.

Sometimes I feel like it’ll always be messy—like for the rest of my life.

And no magic amount of singing the clean up song will straighten things up. I’ll sleep among piles of unfolded laundry and relax on a couch taken over by action figures in a home with bright, crayon-colored walls and polka dot (by way of stains) rugs.

I won’t remember any previous life of order or cleanliness. I’ll just know of my new life of piles and spills and old pretzels found in various hiding spots in the playroom.

But then I snap out of my craziness, and remind myself that it won’t be like this forever.


One day, many years from now our homes will be tidy again.

When my babies leave for college, I’ll be able to sit on the couch with a glass of wine, and admire the perfectly vacuumed floor and spotless kitchen.

And there won’t be dinosaurs on top of a tower my daughter built on that clean living room floor. There won’t be any more chocolate milk spills in the kitchen, and tiny clothes that need washing. And one day, believe it or not, our little ones will have apartments and houses of their own to make messes in. Then, after thousands of loads of laundry and meals made and love shared, my husband and I will just have to clean up after ourselves.

And we’ll cry because we’ll miss those little dinosaurs.

I suppose I could put forth more effort now to have an orderly home, and not necessarily wait until my children leave for college or have a house of their own. But life is so busy with two little ones.

Sure, I could cut back on work during nap time so that I could organize...but I don’t want to. I love my job, and want to get my work done.

Yes, I could definitely skip out on a Saturday morning activity to straighten up the house...but it would break my heart. I want to spend that precious time with my family.

I could hire someone to clean for us, but that costs money. I don’t want to prioritize spending money on a housekeeper; I want to save for necessities or a fun trip.

I can, and do, take about twenty minutes each night after the kids have gone to bed to tidy up. It’ll look nice until morning and then the dolls and toys and craft supplies quickly take over again.

These 20 minutes satisfies the neat freak part of myself enough, and helps the perfectionist in me realize that there are more important things going on in life.

Twenty minutes is really all I can give on a consistent basis. My babies are only going to be small for a short while. I don’t want to spend these important years obsessing over putting toys back exactly where I crazily-specifically-organized them to go. (Like I used to.)

Our house may not make it into the pages of Martha Stewart Living any time soon, but that’s okay—it’s a lived-in home, a playful home, an honest home.

So for now, I’ll revel in the cleanliness of our home when visitors are scheduled to come (because that’s really the only time I step up my game), or after my twenty minute clean up before morning comes and the tiny tornadoes roll through.

For now, I’ll try not to cringe when I look around our home. Instead, I’ll make peace with the state it’s in.

This is where we learn, where we grow, where we play, and where we explore. We’re all busy and have important things to do here. Looking spotless is just not one of them. Not right now. Not when there are forts to build, tea parties to host and paintings to create.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

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    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

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    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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