It’s safe to say if you are raising kids your living space probably doesn’t match the tranquil, spotless homes you find on the cover of a glossy mag at the supermarket checkout… It’s more likely there is rubbish shoved in nooks and crannies, toys waiting to be trotted on, shoes to be tripped over, or maybe the waft of a full nappy bin waiting to be emptied?
Let’s do this – let’s be brave and really look at what’s around us. There may be some loud and clear signs that it’s time to do a tidy-up… but are they also signs of life, adventure, fun, laughter, and love?
It’s easy to slip into a shame cycle as parents. Our mates on social media, magazines and even parenting blogs all seem to show picture perfect moments… but it’s all they are. Moments. The day to day of parenting is far wilder and wonderful in all its mess and glory. So, what are the things that make your living space more than the picture-perfect moment? What are the quirks that make your living space a home?
Maybe your household really loves sport. There might be a jumble of balls, muddy socks, sunscreen or a hat. On the weekend there might be the sound of cheering around a TV or radio. Or does your household enjoy creativity? Maybe there are crayons on the floor or scrap paper with scribbles. You might have a fridge covered with the work of a little upcoming Picasso. You might have the kids’ high-school projects on display, or an old clay sculpture in the garden. Or maybe your household values spirituality, with a place to pray or meditate, symbols or statues on the walls, scribbled notes and reflections, and books from ancient times. Or is the mess caused by laughter and play? A deck of old, bent cards on the table. Colourful toys and some old family board games put away and dragged out again. You might have a list of movies you plan to watch together, or some good tucker you’re ready to share with others.
When it comes down to it, the quirks of our four walls really show what we value as a household. The stuff that gives you all energy and passion for life. So, forget picture perfect living and be proud of this little home you’ve created. And hey – if you’re not in a place where you’re enjoying the messy parent-life, remember we all go through it. It’s times like that when we have got to lean on the supports around us. Whether its neighbours, friends, other parents, or family. You can also call the team at parentline who are always up for a chat or find support services in your area through www.oneplace.org.au.