Messy Room, Happy Mama

I like things clean and in their place. In fact, when I’m stressed that’s the first thing to happen – I start to clean. I like to have the floors vacuumed and mopped at least once a week. The dining room table is wiped down almost daily, mail and other papers are regularly removed from the counter space, and throw blankets in the living room are folded and tucked away into their own basket each night. The sink has no dishes at night, the dishwasher starts promptly at 11 p.m., and the counter is wiped clean. The sight of clutter makes me uneasy. Our house isn’t spotless, but I like for everything to have its place. When my house is messy, I feel like things are starting to get out of control, so it doesn’t stay messy for long. I guess you could call me a “neat freak.”

Messy Room,Before I became a mom, I had a long list of things “I would never…” One of those things was “I would never let my child have a messy room.” Well, the joke’s on you, pre-baby self, because at this very moment, my child’s room looks like a tornado-gust wind blew every toy from the shelf.

No need to wonder how many matchbox cars my child has because they are strewn around the floor for convenient counting.

It currently looks like a herd of miniature dinosaurs are stampeding through the room.

The random superhero costumes tossed here and there remind me of my own bedroom when I was an indecisive teenager getting ready for school.

It looks like an angry chef threw all the toy pots, pans, and food in a rage before storming out the kitchen.

It looks like my pre-baby self would be cringing, crying, or both.

They say becoming a mother is a life-changing experience. I couldn’t agree more. Why? Not only does my child’s messy room not cause a panic-induced cleaning spree, I actually LIKE his messy room. It makes my mama heart go pitter-patter.

My child’s messy room shows his creativity.

I have seen and heard my son playing in his room, and it is quite the entertainment! Want to know why the matchbox cars are everywhere? The dinosaurs have been fighting over them. Want to know that happens when a dinosaur gets hurt? A Transformer/Rescue Bot doctor puts a Bandaid on it. Want to know when the dinosaurs fight too much? A Spider-Hulk-Thor-superhero steps in and saves the day. After all that fighting, they make lunch for each other and call it a day. At the end of the day, I don’t see random toys thrown across the room; I see an elaborate story my son created when he was playing in his room.

My child’s messy room shows he appreciates his toys.

To say my son has a lot of toys would be an understatement. He has SO MUCH STUFF! I’ve tried to donate some of his things, but he plays with everything, every day. He can tell you exactly what types of matchbox cars and Rescue bots he has. He knows how many of each kind of dinosaur he owns and exactly what type of superhero outfits are in his closet. If so much as a tool from his toy toolbox goes missing, he knows (hiding the hammer did not last long). You would think having so many toys a child would act unappreciative or spoiled, but he loves every single one of them.

My child’s messy room shows potential.

At the end of the day, we all pitch in and help put away the toys. Spoiler alert, we clean up at the end of the day (I’m not a complete mess-convert). We gather the empty baskets and replace the toys to their rightful places. The dinosaurs have their cubby, the superheroes have their bin, and the cars have their basket. One night, I haphazardly threw a dinosaur in with the cars, and my son quickly corrected my error – “No, mommy! The dinosaur doesn’t go with the cars!” I couldn’t help but feel proud.

Despite the mess, my son still appreciates having everything in its place so he knows exactly where to find it the next day.

Jaime Mackey
Originally from Florida, Jaime has lived in Southern Louisiana for most of her life (so, that makes her a local, right?). She currently resides on the Northshore with her husband and son and teaches high school English. An enneagram 5, you'll most likely find her doing hot yoga solo, on her phone researching a random topic or sitting in the comfort of her home with coffee and a book within an arm's reach.


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