‘At first all I saw was the mess. Their cleaning after dinner was sub-par. There’s still crap everywhere. And for the LOVE, why do the shoes NEVER get put in the bin?!’

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“At first all I saw was the mess.

I finally got done with all the things in this day and I’m just the kind of tired that’s in both your bones and your brain.

I’ve been working more than ever this month. Not to bust the myth of a teacher having their summers off but much of my work begins once students leave.

Anywho, my kids are off and home for much of the day without me. They have jobs and things to do that come from me and they mostly get them done.

But they’re not the practiced house cleaner, laundry doer and meal maker that I am. So, it all takes them longer and it’s done their way.

Then there’s the fact that we’re all living here and eating here and making messes here 24/7 so it’s just a constant job keeping up with all the things that need doing.

We could all work all the hours of the days I think right now and still have so much to do.

So tonight, I came down and looked around and felt like crying. I almost rallied the troops who’ve done all their chores and many loads of laundry already today.

Because their kitchen cleaning after dinner was sub par. There’s still crap everywhere. And for the LOVE, why do the shoes NEVER get put in the bin?!

But then I saw her. My oldest painting her heart out at the end of the table. She’s been throwing herself into art this summer and darn it all if she isn’t pretty amazing.

She’s happy and content and finding her joy.

And that is the stuff isn’t it?

Two of the other kids are in bed, two are happily chatting together in the other room.

I could make them all come running and send the message that a clean kitchen is the most important thing.

Or I can leave them be and show them it’s good to rest.

And in order to really show them I have to rest too. I have to walk away from the mess myself and sit and do something I love.

Like writing this to all of you.

To remind us all that sometimes we just have to be done. We need to rest. We need to say there’s more to life than making sure the house looks perfect before we can sit down.

Tonight, the only people who will see it are the ones that made the mess. And we can easily understand why it looks this way and give ourselves a pass.

We can look around and see the love in the chaos and the fun that was had…there’s a lot of evidence of that actually, especially if you count the many pool towels on the deck.

We can take heart in the fact we can tackle it all tomorrow. It’ll still be right here.

But our kids will be one day older, and we’ll be one day closer to a quiet clean house that is just waiting for them to come back and fill it. Be still my heart that sweet artist at the end of the table is only ours for another fleeting moment.

So tonight, we rest in the mess… and in the love and joy and memories we’re making. And how amazing is that?”

Courtesy Amy Betters-Midtvedt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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