If you've been a reader here for any length of time, you might know that I can struggle quite a bit with discontent, and when I do, it's most often about my home. I am always trying to make it better, and while that can be a good thing, and it is just part of my nature to love projects and always be having one in progress, it can also be a bad thing when I allow myself to 'go there' with thinking that what I have isn't good enough. On bad days, my home is never big enough, pretty enough, clean enough or furnished enough. But the reality of my home is this...it's just simply of of those 'good enough' homes. The kind that isn't really 'dirty' (as in "ewww...gross") but there's always messes here and there. There are always piles of books, piles of mail and piles of laundry somewhere in the house. (If I don't know you very well, and you come over and don't see the piles, it's generally because they are behind those closed doors.) In any case, it's a constant battle for me to learn to do my best at housekeeping, and just relax (*not get completely tied in knots and freak out*) about it all. I read blogs of other moms who say "good enough" is okay, and normal and I'm trying to believe them. I am trying to believe that I'm not really a failure at this whole 'homemaking' thing.
Then, last week, I had a really sweet revelation. I was babysitting for a friend, and none of my kids were here at the time, so it was just me and little Cody (who I think is 5). He had asked to play Legos, and I had offered that he could play in Luke's room or I could bring them into the living room. He opted for the living room. As he sat in the middle of the floor with all those tiny pieces everywhere, he said "I really like your house Miss Jessi. I even like it better than mine." I was taken aback, since the home this little guy lives in is gorgeous. And it's not that they aren't allowed to 'play' in their house...he's one of five kiddos in his family, and they're house is very kid-friendly. But as I got to thinking about his comment, I remembered that the last time his brother was here, he also had said, "I really like your house..." Then, come to think of it, my nephews have said the same thing to me, and so have my nieces! Little voices piping "I really like it here..." is a really nice thing to hear! It made me chuckle as I thought of it all because, again...our house is considerably smaller and less 'exciting' than theirs, for the most part, so it seemed a bit odd to me.
Then it dawned on me that probably, what they like really doesn't have to do with the size of my house, or the decor, or the furniture. I've noticed that, in general, kids tend to feel comfortable in my home. It's certainly not 'baby proofed', but I'm pretty laid back about the things that I have around. I don't have much sitting out that is irreplaceable...after all, I do have 3 boys, and there's a tendency for Nerf bullets and footballs to occasionally fly around here. I'm thinking it's because I try to convey a sense of "it's okay" here. It's okay to dump the Legos all over the foor, and pull out every toy imaginable, and to ask for a drink. It's okay if you accidentally knock something over, or push a wrong button on the TV. I try to be very aware to not get uptight about my stuff and always remember things are just 'things'...and people's feelings should always be valued above things. Spills happen, stuff gets broken...but I try to always have in mind that I don't want people to be 'shamed' in my house because of those things...especially kids. Because kids are kids...it happens to the best-behaved among them! (Now, granted, when it comes to my own kids, I'm probably a bit less gracious...) ;)
So, while I want my home to be 'nice', more importantly, I want it to be welcoming. I want it to be a place that is peaceful and enjoyable to spend time in. I want people to feel relaxed when they are here. Now, if spotlessness and the latest decor is what it takes for the older crowd, then I may be out of luck...but I definitely seem to have an 'in' with the littles. And that makes my heart happy.