Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Tenet Of My Motherhood

When my kids were little, I cleaned up their room. I picked up their clothes (and washed, folded and put them away). I did quite a bit to make their space usable, livable, and in general a tidy place to be.

But from the moment my husband and I discussed children and our likely hood of being parents together, I said there will come a point in their lives when their rooms are their choice. I will not stress out about messy rooms. I will not fight over messy rooms. I will not beg and plead with messy rooms. I said as long as their mess stays in their room, and their door can be closed on it, we are all okay.

I still stand by that. Even though my daughters room is worse than ever, and she and I did have a fight over it (but it involved her taking my socks and losing them in her mess so it's not against my ideas), I will still let it be. She's 14. She understands that the mess is hers, that she is the reason she can't find her good earrings, and that dirty clothes no longer walk themselves downstairs (not that they ever really did that, but you know, some of the work Moms do is behind the scenes).

I also still stand by closing her door. Because as much as I believe it is her space, and it's not hurting anyone but her, it is really unpleasant to look at. With the bonus room next door to hers, everyone is trooping up the stairs to see the new room and in the process, we all get to see her disaster zone. I will be closing her door a lot more.

It all swirls back to a tenet of my motherhood: is it worth arguing over? No? Then I will let it go. I will love her and be proud of her and know that it might be a possible that I am raising a messy person and it also might be possible that she will outgrow this. I know my room when I was in high school was very messy. Look at me now! I look forward to my housecleaning days!

I bet my Mom never thought that was going to how I turned out based on my childhood room cleaning skills.


  1. I saw her room, it was insane! I was really hoping to 'borrow' the money I found on the floor - I didn't think she would notice it was missing! :)

  2. Pick your battles is a time-honored parenting technique and so is allowing them to learn natural consequences of their actions (or inactions, as the case may be). I support your approach one hundred percent, for what that's worth. (Probably not worth quite as much as the money Amy found on your daughter's bedroom floor...) ;)