White picket fence..beautiful landscaping..welcome mat at the foot of your Grafton front door.. then you open that door….
Suddenly you are in what feels like a labyrinth. Small areas of floor are exposed from beneath the toys and puzzles that you must now play hopscotch to get through. Not only are you uncontrollably transformed into a gimpy kangaroo, you are also forced to complete a maze of clutter putting you in a panic as there appears to be no end in sight.
The rooms you once knew to be living areas, kitchens, bathrooms…have all been re-purposed in the creation of your children’s giant play house. The “playroom” is practically empty (cleanest room in the house, in fact) and the living room automatically becomes a dining area once you welcome your little ones in. Long gone are the years of sharing every meal as a family at the dining room table (sorry Mom). The make-up you used to apply at the bathroom vanity is scattered here, there and everywhere. It’s an Easter egg hunt every morning you think you have time to put some make-up on your face and stop scaring the neighbors.
We can choose to drive ourselves completely and utterly MAD by an ongoing attempt to reclaim our homes. The odds of success here are very slim. I’m sorry, especially to those of us that bare the burden of O.C.D.
Here’s the advice. TRY…your hardest… to accept the inevitable. It’s okay to straighten and organize the best you can but please don’t kill yourself in the process. Your kids kinda need you around so they can survive themselves. And being physically alive doesn’t mean you’re mentally breathing.
“Keep Calm and Let it Go”, as my daughters Elsa shirt has taught me. There’s only so much you can accomplish before nightfall. Your kitchen counter may have to stay Thomas’s train terminal for one more day.
As hubby, friends and family like to remind us, “the house is LIVED in, not a mess”. And it’s the best kind of mess out there.