I’ve always loved a neat and tidy home. Now I wonder if I’ll ever have one again. I know I will, but for now our apartment feels as though everything’s completely upside-down most of the time.
On Sunday Joshi turned 1. When he was 5 months old he started cruising (walking around while taking support of the furniture). And then last month he finally let go of the furniture and started walking, hands free! Now he’s all over the place … and so is everything. Very few things in our home are ever where I leave them, unless they’re totally out of his reach. And so I’ve had to adopt a more flexible attitude to deal with the chaos. It was really hard at first. I found myself fighting it, on the inside. It has got easier though.
From the time Joshi wakes up in the morning to play (usually between 5am and 6am), our apartment become progressively more and more messy as he artistically, and sometimes not so artistically, (although I guess it’s a matter of personal taste) rearranges everything. Often when I’m packing the laundry away he comes over to unpack it. I put one clean shirt in the draw; he pulls out 5 and dumps them on the ground. There was a time when we were in competition around who could have it their way. Now, more often than not, I choose to surrender because it takes less of my energy to let it go and tidy everything up later when he’s sleeping or out with his dad. Of course this won’t always be our approach, but for now, it’s where we are.
Gone are the olds days when Simon would come home from work to a spick and span apartment. Now when he walks in there’s usually clothes on the floor, kitchen utensils in the bathroom or bedroom, toys strewn all over the place and dirty dishes piled up on the kitchen counters. Most of the time I’ve managed to get dinner going, but usually it’s at the expense of everything else being tidy. I’d rather us be able to eat in chaos when we’re hungry than have a lovely, tidy home but be ravenous.
From the time Simon gets home we start tidying up, or rather, one of us does, because now that Joshi’s walking, one of us needs to be with him pretty much all the time. It’s really only when Joshi falls asleep for the night that we’re able to really kick into cleaning and tidying mode. Usually by 9pm our apartment looks fabulous again. Everything’s found a home, for the most part. And even though we know it’s just a matter of hours before it’s complete chaos again, there’s something really satisfying about working as a team to get it all nice again and then being able to relax for the evening in an orderly environment.
There are so many things you have to adapt to and let go of when you’re a mamma. For different mammas it’s different things. For me this has been one of them.