Hidden costs of creativity for your home

The cost of creativity

You probably can’t tell from looking at this, but that’s my kitchen table pad.  It’s covered in stains from the different projects we’ve done.  Once upon a time, this was brand new and sparkling white.  It was so white it blinded you on a bright day.

Now, it’s stained.  You can see the remains of blue from our bluebonnet project or some other project we did.  You can see some brown stains that are from a muddy shoe left too long.  You can see the outlines of the papers they painted on.  I smile when I look at this because I see happy memories.

I don’t have the cleanest house, not by a long shot.  Instead what I have is happy kids, who know this is their house too.  We have things we need to work on.  I do need to work on cleaning more, but every time I do I remember the phrase my Mom had hung in our kitchen growing up “Cleaning your house while your children are growing, is like shoveling your walk while it’s still snowing.”  It’s an exercise in futility. 

Hidden costs of creativity for your home

Instead, they delight in doing things like this.  It’s a huge mess, and we’ve created a lot of fun with this, but it did take a while to clean up.

Now, I’m not saying I should just leave my house like this disaster area you see here (don’t you like how Batman is trying so hard to wake his sleeping sister).  But, I do need to remember that they are only little for so long, and then they will all grow up, and what will I be left with?  A clean house?  Clean houses are not fun.  So, I need to find a balance, right now we’re tipped a little too far in the direction of messes.  It’s a constant struggle to get it clean and picked up.  Why does every toy have so many little pieces?  And it so quickly looks like a mess, but it’s still good to clean it.  Which is probably the boring stuff I’m going to be doing today, despite, that I’m being called outside by this:

All right, now off to feed my kids, who actually slept past 8 today!


17 responses to “The cost of creativity”

  1. Mama King Avatar
    Mama King

    I agree! Happy kids require a little (or at imes…a lot of) mess.

  2. We try to keep a clean house, but even with an only child and with a bi-weekly cleaning service it's a challenge. Getting that happy only child (and in your case three!) to pick up is an uphill battle. Don't pay attention to what others say and just enjoy your own art of chaos. Things will probably change as everyone gets older.

  3. Christy Avatar

    So true! I hear you loud and clear. I often wonder what the kids do in those houses that are always perfect?

  4. Mama Hen Avatar
    Mama Hen

    I am so with you. I struggle with the balance sooooo much.

  5. Oh yes we have our fair share of the messy house here too. Though Selena has started picking up after herself here lately which has made it really nice!

  6. An Almost Unschooling Mom Avatar
    An Almost Unschooling Mom

    I like the quote from the Yours Mine, and Ours remake – “Homes are for free expressions, not good impressions”. But, I did print out the spring cleaning list from Martha Stewart, just for giggles (or maybe it was for a full out belly laugh). Sometimes you do have to shovel the walk, while it's snowing, just to keep it from getting too deep 🙂

  7. legendswife Avatar

    sleeping until 8? That's normal for my boys when spring hit. Thank the Lord!…lol:)

    God Bless

  8. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog Avatar
    Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    I can certainly relate to this! Great post!!

  9. Quirky Momma Avatar
    Quirky Momma

    Your house looks a lot like mine! I really wish I were less creative and more organized sometimes.. but then the outside calls.

  10. SO so true. Sigh. Too often I find myself stomping around the house muttering “I'm the only one who cares…grumble grumble…why do they have so many toys!” Haha, well if it's a mess at least I know we had fun getting there!!

  11. I think your table is one that is so very precious because of all the memories it holds. What does a white pristine table tell you? Some colored stains speaks volumes about the fun and creativity that ensued there.

    A couple of weeks ago Blakie used a crayon to draw on the wall. I have not scrubbed it off, not that I am encouraging every wall to be a canvas for him, but his picture is so precious to me and it makes me smile. So for now, it's a feature. He has not since drawn on the walls and I have been encouraging the use of paper.

    Our house is certainly one where creative play, arts and crafts means there are often big messes to clean up. But, there has never been a mess (touch wood) that has not been able to be cleaned up. If one does ever happen, I guess we will have some pretty special memories to go with it.

  12. MaryAnne Avatar

    I really enjoyed this post, and I love that quote your mom had up – so very true! I struggle to find the same balance…

  13. Adriana Avatar

    I really liked this post too! I know my husband wishes that the house was a little cleaner but we are just too busy having fun to scrub it spotless everyday. I would much rather my kids look back at their childhood and think of the great projects we did together instead of how clean our floors always were.

  14. We tend to lean toward a messy house most of the time, in the interest of a happy, busy child. I can't imagine denying him fun learning experiences just because it might be messy (my mom was a clean freak, and I missed out on so much!) Some day, you'll have tons of time to clean, and you'll be sad about it… Leave it til then!

  15. I love the table cloth. Messes, schmesses. I just found out today that my kitchen sink is white. lol.

  16. Trudie Avatar

    Oh my, this sounds all to familiar! I re used a old box that I painted with some bright poster paints, everytime I trip over something or find something laying on the floor I dump it in there. At the end of the day I just go from room to room and sort everything into their proper place. Makes my life so much easier! But, chaos still reins somedays {ok – most days! :)}

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