I’m Really a Mess

I believe most of my readers understand that Intentionally Simple is written to encourage a life of simplicity and that I view it more as a website than a personal blog (we have a family blog, The Simple Life of the Boreings, that is sporadically updated.) I try to weave our family experiences into writing but many times the messier moments are not shared on this site.

I just want you to know that I’m really a mess. 

I don’t think it’s possible to live with two small children and have it even somewhat together!

I call my husband at work at least once a week needing advice, encouragement or just to cry. The days can be very long.

I may cloth diaper to save money and be eco-friendly but the reality is we don’t take our trash off to the dump regularly. The trash and recycling heaps up before we finally get tired of it and take the time to do something with it. I cannot imagine what it would smell like on our carport if we used disposables.

My floors are dirty. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably have dirty floors for the next 18 years (and longer if we’re blessed with more babies!) I try to sweep regularly because there are so many crumbs on the floors at all times but I don’t let it bother me if the floors aren’t super clean. As far as mopping goes, I pretty much just ‘spot mop’ with rags when there are major spills or accidents!

I haven’t consistently meal planned in 2 years. I rave about how meal planning saves both time and money but I certainly forget to follow my own advice. These days I just don’t like cooking, it’s quite the production with a toddler and baby and the fact that there is no plan leaves me asking the ‘what’s for dinner’ question more often than I’d like.

I blog all of the time…in my head! There are so many things I want to write about and share in this space but finding the time to sit down and actually write is hard. I’m too lazy to wake up before the boys do, it’s impossible to sit and write for more than 10 minutes when they are awake, nap time is rarely synchronized and when bedtime rolls around, I’m too exhausted to write.

I feel like I spend 50% of my waking hours feeding people or dealing with diapers. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for Paxton, nursing Weston, feeding Weston solids at lunch and dinner, sneaking snacks for me to keep up my milk supply, sharing half of the snacks with Paxton that I don’t successfully sneak and trying to cook dinner each night. And then it all comes out of the little people resulting in bottoms to wipe  and diapers to wash!

My life is not super organized in a tidy, minimal home with 2 perfect children. I’m really a mess!

But, I try to embrace the beauty in the mess (more like messes!)

I’m so thankful that I’ve been blessed with an imaginative toddler who drags toys and books all over the house, a baby who just wants his mama to hold him, boys who want to be rocked to sleep long after bedtime some nights and a family to cook for (and clean up after!)

So, as you’re reading posts here, just remember I’m choosing to share things related to simple living and not all of the realities of living with little ones!

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responses to “I’m Really a Mess” 37

  1. Brava! I was delighted to read this post, not because I am happy things are a mess for you sometimes, but because things are a mess for all of us much of the time. You are human, and it is great to know that. If you only allow people to see what is perfect and pristine, they cannot relate to you. I think you have boosted your credibility by just being honest about how things are some days. I have so much to catch up on around the house that it never all gets done, and even though it is frustrating at times, I value the time with my babies too. I love the photos you posted in this entry. They show what really matters. Cut yourself some slack and know that it is not only okay, but necessary to let people see you are a human woman who gets overwhelmed sometimes just like the rest of us. Best to you.

    1. Thank you Laurel for this sweet comment. I'm learning to cut myself some slack thanks to my children, they just want me and not a pristine, super productive mama!

  2. I really, really loved and appreciated this post. I think most of us know that mothers of young kiddos have a lot to deal with, but sometimes we *still* assume we are the only ones in our situation.__I have a 26 month old and am pregnant with our 2nd. I'm finding that this is the hardest stage of parenting so far! __The messes and tantrums are downright exhausting some days… And as far as the rest of the post- I feel like I could have written it myself! We also have stinky trash, dirty floors (I spot wipe only when I can't stand it anymore…) and meal plannin… what's that?__I've gone from loving to cook, to dreading when 3:00 rolls around, since I never had supper ideas anymore!__But thank you so much for "being real." It really, truly encourages others who are in the same boat. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    1. I agree, we think we're the only one many times. It's so nice to talk to mama friends and hear them say they're going through the exact same thing. And I do want to be real here in this space, reading through some previous posts make me look like I'm super organized and live a worry free life which is so far from the truth! 🙂

  3. I know what you mean! I am a SAHM and we are so blessed to be able to enjoy our kids and take part in all of their new experiences! I get upset sometimes at all the messes my kids make during the day (they are 8 & 4), but try to remember that one of these days I'm going to miss the messes when they grow up! Thank you for the post!!

    1. The messes can be so frustrating! I'm getting a taste of what life will be like without the messes this week, Paxton is visiting grandparents. I don't have to sweep the floors as often and there are no messes made during the day (since Weston is not quite mobile enough just yet to make messes except during feedings!) but it's so quiet around here and I miss him (messes and all) so much!

    1. It is nice to know we're not the only mama doing the same thing day after day after day! But, there is so much beauty and life in the messes created by our children (and so nice to know every mama deals with the same!)

  4. I really appreciated this post. It is so true for moms of little ones. My little one is three and I still sometimes have to call my husband at work to have him console me. Meal planning has also been a struggle for us. I wouldn't trade the stay at home life for the world either, but that doesn't make it easy. Thanks for being so honest.

    1. Being a stay at home mom is hard, some days I just want to start working so I can get a break but I really, really love being home with my kids! And isn't it such a blessing to be able to call your husband during the day for a little pep talk? Just talking to my husband calms me down and changes my perspective!

  5. I can totally relate to your post. I have 3 little ones under 4… yes THREE! They are 3.5, almost 2, and 4 mo old. My house is so messy on a regular basis that I haven't had people over in months! I am a bit of a clean freak too, so it gets me very down to not be able to get it all done. I do very little meal planning and we eat the same things every week. I nurse my baby every 3 hours (she is nursing right now as I type this!) which results in my kids watching more TV than I would like to admit. I can't call my husband at work, but I have a hard time not releasing my stress of the day on him when he gets home. I decided to cloth diaper about a year ago, and I am sad to say that I have pretty much given up. We have weekly trash pick up, so there is no issue with garbage sitting around and it has just got to hectic around here to keep up with the diaper laundry and more frequent diaper changes. Not to mention, my youngest has outgrown her diapers and I can't afford to replace them right now. So yes I can relate and I really appreciate a post that shows me that as long as I am doing my best as a mother, its okay that my life is a little messy right now.

    1. I have so much admiration for mamas of 3 littles! I am planning on simplifying our meal plan very soon too and plan to have a 1 or 2 week rotation. And, don't worry about the cloth diapers, if they're causing more stress on you, it's worth a little extra money to use disposables!

  6. Your posts have an incredible way of coming at just the moment that I need them. I am a working mom to a 6 month old little boy. While I adore my job and know God called me to do exactly what I'm doing, sometimes it's easy to be envious of mamas who are home with their babies all day. Rationally I know that it is not sunshine and roses, but as I pump for the 3rd time today or when I look at his picture and know someone else will get to love on him until I get home, it's easy to think no one else is quite the mess that I am. Misery loves company. Know that my floors are dirty too!

    1. Just know that some days, I'm so envious of working mamas! You get to be with other adults all day, go to the bathroom uninterrupted, not hold clingy babies all day long, and so on! I think being away from your son makes you cherish the time you are with him even more. I will sometimes slip into wishing for naptime or bedtime and not being fully present with the boys because I'm just so tired and wanting a few minutes adult conversation! I am thankful that I am home with my boys but it's definitely not sunshine and roses! 🙂

    1. It's nice to know I'm not alone! 🙂

      And I told one of my friends just the other day that I wish babies came with $10,000 to pay someone to fix meals and wash dishes for their first year of life. I'd love to just sit and hold my baby and play with my boys!

  7. This could easily be posted on my own blog (minus the cloth diaper part! haha!). One thing that I especially related to was not having the time/energy to blog. If only I could figure out a way to use my laptop in the shower. That is where I always "write" all my best posts.

    1. I'm a shower blogger too! 🙂 I love writing for this blog but my children and family take priority so it often gets pushed to the back burner. And I've tried using the hours spent nursing each day blogging but I just cannot think clearly enough while nursing to write!

  8. Great post! I can relate to pretty much everything you mentioned and it is nice to know I'm not alone! I got a chuckle out of blogging in your head because I do the same thing too! I always think of things to share and then before you know it a week has gone by and there are new things! Too funny!

    I have been working hard, with the help of inspiration from this blog, to simplify things in our home. It's a slow process but I am getting there. I re-did Amelia's bed and you wouldn't believe the difference it has made! She receives a lot of stuffed toys for some reason and I kept them all on her bed…so she can throw them all over, of course. I kept a few on there, donated some and got a tote for the rest which is on the floor in the corner – it has made life so grand! Baby steps. I'm making them, slowly 😉

    Keep up the good work! Keep embracing those messes and remember, there are others out there trying to do the same! Myself included!

    1. I think most bloggers with kids probably do their best blogging in the shower! 🙂 And it is nice to know we're not alone in this hard yet wonderful role of being a mama!

  9. just what i needed to read this evening! i am surrounded by toys and books on the floor, dirty dishes in the kitchen, dirty floors in the kitchen and dirty bottles that still need washing before i head to bed. i appreciate your honesty, because there are many days i feel like there must be something i am just not doing "quite right" that would make everything click. but now that i've been staying-at-home for almost 4 years, and we have our second baby i am realizing that no matter how much i plan or organize i just can't control teething, potty accidents, car problems, and LONG lines at the grocery store – and it's ok. 🙂 i really enjoy reading your blog – keep it up!

    1. I'm so glad this was an encouragement to you! I totally relate to feeling like I'm not doing things quite right too…I think we all struggle with feeling like we're not doing things right and that its easy for everybody else but us but we all struggle with challenges!

  10. You're really not "a mess", sweet Rachel … you're "a mom" … and an amazing one at that! How WONDERFUL that you can see past the dirty floors and unplanned meals to the precious, fleeting moments with your beautiful children. As we know, when our children age and grow they won't necessarily remember what we did FOR them, but rather what we did WITH them … and that will truly make all the difference. Perfection in our homes will never be achieved, but if we can instil a sense of love and self-resepect within our children … now that is divine. Hang in there, sweet Rachel. I'm thinking of you!! From your friend Leigh-Anne in Alberta, Canada (where we are currently experiencing an intense heatwave. Cold winters? YES! Hot summer? OH MY!!!

    1. Thank you for this note of encouragement to remind me of focusing more on doing things with them! And, hopefully your heat wave will be over soon…we've enjoyed a few days of rainy weather in Georgia, a very nice break from the summer heat!

  11. I've told you before that God uses this blog to encourage and bless and convict me time and again. Thank you for speaking to exactly what I needed to hear today. Your honesty is so refreshing to this worn out mama!

  12. The most uplifting encouraging part of the post is that you are making the best decisions! Letting the house go and maybe having pizza or peanut butter sandwiches isnt a bad trade off for building relationship, security and stability in your children. Nobody has it all together and if their house looks perfect with a four-course supper on the table means there is a deficiency elsewhere. 🙂 I have been and still am where you are and wouldn't trade any of it!!

    1. Thank you for this comment! And, I don't see how people fix these fancy dinners! Even making spaghetti (using sauce from a can) takes me about an hour…

  13. I really love you right now, Rachel! This post just hit that spot in my heart that made me realise, we are not alone!! My house is a mess, I haven't mopped in ages, and I feel like I spend my days wiping bums and nursing. But there's grace in that… we need to give ourselves that grace, as God gave it to us. And we need to try really hard to see through the mess…

    1. It is nice to know somebody else understands. Feeding (food to Paxton and nursing Weston) and taking care of bottoms seems like all I do too, certainly nothing glamorous! 🙂

  14. Aww, I love your honesty! I also have a constant battle in my head between my simple living ideals and the reality of having a small child. I think one of the best lessons of simple living is realizing it's OK to let go of our perfectionist tendencies. Sometimes it can be so liberating to just throw the to-do list in the garbage! (I mean the paper recycling bin! haha) But of course some things just have to be done such as feeding people, like you said. I'd say give yourself permission to ease up in any areas that you cans. Also, I'm not sure if this would work for you but everyone used to laugh when my mom did this when my sister and I were kids but I ended up doing the same – try using baby gates all throughout the house. It will help contain the mess. And don't let the kids eat outside of the kitchen to help contain the crumbs. Not even one little cookie. Also, as much as I write it down on my goals list over and over, I've NEVER been able to commit to a steady meal plan so I hear you on that!

    1. I'm definitely letting go of my perfectionist tendencies! My home would best be described as tidy and neat (minus the toys) but not as super clean (crumbs on the floor, cobwebs in corners, crayon marks on the wall…) I've been tempted several times to purchase a baby gate but our home layout would take several to make it work and I think Paxton would hate, hate, hate being contained! And eating only in the kitchen is a really good suggestion!

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