Sometimes you’ve just gotta shut the door on a mess
Parenting can be exhausting. There is always something that needs to be done and requires tending to. It is a constant state of mess and chaos. But one mom reminds us that sometimes letting things go can be exactly what we need. Not because we don’t care, but because we care too much, and it can get in the way of our well-being.
Heidi Hamm, who writes for the lifestyle magazine Her View From Home, shared wise words about self-care on Facebook last week. “Today I shut a door. On this,” Hamm wrote next to an all too familiar picture of a room full of toys. “For years I would spend a few minutes every night, cleaning up after my kids. I would hate to calculate just how many hours of my life have been spent picking up toys. A heck of a lot. Too many.”
Like many of us, Hamm loves a clean home. But anyone with kids also knows maintaining one is nearly impossible when you have kids. “I love them. So much. They’re amazing little humans. But they’re messy,” Hamm said. Kids don’t care about mess. It’s like they don’t even see it — because they don’t.
Like many moms, she tried keeping up with it all, constantly organizing and reorganizing and tidying and omg it never ends. “How can you stand it? You can’t even walk in here,” Hamm said to her kids. She admits she was completely exhausted one night and her husband asked simply, “Why don’t you just shut the door?”
The mother of three continued, “I stared up at him. It’s possible it was more of a glare. I had been expecting him to join me on the floor, sifting through the mountain of Lego. Instead he offered me those seven words. Apparently It was all I needed.”
Hamm said she got up off the floor and just shut the door. Because sometimes that’s exactly what needs to be done. Having kids can feel overwhelming at times and we can lose ourselves if we aren’t careful.
“These days everybody is talking about how self care is so important when you’re a parent,” Hamm writes. “And it is. It’s so easy to lose yourself in taking care of everyone else. But self care? Yeah, it’s not so easy. It takes time, and energy and asking for help.”
Hamm said sometimes self-care is “hiding a stash of chocolate bars and keeping them all for yourself,” or “turning on Netflix for the kids so you can drink your coffee. Hot,” or “putting the kids to bed early and cuddling with hubby on the couch.”
And sometimes it’s closing the damn door.
After her self-awakening into the importance of a little self-care, Hamm says there are new house rules. “So now? The kids clean the play room once a week. Not me. Them. The other 95% of the time? It looks like this. And that’s okay. Because this shut door in my life? Is one that I can live with.”