What my husband has taught me: enjoy your kids and THEN clean up.

IMG_9985[1]Maybe dads have it right.

Have you seen the Kitchenaid slogan “Cook Like You Don’t Have To Clean”? This IS how men cook: They’re not afraid to use every spoon, bowl, and pan you own in preparation for one meal. It’s also how men live in their house. And… It’s how they play with their children.

If you watched me play with my 1 and 2-year-old sons, you’d see me sneaking toys back to their boxes as soon as (I hoped) they were done playing with them. My husband, however, isn’t afraid to let them empty every toy vessel in their room. Then he’ll chase them into their high chairs and go back and tidy while they’re stuffing their faces full of… well, daddy dietary choices and their perception of appropriate baby feeding times will be saved for another blog.

Since we became parents almost 2 ½ years ago, I have watched my husband in action.

Messy RoomAnd this is what I’ve learned:

1. IT IS OKAY- IF NOT PREFERENTIAL- TO MAKE A MESS! You’ve seen the Pinterest now-cliché “Please excuse the mess, the children are busy making memories”? I used to wince when the kids splashed water on my top while I gave them a bath… Now, I’m grateful if there is less than an inch of water flooding the bathroom floor.

The change came when I realized we weren’t going to raise an Olympic swimmer if Mommy modeled disgust at a few droplets of water.

2. A BROKEN ITEM CAN TEACH MORE LESSONS.

The Mom Scenario:

Mom sees potential hazard and moves it. End of story.

The Dad Scenario:

Dad never dreamed his 2-year-old would throw the snowglobe on the ground that was just handed to him. But in the 15 minutes that follow the breakage, 2-year-old will learn: cleaning, responsibility, and how to say, “I’m Sorry.” Dad and son will also dissect the inside of the globe (science lesson!), and if  he cut his finger–medical lesson! Dad will probably whisper, “Son, you are far more important than any material object” (lesson in FATHERLY LOVE!).

3. CLEAN-UP IS QUICKER SANS-KIDLETTES.

Daddy Vacuming

 

If possible, clean around your baby’s sleep schedule. But in case they’re awake, it’s time to get out the pillows, blankets, and a chair for some serious FORT TIME.

I believe GOOOD parenting is not determined by whether you compiled the most perfect baby shower registry, whether you were a breastfeeding mom, or know all the lyrics to “Rock a Bye Baby.” Good parents spend their time LOVING their kids and their spouse.

And GREAT parents… Are ready to get their hands messy.

 


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Tracy

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