you only get one

You only get one chance to enjoy them while they are little. It’s important to take in all the joy and fond memories with them, and be proud of the family you built. When your old and grey some of the best advice received from every grandparent is to enjoy them at that age because it goes by so fast!  You only have 18 years with them. That’s only 18 summers, 18 winters, 18 birthdays and it’s over. Remember we’ve got the best seat in the house as parents to soak in all these simple, boring, quarantined days and turn them into monumental ones that our kids will always remember.

I see so many grandparents that are “enjoying” their grandkids more than they did their kids. Maybe this is inevitable, but I want to make the time for my kids now! I want to show up for them, have no regrets of working too much and missing their big moments. Do you feel the same?? Have you ever heard anyone say, “Geez, I wish I would have stayed later at work on this day, rather than going to XYZ with my family.” No one, no one ever people.

It’s like being on a fun, but yet terrifying roller coaster, bracing for the fast drop, anticipating the butterflies and exhilaration, longing for the thrill of it, but not wanting it to come to an end at the same time. Because in all honesty it truly does go by so fast. It’s happening right before our very own eyes. When grandparents look back at their lives, raising their kids were their fondest memories. We all need to be a little more mindful of that! 

 

CHILDHOOD IS A LIMITED EDITION GIFT

Once upon a time my house sparkled. I told myself if my biggest issue was having to pick up my husband’s towel from the floor, I was a lucky woman. Then three kids later led to a houseful of towels on the floor with no one showing any interest in placing them where they belong.  And not just towels, but toys, school messes, laundry, dishes, and feeling like I could barely keep my head above water. But before I know it I’ll be tidying up empty rooms and having to pick up one, two, maybe three fewer towels from the floor.

Every day we wake up we are one day closer to that sparkling clean house. I’m sure my husband’s towel will need to be picked up, but until then the mess means we’re living life. Childhood is a limited edition gift that won’t last forever. Remember you only get one opportunity to live amongst the chaos for a while, and I swear someday you will miss it.

Your house will be plenty clean when they are gone. So many say that but don’t live by that statement? We decluttered big-time before the holidays so it’s even quicker to pick up and more time to play. I even jumped into Allie Casazza’s free Declutter Like A Mother challenge in January (she offers it yearly). Being honest here, I was ALL IN those first 2-3 weeks, okay 2 weeks as I was also doing a similar week-long challenge with Renae Fieck. I’d probably not recommend this BTW, one course even if it was free – at a time. None the less – we became free of soooooo much clutter! (We still have more to get rid of, but we’ve started the year off pretty well, and it feels sooooo good!)

 

IT’S A SPRINT NOT A MARATHON

Start small, target certain areas, don’t spend too much time on a task that leads to frustration or becomes too overwhelming. Don’t rush it or else you will tire yourself out too quickly. When I started decluttering before the holidays I started small. Think small and it will pay big dividends.

No one needs multiple sets of measuring cups, endless ladle spoons, and colanders…Unless you are a profesh right? RIGHT! Or the “butt paste” diaper rash cream you’ve had from your first child and still haven’t used on the rest of your kids? You saved them since they are pricey. Just me? I doubt it. Let’s be honest, money can still get tight, so tossing out something that was of expense that you “might” use later was worth the save….then. Not now if you are out of the business of baby-making OR not using anyways! Pitch it!

We hold onto things, well I do, when there is a financial tie.

The same goes for gifts given, the emotion of letting that person down by getting rid of it. When in truth, if you are not using/wearing the item, they shouldn’t expect you to keep it if they were in the giving spirit of that item of pleasing you. (Unless you are my mother! Sorry mom, I love you!)

Having recently started feeling like I have more time to myself that I’ve craved for the last 5 years. We have less to pick up, less to clean by having less stuff. So now I want this phase to last! The girls play well together, Gracyn is exploring on her own, good and bad. Lol! These years are meant to be enjoyed while the girls still want me around. I’m glad I’m not constantly cleaning or picking up their childhood.

 

A DECLUTTERED LIFE

Let’s put it into action!

What small shift or mental edit can you overcome to enjoy your life more NOW?

  • Are you going to commit to riding your home of clutter and buying less to fill it back up?
  • Are you going to have fewer “excess” items on your counter? 
  • Can you commit to cleaning one area of your house each weekday to free up your weekend for family activities?
  • Did you get that house cleaner from Santa, or are your kids old enough to have a small chore to help take something off your plate?
  • Go through toys and eliminate broken or duplicates?
  • Do a load of laundry every night to avoid tackling the mountain all weekend? 

My kiddos help occasionally with unloading the dishwasher or gathering the small garbage bags around the house and refilling with empty sacks. It doesn’t take much time when they treat it like a game and it also teaches responsibility at a young age. Which is a bonus. Wink. And always remember, these busy toddler/child years can feel like a million years, but you’ll blink and that house will be sparkly clean in no time. Savor every single instant, even if it’s filled with tantrums, poop-explosions, running late, sleep deprivation and the list goes on and on, but you only get one chance with them being little!

Any small action will grant you the TIME back to BE PRESENT with your “people” NOW!

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