One day a post popped up on my Facebook feed, and as I read it I started shaking my head. Mom guilt overwhelmed me, because the post talked about how I should relish in my sleep-deprived days and really cherish the “moments and messes” my very young kids are making now, because one day I’ll miss it all. I shook my head, because (as I type this my youngest is screaming and fighting her nap), no. No, I won’t miss this. I’ll miss certain things, most definitely, but there is so much that I’m looking forward to that I definitely won’t miss a lot from this stage.
Emily, a friend of mine and someone I very much respect and look up to, and someone who knows a thing or two about raising little humans (she does have five after all), agreed with me. (By the way, I always let out a sigh of relief when it turns out I’m on the same wave link as someone who has more kids than I do!) Anyway, I asked Emily if she’d write a post about all the things she won’t miss. The result is pure gold, and instead of shaking my head along with her words, I nodded and even shouted, “YES!” to several of them. I hope you’ll love this as much as I do!
We’ve all read those “one day you will miss…” articles. You know the ones. The ones that promise when your children have moved out that you’ll miss sticky counters, cloudy footprints on the floor, and fingerprints on the glass sliding doors?
Well you know what? Not me. Nope.
I know what you’re thinking…”she chose to have children, she chose to be a stay-at-home-mom, etc.,” And you’re right. I did choose those things. But, if my children chose to clean up after themselves, I wouldn’t complain. Not ever.
I will never miss these particular messes…
I Won’t Miss Messes In the Kitchen…
I won’t miss the ants who always find their way to the peanut butter and jelly left on the counter after a do-it-yourself lunch. Please don’t tell me to spray vinegar everywhere they might enter. I also dislike my kitchen smelling like I’ve been canning pickles all day.
I won’t miss the dried trails of water spots and fingerprints on every stainless steel surface. Can we all just agree that whoever decided stainless steel appliances were the only choice for a “high-end” kitchen was childless, and possibly insane?
I won’t miss the 16 cups left on the tables and counters because they can’t remember which one was theirs the next time they need a drink. For the love of God, can’t SOMEONE find a permanent solution for this?!
I won’t miss every cabinet door left open. I.can’t.even. How much time and effort does it take to close a cabinet door?
I won’t miss the floors. Dust bunnies, the sticky spots from spilled juice/milk/soda/soup/condiments, dirty footprints from kids and dogs, grass clippings, the puddle of water at the bottom of the fridge from the water dispenser, and all the crumbs from endless food preparation and eating. I would have to employ someone full-time to keep my floors clean. If a Roomba really does work, who would like to send me one?
I won’t miss dishes and food left right where they were used/eaten. I love finding a gallon of warm milk left on the counter and dried mac & cheese on the plates left on the table. NOT!
I Won’t Miss Messes in the Bathroom…
Oooohhhh, the bathroom. The bane of every mother of boys’ existence.
I won’t miss the pee. Can we just talk about the pee? How can someone with a precise instrument for aiming not get their stream IN the toilet?! You know that yellow ring around the bottom of every toilet in America? It should have been builder’s code from the moment toilets were invented that every new house built MUST have a urinal installed. Also, it should self-clean. Just sayin’…
I won’t miss the dried toothpaste in the sink, on the sink, down the front of the cabinet, and sprayed on the mirror. Cleaning up anyone’s (no matter how cute they are!) germ-infested spittle is just disgusting.
I won’t miss the dirty clothes on the floor…next to the clothes hamper. Nope. Won’t miss that.
I won’t miss the toys left in the tub after bath time that you can never get to before they have dried with soap scum and conditioner stuck to them, because you are putting the littles to bed. It has probably been suggested that these could be cleaned with distilled vinegar, and if I don’t want my kitchen smelling like canned pickles, then I definitely don’t want my bathroom smelling like it.
I Won’t Miss Messes in the Bedroom
I won’t miss the unmade beds. I’m not talking covers gently mussed and in need of a quick tug-and-smooth to remedy. I am talking sheets shoved to the bottom of the bed, blankets on the floor, and the 30 stuffed animals they just HAD to sleep with all over the place! Dust mites probably could have been eradicated years ago if we all as children hadn’t made them feel so cozy with our obsession with stuffed animals. Now they like our mattresses and pillows, too.
I won’t miss papers, papers everywhere! School papers, paper wrappers from the candy and snacks they think we don’t know they’ve snuck in their rooms, love notes from their 3rd grade crush, used tissues next to the bed, and the endless supply of random drawings when they are bored.
I won’t miss beauty accessories. Bows, hair ties, barrettes, head bands, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, scarves, etc. They never make it back where to they belong. Also, it is YOUR fault, Mom, if said accessory can’t be found.
I won’t miss the clothes. What isn’t on the bathroom floor is all over the bedroom floor and hanging out of open drawers. Who knows what is dirty and what is clean? Not the children.
I Won’t Miss Messes in the Play Room
I know it is called the play room for a reason, but if it could be picked up more than once a week, I wouldn’t complain. How is it that when mothers decide it is time to get rid of too many toys children suddenly know what every random piece goes with and where to put it, but when it is time to clean up nothing ends up where it belongs? So strange.
I won’t miss dried play dough crumbs, goldfish crackers, broken crayons, markers without the tops, books with missing covers, movie discs, (the next time they watch this movie and it skips because of scratches there are tears), Legos, rainbow loom rubber bands, and cups under the sofa with spoiled milk.
I won’t miss the stained couch. Remember the person who decided what was high-end and decided it was stainless steel? Well, as opposed to what I would like to say to that person, to whoever invented slipcovers? I would like to say, “I love you.”
I Won’t Miss Messes Outside
Let’s all agree not to judge a family by the state of the yard.
I won’t miss the chalk-covered driveway and porch. When those little feet track in the chalk drawings? Won’t you miss that?!
I won’t miss the bicycles (most are bent out of shape from being backed over at some point), tricycles, skate boards, barbie and GI Joe battery powered vehicles, wagons, and strollers.
I won’t miss the baseballs, frisbees, and dog toys that your kids miss when cleaning up and you run over them every single time you mow.
I won’t miss the toys. The ones that are supposed to stay inside? They don’t.
I Won’t Miss the Socks
Yes, they get their own category. I find them everywhere. Balled up in the shoes they last wore, mismatched in the clean laundry (from the few that miraculously make their way into a hamper), left on the floor where they took them off, in the car, outside, in the garage, and everywhere! I feel like Dr. Seuss should have written a book about this. Can a really inventive person just make cute disposable socks? Mothers everywhere will adore you.
I Will Miss…
Do you know what I will miss?
I’ll miss the daily “I love you’s” and “You’re the BEST mom!”
I’ll miss chubby little faces turned up for a kiss and arms stretched out for a hug. Snuggles on the couch while we read a bedtime story. The sounds of their laughter while they play together, and impromptu dance parties.
I’ll miss the noise at the dinner table as they tell us about their day and giggle at the bodily functions that slip out unannounced (and announced at times!).
I’ll miss the daily dandelion bouquets handed to me with love. The “look-at-me-mom!” moments when they just want approval and pride over their latest accomplishment.
I’ll miss the excitement at my arrival home, even if I have just gone to the mailbox and back alone. The funny conversations with my quick-witted teenager. The 6 year old still begging to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed, and I’ll miss watching them catch lightening bugs on a warm summer night.
While all of these wonderful moments, and many more, can’t come without the messes, it’s these sorts of things…not the messes…I will miss about having these beautiful children of mine living at home.
What are the things you won’t miss?
Emily was born in Winter Haven, Florida, but spent most of her childhood growing up in Pennsylvania and New York. The third of eight children, she has the best memories (and lots of stories!) of life in a large family. She graduated from homeschooling in ’97 and went on to receive her CNA certification. In 1998, she married her husband, Ben, and they moved to Florida for their first Air Force assignment. They’ve stayed connected to the military ever since. Emily is now the stay-at-home mom of five wonderful children, through the blessing of birth and adoption, and they live in Dayton, Ohio. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, trying new recipes, and poking through local antique shops.