Embracing the Mess

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The Mess. The mess! It is everywhere!

In my kitchen. There is oil splattered everywhere as I write this. My 3-year old was trying to “cook”, so she poured water into the oil standing on the stove. To remedy the situation, I placed the oil on the fire, hoping to heat it up and let the water evaporate.

But the water was way too much and let to a splitter splatter party in the kitchen, with oil reaching places that oil should never reach. I have tried to clean it but I couldn’t get a significant amount out. The mess is way too much! Please bring me a million paper towels!

The Mess. It is on my living room floor as I try to walk through and get pierced by little toys on the rug.

It is on my kitchen table as little particles get stuck on it and I have to clean that table like 1000 times in a day.

It is on my floor, everywhere. There are particles, one-sided socks, things that shouldn’t be there but they are there because, alas, I have kids.

And what about the random papers everywhere? I mean papers with all sorts of drawings. Because my daughter is a “budding artist” and can literally spend all her day drawing and coloring stuff.

My life is undesirably characterized by the mess. And for too long, I got angry about the mess (and I still get frustrated with the mess every now and then). Why can’t everything just be in perfect order? Why are there always dishes to wash? Why, why, why?

Then I felt God gently nudging my heart and telling me the mess is an important part of growth. You see, my kids won’t quite grow if I don’t let them explore. If I want every place to be clean, prim and proper all the time, I won’t give them a chance to try the things they should try – the things that often result in the mess.

If I don’t let them assist me in the kitchen, how will they learn to cook? But here is the thing: their assisting me in the kitchen often means, some ingredients that shouldn’t have fallen if I were cooking solo fall down. And the kitchen turns out way messier than it should have been if I cooked alone.

If I don’t let them do the dishes, how will they learn to wash them? But when they do the dishes, there is soap and water and water everywhere. More mess! Why has the mess chosen to be friends with me?

But here is the thing: they learn something new each time they try something and create a mess. The mess is essential to help them grow.

So I have learned to embrace the mess. It is a necessary part of life. Times of growth are times of messiness. There will be potty accidents before the little human eventually learns how to use the potty. There will be cooking disasters before the little person eventually learns how to cook. There will be spills, oil splatters and all sorts of things in between.

In all these, I find solace that little people are growing in the midst of the mess. They are learning. My kids are being transformed every day, one mess at a time.

While I want them to grow up to be neat and organized people, I understand for now that there will be accidents before they learn to avoid accidents. There will be mistakes before they learn to do it the right way.

I still get angry and bitter at the mess but I’m learning to embrace and tell myself that it is necessary. Being angry won’t help. The mess is an important part of growth. As their mama, all I need to do is give them a message from the mess and clean up after them.

Expecting a life free of mess with kids is like expecting the sun not to set. That’s not going to happen. So, moms, we must learn to embrace the mess and work around it. We must learn to find solace in the fact that we need the mess, our kids need the mess in order to grow.

What are the messy situations that drive you crazy at your home? Meanwhile, any ideas on how I can clean A LOT of oil off my kitchen cabinets, floor, stove, and in tiny little places?

P.S. I wrote this post two years ago. Still so relevant today!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at YouTube.com/PreciousKitchen.

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  1. Very inspiring. The mess is an important part of growth. The lyrics of ‘Little Dirt’ by MaryMary came to mind as I read this. A part says;

    “Life at times can make you weak.
    And I have cried myself to sleep
    Cause reality makes you cry
    But the truth will dry your eyes
    Things they just can’t stay the same
    When you work hard and you pray
    Yeah it may be kind of rough now
    But the point I’m trying to make is that we
    Need a little bit
    Need a little bit of dirt to grow”

    P.s I’ve missed you and this space. Such a delight to stop by. Hugs.

    1. Oh thanks for that song, Amaka! So much life in those words. I have missed you, sissy. Hope you are good.

  2. Hi Pre,
    Embracing the mess…. after 5 kids i’ve learnt to just go with the flow. It does drives one crazy at times though when you want everything to look squeaky clean but someone who thinks she’s a mini mama has just messed things up. Come and see my kitchen when they are in the kitchen and everybody has some different recipe they want to try out at the same time!!! I just poor myself a big glass of Irish cream and go hide in my room so that i don’t freak out and freak them out too that i’m a mama from hell.
    Look at the bright side though, they are learning, messing up the house but in the processing becoming independent. As my mother always says “dem go big one day..you go find man for scatter your house you no go see”

    1. I like your going to hide technique. I do that too sometimes. Hahaha.
      They are so becoming independent in the process of being messy so we really do need that mess. Thanks for sharing, sis. Glad to know that I am not alone.

  3. Hello Precious! I have mess all around me as recover from a bad ankle sprain. It is frustrating, but I feel God is trying to teach me something about patience and appreciating what is important, my family.
    Now about that oil, try Murphy’s Oil Soap. It’s done a good job on my kitchen cabinets. They say oil takes off oil.

    1. Hi, Christine! It’s amazing what we can learn in moments when we can’t do much. I pray you recover quickly. Thank you so much for telling me about Murphy’s Oil Soap. I’ll look for it on Amazon. Thank you, dear.

  4. Precious, you are TRULY PRECIOUS and truly inspiring. You are not only changing homes through the precious posts from your kitchen, but dear may God bless you for sharing out your heart. I really love this post, its touched me deep because i’m so guilty of often ranting and screaming about the mess in the house. Patience and tolerance are necessary ingredients to let kids grow. Nice.

    1. So glad to inspire you, Solange. Thank you for your very sweet words. I pray God helps us to be more patient, tolerant and most importantly, may He help us enjoy raising our kids. Love to your little ones.

  5. Oooh yes the mess!!!! Isn’t where the Lord found us??? messy in our own agenda which had nothing to do with Him. Yet it is not over!!!!
    I love the parallel between letting the kids be free and cleaning after them and…. having God in our lives to cleanse us from our own mess….
    Like you said, it gives room for growth and exploration.
    Very inspirational post my dear!!!!

    1. Exactly where he found us, sis. The mess is a necessary part of our journey. Thank God for the mess because every mess only makes us better. And thank you for always reading!

  6. do not worry, if all of you are safe, thanks be to God no one got injured. That means having kids, is just the way to educate them.
    Thank God for everything.