Above all else, family comes first. I am a mother and wife first and foremost. I will relish and enjoy the time I have with my children while they are still children (and while they still enjoying being with Mama!). So some other things take a backseat. If you come visit me some time, this is what you will find:
You will find dust on my furniture. You will find carpet that was vacuumed two days ago but needs it again. You will find a kitchen floor that needs a good mopping, mirrors that probably need to be wiped down and food crumbs that haven't yet been swept up. No, I don't keep a dirty house and yes, I do clean.
You will find books scattered across my children's floors and toys on the carpet. You will find art projects covering the fridge and paintings sitting on the counter drying. You will find too much stuff crammed into too little space.
You will find leftovers that have been in the fridge a little too long. You will find a loaf of bread just a couple days too old. You will find the last little bit of homemade cinnamon bread still sitting out on the counter that no one will eat.
You will find dog hair, baby toys and three missing pieces to a board game behind my couch. You will find shoes scattered about, empty cups on the tables and burp cloths tossed over the corner of the couch.
You will find take-out pizza in my kitchen or fast food hurriedly grabbed after a late evening.
What does this all mean? This means that my family and my children enjoyed living today. My children played and enjoyed their time today. My family ate a home-cooked meal almost every day this week.
I am teaching my children through play on a regular basis. I am influencing my children by being a good role model for them, by reading to them each night and by instilling in them the values that I find so important. I am teaching them responsibility by encouraging them to help Mommy around the house.
I've learned over the years that it's ok if everything's not perfect. It's ok if my house isn't immaculate. It's ok if it looks like someone actually lives in my house. It's ok if my children have take-out because I was too exhausted or stressed out or busy that evening to get dinner on the table. It's ok to live my life and enjoy my family.