When It's Time To Stop Cleaning And Time To Start Making A Mess!

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I know sometimes its hard to believe, but our kids are our very own in-house joy makers. And if today you're thinking "I could use a little bit of joy", then here's my advice: put down the dishtowel, put down that spray bottle, get down on the ground, and roll around in a gloriously ridiculous pile of toys!

Maybe you're having "one of those days". The house is a mess, you've woken up with a headache, the shower was cold, whatever! for whatever reason life is just not working for you today. Can I remind you that the cleaning can wait? Can I remind you just how therapeutic it is to build Lego? To color in? To get your fingers sticky in some paint and swish those sticky pages around on paper?

Sometimes I tell myself that I shouldn't burden my kids with my foul moods. But by withdrawing from them it only heightens my mood's effect. A way more successful strategy I've found is to allow my mood to be lifted by really zooming in on their light-hearted joy.

Maybe today's just a normal day, but for you, you're prone to being busy - filling your time with busy housework. Can I remind you, busy Moms and Dad of the world, that slowing down, even stopping, and getting down on the ground with your little one can open up for you a magical world we sometimes forget exists?

Every time I stop and really play with my three-year-old and his crazy collection of construction equipment, I am amazed at his imagination. Today he made a double-decker dump truck, yesterday it was a monster truck with a flame throwing crane!

I know our time can fill up, or our moods can be overwhelming, but today, set a challenge for yourself - a good 30 minutes, down on the ground, making a mess. Sure, there'll be cleaning up to do after that. But I'm pretty certain, it will be worth it.

(Image credits: Alison Gerber)