I’ve always been the type of person who likes things just so. A planner. Organised to a tee with a spick and span house. So the constant chaos, sticky hands and spaghetti-smeared walls that go hand in hand with parenting have come as a bit of a shock.
Most days are now a blur of wet wipes, soap, and constant use of our cordless Dyson (a parenting game changer). Days spent picking up a never-ending supply of toys as our toddler tips the box of the Megablocks we have just put away all over the floor.
Most days, I’m used to the whirlwind of toys, crumbs and dropped toys and I can accept them. But, despite my best efforts, I’m less comfortable with messy play and mud. In fact, I feel tense just thinking about these things. I really want to be the mum who relishes messy play, mud kitchens and baking with the children, but I’m not.
What I am, though, is a mum who is trying to make my peace with mud, mess and puddles. I push myself out of my mum comfort zone with messy play sessions, welly walks and making fairy cakes. But it’s a constant battle.
Last weekend, we went for a morning walk near the seaside, a place jam-packed with muddy puddles. The children were thrilled, stomping, jumping and marching around (inspired by Peppa, I think). They got soaked and muddy but they were delighted.
So I decided my natural Look-at-the-dirt reaction needed to be put aside. Clothes could be washed, wellies dried out, muddy hands cleaned. Because these muddy puddle moments are the things we will remember in the days, weeks and years to come. And we will cherish them.