Messy Parenting

Step 1: Spoon Step 2: Yogurt in a Bowl Step 3: Clean Up

Step 1: Spoon Step 2: Yogurt in a Bowl Step 3: Clean Up

I’m not a parenting expert. I don’t claim to be and I surely don’t pretend to be. I raise my kids how I see fit. If this is not the way you wish to raise your kids, please feel free to share your stories. Do NOT however belittle me or judge me or tell me I’m doing something wrong. My kids are happy and healthy and therefore I am doing an awesome job!

So, messy parenting. What exactly is it? I am a messy parent. I’m not afraid to let me kids get dirty. This is how they learn! Here’s a basic (as in not at all-inclusive) list of things my kids make messes with:

  • I do not obsess about cleaning and germs (beyond the normal scope of health and hygiene).
  • My kids often have no shoes on.
  • Big sis picks out her clothes and rarely matches.
  • 92% of the time there are food stains on one or all of us.
  • My idea of doing my hair and makeup means tossing my thick hair in a pony and applying chapstick.
  • I don’t have a “mouthed toy bucket.”
  • I only clean up the play room (aka my living room) once everyone has gone to bed for the night.
  • I’m not afraid to plop some food right onto the tray of the high chair.
  • We do paint projects, play with playdough, and draw with markers.

Long story short, if someone makes a mess, we work together to clean it up. And that’s it. I don’t purposely let my kids make messes per say but people, they are kids. Making messes is their job!

There are a lot of parenting styles: natural or attachment parenting, unconditional parenting, positive parenting, amateur parenting, permissive vs. dismissive parenting, authoritative parenting… I could go on and on.

Which way is the BEST way to parent? Which way is the EASIEST way to parent? Which one is the RIGHT way to parent? You know what I say, right? All of the above.

Parenting by definition simply means “to be or act as a mother or a father to (someone).” That is pretty vague and leaves you, as the parent a lot of room to decide where you want to go with it.

It’s easy to be a messy parent these days. I have more kids than hands. Everyone needs to learn and develop and some of that happens naturally just from letting them explore on their own. If you give a baby a fork enough times, they figure out what to do with it, you know what I mean?

So what’s my point? Don’t smother your kids. You don’t have to go crazy making messes. You don’t have to neglect them. Just don’t smother them. Don’t over “perfect” parent them that they end up going into life with the wrong expectations. As they grow up they will need to learn some things on their own.


About Heather Campbell

I'd like to say I'm fun and interesting, but that all depends on who you talk to. I have everything I've ever wanted. I've been married, mostly happily since 2006. Together we have a spunky redhead and giggly identical twins. I am a mom/homemaker, doula-in-training and a freelance writer. Our story is magical. Our life is chaos.

2 responses »

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