my wild children.

IMG_4820My kids are wild. Unruly.  Often unkempt. Sometimes I look at the beautiful pictures that people post of their kids on Instagram or Facebook and I think wistfully, “How do they get them to wear PANTS all the time?” or “How do they get their little girl’s hair in perfect pony tails like that?  Why doesn’t she rip them out like a screaming banshee?” Or, most often, “How do they have all these clothes without food and dirt stains all over them? I think I need better laundry detergent.”

What really blows my mind is when I see a group of kids, perfectly all groomed, well-dressed in outfits, smiling at the camera at the same time, ready to head off to church or a family party or something equally civilized. I just can’t help but wonder how.  I know I shouldn’t compare my family to others, but when I do, mine always turns out a little rough-looking in comparison.  Seriously, why do my kids always have food on their face? Why are they always running and yelling and thumping into things?  Why are they so… wild?IMG_4687

I’m going to go ahead and say it… some parents are just better at making their children look and act civilized.  Maybe it comes more easily, or maybe they truly just put more work into it.  And if I’m being really honest with myself, I could put more work into it, too.  I could chase them down and scrub their faces, make them wear shoes outside, get them haircuts more often.  But I’ve also come to the realization that it’s also ok that it’s not a priority for me, or for our family.

If I had my kids in adorable outfits all the time, I’d be constantly telling them to stay out of the mud in the garden, instead of helping them dig for worms and centipedes and all manner of things that kind of gross me out, but make them squeal with delight.  I’d also be doing a lot more laundry.

I could chastise them for running in the house, but there are so many things I have to correct them on and say no to, that I hate to add the one thing that doesn’t actually mean much.  Besides, it’s exercise and it gets energy out. Did I mention they’re wild?

IMG_4161I could put a total kibosh on all the potty humor and jokes about body parts and stories of imaginary friends who do outlandish things, but it’s too hard to restrain my own laughter. Because it turns out maybe I’m a little wild, too.

I like to walk around outside without shoes on and garden without gloves and laugh at butt jokes and sometimes when we’re in the backyard I like to hang out in my swimsuit, because darn it, it DOES feel awesome to not wear pants.  And frankly, it’s not like I can eat an entire meal without spilling all over my shirt, either. And I have three decades of practice.

My family might not ever be magazine-ready, or really anywhere close.  We are wild and a little sloppy and sort of always look like we just woke up.  But my kids give great hugs and say “Bless you” when you sneeze, and will dazzle you with their conversational skills (as long you are interested in imaginary friends and construction equipment).  They’re kind and inquisitive and adventurous.  They’ll be the last person to tell someone that their outfit is uncool, because at this point, I’m not sure they have any concept of what a cool outfit even is, other than one that can be covered in mud without much consequence. And I can get behind that.

IMG_4853I may never stop being a little jealous of families that can pull it together and look and act completely lovely and civilized.  It’s ok.  I kind of love them for it.  But I also kind of love us for our messy, haphazard wildness that I don’t think I ever want to tame.

8 thoughts on “my wild children.

  1. Umm YES. To all of the above. Our house is a war zone of clean laundry crying out for drawers. And my children ask, “Where are we going?” when I tell them to put pants on because we’re a little wild here, too. I’ve seen the put-together families and admire them for looking so so beautiful 🙂 It’s just not my calling.

    I love your blog and honesty. God bless your work, girl!

    1. Yes, that’s the thing! I really do admire people who keep their family so lovely. But I’ve gained a lot of peace from realizing that’s just not what’s going to work around here for US all to stay happy and joyful. Glad to know it’s not just me. 😉 Thanks for the kind words!

  2. Just stopping by from the SQT link up. I agree so much with this post, I was literally saying “YES!” out loud.
    I almost always have clean and tidy kids in color coordinated outfits for Mass on Sundays. We put on our best face for that. However…at home we are a whole different story. We don’t match. And yeah, what is the magic detergent other moms use? Because I have to carefully hoard away a few shirts per kid each season to wear “out”. Our home clothes are covered with stains and fade marks on the knees. Half the time, my newly potty trained two year old twins don’t wear underwear under whatever weird getup they’ve got going on. I go on a “shoe walk” every evening and collect shoes from my lawn, but I rarely see them on my kids’ feet. Like you, I have become okay with it. It’s the way we are. I myself only wear a bra when I leave the house or have company, don’t wear shoes in warm weather, and wear my clothes until they are literally threadbare worn out. So I can’t really expect different from my children. We have better things to do than be clean, tidy and matchy all the time.
    I also loved that your kids have imaginary friends. My kids love to tell me about Jom Boots and David, who exist only in their heads and take them on some pretty wild adventures.

    1. Girl, I’m just impressed that you pull it together for Mass! Sometimes I get so close, but then we’ll get to church and I’ll realize my 4 year old switched out his dress shoes for rain boots or something. 😉 And YES, imaginary friends are pretty great, they provide so many great stories and entertainment. Although they get blamed for a lot of “oopsies” around here, too! 😉

  3. You know what part of it is, though? When someone manages to pull off the miracle of getting everyone dressed beautifully and clean and coiffed, they HAVE to take a picture and post it to Facebook to prove that it happened! That’s why I have so many pictures of my girls with their hair done nicely – after all that struggle, I have to take a picture before they ruin it 😉

    1. Ha! Good point! Lord knows that on Easter, I was running around like a crazy person all, “Someone take their picture before they destroy themselves!” LOL.

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