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A lot of things in my life are messy… Poopy diapers (still not through potty training), dirty dishes, and if I’m being honest: My house. But there can be some beauty in messes as well.

Embracing the messy- photographing a mess beautifully

When I was about 14 years old, one rainy evening at girls camp (the same one where one of my friend’s freaked out about lice), a friend and I slipped all the way up to our cabin because it was muddy.

My friend had the bright idea for us to get into a mud fight.

Prissy me? In mud?

I don’t know what overcame me, but I decided to go for it. After putting a plastic bag over my head to keep my hair as dry as possible (#naturalhairproblems) I dove in for some messy, muddy, fun.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new. I tried something I deemed daring and adventurous.

Recalling this moment made me think of my kids, who so far, aren’t real fans of being messy. My son hates dirty hands, and my daughter doesn’t like getting her clothes messy. But there are still occasions where they can’t resist getting their hands a little dirty, and I if I’m not panicking from the disaster before me, I can sit an relish in the beauty for a little bit.

I watch trepidation turn to triumph.

My son’s first experience with finger paints.
Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

The excitement that comes from trying something new.

After a long draught, my daughter was finally able to give her rain jacket and boots a test drive.
rain-girl

The pride that shines after mastering a skill.

My baby boy learned all of his colors.
chalk-copy

The beauty in the youthful joy they share.

I didn’t hide my makeup well enough.
blowing-kiss-daughter

As they’re unapologetically silly.

Shhhh. Don’t tell him there’s a little something on his face.
lipstick-kisses

And bound to make a splash.

I’m telling you, these kids are going places!
splashing-in-the-puddle

They haven’t reached mud-fighting status yet. But with cute faces like these, and quality detergent to deal with the aftermath, I can’t say I’d complain if they did (so long as they kept it outside).

I think we all have a “favorite” kind of mess that we can tolerate. Maybe even appreciate. Like a sink full of dirty dishes after a delicious homemade meal. Or a pile of warm, freshly cleaned clothes right out of the drier that need to be folded and put away.

Sometimes it’s nice to get a little messy, and let your kids get into it too. Some day I’ll look back and miss the sticky fingerprints on my window panes. And my daughter won’t beg me to help with my makeup (trying to secretly use some herself).

Some day the toys now sprawled across my playroom will be replaced with formal furniture in a room that’s much more quiet.

I’m embracing this messy, chaotic, tiresome and oddly beautiful stage of life. Before I know it, it’ll be gone.

What’s your favorite kind of mess?

*Thank-you to Seventh Generation for sponsoring this story. I’m partnering with them as I share my imperfect life and ways I’m trying to improve it with you. If being more conscious of natural cleaning products, laundry detergent, and eco-friendly diapers are on your list of priorities, head here for more information. As always, all opinions are my own.


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Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

I have to say, that messes give me anxiety. Honestly. My husband had to do all the messy stuff with my kids.

Such a sweet post! I have definitely learned to embrace the mess since becoming a mom. It’s a natural part of life.

Lashawn says:

I used to be so afraid of mess!!! But since becoming a boy mom, I’ve learned to embrace the mess too!
P.s. I love that first photo

Yvonne says:

Yeah. I still get chest pains over mess and disorder, but the one thing I will totally let the kids do (and I might even join them) is playing in the rain. I absolutely loved doing it as a kid and I still love it now.

My hubby, who is the messiest person I know, is the one who says, go change into play clothes before playing outside in the rain. LOL! I look at him like he’s crazy. Dude, the best part of playing in the rain is taking those clothes off, taking a hot shower, curling up in freshly warmed PJs from the dryer, and cup of hot cider. Who cares which clothes get wet? Ha-ha, he kills me.

You is brave, mama. My kids are only allowed to do finger painting at school or at Memere’s house. I’m not sure I could put down enough newspaper to keep my from having a heart attack. 😀

Pam says:

My daughter never minded getting messy! My son on the other hand, didn’t really like it. He did love fingerpainting though!

Star Traci says:

We call my daughter a beautiful mess. I hate to get messy but she loves it. She does everything full force and with passion, if she ends up dirty after the fact, she doesn’t care. I am trying to learn from her because there is a lot of creativity in that mess.
🙂
Traci

Liz Mays says:

These are such cute photos! Those messy moments can be great memories. It’s even better if you’re able to get the stains out!

Great pics!
Mess kinda gives me anxiety but when they are so little-that’s where the fun is.

Chastity says:

Such a sweet post. My favorite kind of mess is when we end up outside hunting for bugs…after bath time of course! I don’t know why, but it always seem about twice a week we seem to forget our son just took a bath and let him go outside and play.

Courtney says:

Your kids are absolutely darling! I have two boys, so there’s all sorts of messy going on but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Trisha says:

I’m a fan of my kids’ messes when it outdoors. I’m always down for puddle jumping and sidewalk chalk… Anything that’s not inside my home, lol!

NYCTechMommy says:

im a neat freak who had to embrace mess once I became a mom! And now some of our most fun times are the messy ones! Great pics!! Your kids are just so photogenic! Love it!!!

Whitney says:

Your babies are the cutest and I love their curls!

Dawn Nieves says:

I’ve embraced the mess since becoming a mom. I know it won’t last forever and one day I’ll look back at my perfectly neat house and miss all those little messes.

Kristin says:

I SO have had to let go with the kiddos. I hate the mess that markers and paint make, but they sure love them!

Your children are so beatiful!

Kathy says:

My boys are older now, but when they were much younger, I knew it was a great summer day if all of their clothes needed heavy duty scrubbing and the bath water was a little gray. Sounds kind of gross, but it meant they had played hard and had a fabulous time outside in the fresh air and sunshine, playing with rocks and bugs!

One of the joys of childhood is being able to make a mess. It’s a great experience to explore and learn. Love the photo with the lipstick kiss.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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