As a parent there are some things I do that make me wonder, “Does anyone else do this too, or am I way out in left field here?” Certain things I let my kids eat or wear, items I’m okay with them putting in their mouth, my list of acceptable sleeping spots.

So, Momfession #1: My basement is a war zone.

Anyone else’s kids terrible at picking up? Okay, maybe Lily isn’t bad at picking up and it’s more like I completely fail in the “teaching my kid responsibility” category. I know this because she told me. Not in those exact words of course, but we’ve had plenty of conversations about how she cleans up at school but won’t do it at home. My problem is really consistency. Sometimes I’m really gung-ho and won’t let her watch Paw Patrol until she’s put away her play dough, but most of the time I just don’t have the energy to make her do it. I know how you’re supposed clean up together and that they’re more likely to learn to just put their things away without being asked that way but holy crap have you ever watched a 3 year old pick up crayons? In the time it takes us to do it together, I could have easily gathered them up on my own and then washed my car and put away the five loads of laundry sitting upstairs.

We try to keep the main level of our house reasonably tidy by putting the toys and miscellaneous child items away after the kids go to bed. Sometimes before story time I’ll quickly put away the books lying all over Lily’s floor and close the closet door because it bugs me when her room is chaotic. There are always random loads of laundry and kid items strewn about our bedroom and that really gets under my skin. But the one place in our house that I don’t care about being in complete and utter chaos is the basement.

Kids have a lot of stuff. Our kids have a lot of stuff, but they also have a ball pit, mini trampoline, and rocket ship. I love these indoor versions of play equipment, but they take up a lot of space. Not even kidding, we looked at one other house before buying ours and one of our concerns was, “Where will the ball pit go?” When we moved out of our old house, I found plastic balls under every single piece of furniture and in all the corners. But now that we live in a house with a finished basement, all of that big stuff is down there and I don’t care how messy it gets. I just wait to pick up all the balls until Lily gets concerned about the dwindling supply actually still in the pit. The magnatiles stay strewn across the floor until she wants to build something with them. The mattress was a completely unnecessary addition, but why throw out your old mattress when you can use it as part of an obstacle course or dance floor?

Sisters in the ball pit.

And you see the fort in the corner? I’ll occasionally tear it down but Lily inevitably demands we put a new one up immediately upon noticing this. And why fight it when she plays independently really well in the various forts we build, and Maggie loves crawling in and out of them?

Plastic ball pit balls
Balls everywhere.

Possibly the most significant basement-related confession: we’ve been in our house for over 10 months and only vacuumed it twice (the carpet that is–we’ve never vacuumed the basement stairs).

It’s strangely liberating turning off the light and closing the door to the basement every evening. I’m not even that embarrassed by it, which mostly stems from not having the energy to care, and convincing myself that there must be someone else out there who has a room in her house that looks like is. So, os it you? Let us know in the comments if you have a room in your house where the kids can run wild!




2 comments on “Momfession: My basement is a war zone”

  1. I love this post! This is why Noah is busy finishing our basement right now because the toy mess drives us insane and we waste soooo much time each night cleaning up! Here’s to messy basements! Also – you don’t fail at teaching responsibility – toddlers just drive us to abandon all our principals in order to do things efficiently. 😛

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