As the dad to two rapidly growing boys, I can tell you it doesn’t take long for your well-manicured home to look like every kid from the block’s been through it with toys everywhere the eye can see, dust congregating under the furniture, and nary a refuge left from the chaos with a toddler who will find ways to get into everything imaginable, no matter how many lessons you try to teach or stern warnings you give.
But it’s through all this chaos—perhaps as a necessary evil—that we see our son develop and understand his environment in ways he’d never interacted with it before. He wants to help sweep the floors. Make the bed. Beat the eggs. Wash the dishes. He’s beginning to realize that yes, there’s a time for play, but that ultimately he’ll be responsible for cleaning up after his own messes, and it’s amazing to see him progress from a baby who needs constant care to a little boy who can start pulling some of his weight around the house.
And it’s through this transformation that the Palmer family can start saying yes to the mess.
Perhaps we—as a society—have grown a little too particular about how we keep our homes and the people and things within them. Though I know that even Sarah and I have fundamental differences in how we keep up the home and the chores we consider priorities, I know that I’ve come to appreciate why striving to keep the home in order is a great mindset—even if our toddler doesn’t see it the same way.
How do you teach a 2-year old logic? Cause and effect? That there’s a place for everything and that everything goes in its place? With a little over 28 months under his belt, there’s little in our 1000-square foot bungalow that Little Man won’t get into, and the battle to teach boundaries and cleanliness is one slowly fought, some days feeling like the home will stay in a state of physical turmoil forevermore.
But there’s something to be said for routine and repeatable actions—as of late, after he’s played enough, he’s started cleaning up after himself. He knows which toys belong in which container, learning to put things away in the sets where they belong so everything will be there the next time he wants to play with them!
And it’s not limited to his playthings—maybe it’s through seeing both parents take active roles in domestic duties like scrubbing the floors after dinner or doing the laundry several times a week, but it’s clear he doesn’t want to be left out from the action, looking to help with household tasks whenever we’ll let him!
Which makes it amazing that Swiffer’s products are so easy to use—even for the toddler who may see dusting as a fun-filled activity, completely unaware that all the while we’re merely grooming him to become a well-adjusted adult who knows how to maintain a home when his turn comes.
But let’s get back to the point.
We say “Yes to the Mess” in Casa de Palmer because we—like 70% of parents*—feel that letting kids make a mess encourages their creativity. And like 97% of parents*, we think our kids will learn even more from cleaning up a mess. And though I’ll deny my son’s outlandish requests many a time because of the mess it’d end up making (not unlike the 68% of parents* who’d do the same), you’d better believe I’ve long since learned to keep a bevy of Swiffer products in places that’re easy to reach when the inevitable mayhem rears its ugly head!
Saying Yes to the Mess with Swiffer—How You Let Kids be Kids and Learn to Live With It.
As our kids grow up, I’m pretty sure saying Yes to the Mess will be a regular occurrence—from a three-boy family myself, I’m plenty experienced in the hijinks that my sons will get into, and you better believe I’m glad that I’m raising kids in an age where technology makes it possible to still keep a positive lifestyle despite the sheer volume of things on my plate. The Mess will find its way to your home one way or another—it’s best that you find ways to say yes to it now and learn to deal with it as a regular part of your life, not trap yourself in some idealized fantasy land where things stay tidy forever.
In any case, Swiffer’s got your back. Swiffer will be there to help in those moments when you look around, thinking there’s no possible way you can clean everything up. Swiffer will be there when you’re short on time with company coming over, trying hard to make it look like you don’t spend all your time living like a total slob, having gone three weeks already without even touching your laundry hamper. But most of all, Swiffer’s there to be as flexible as you require, handling the spills, the smears and the dust you’ve given not-so-temporary residence in those hard-to-reach places.
If you’ve yet to say Yes to the Mess, consider giving it a second thought, because at the very least, there’s a brand out there that can help you make the most of it.
May you become the master of your messes and not their slave!
Until the next, I remain —
*According to the Second Annual Swiffer Cleaning Index
Disclaimer: I received compensation for this post as a member of Swiffer’s Swiffer Fanatics, a collective of content creators who share the Swiffer Effect with others through blogs, videos, and in-person activities to show people how to get the most out of their clean!