Messiness and parenting | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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By Cheryl Bac

Messiness and parenting

Uploaded: Oct 11, 2018

With three young kids it’s easy to misplace items. I’ve given up on keeping track of everything. “Where is a specific Lego piece?,” No clue. “Where is the orange play-dough? I don’t know, but here is some red. ”Where is the hot wheels I played with yesterday?” Maybe under the couch. “Where is my favorite blue shirt?” Could be in the laundry.

While I wish we were more organized, I don’t want to spend any more time actually organizing. We are finding a balance- keeping track of the important things and letting the less important stuff go.

Recently, I was very lucky to have a kid-free morning and I decided to listen to an audiobook while on my way to swim and do some yoga (I didn’t want to touch the dishwasher, laundry, or mail during this rare kid-free time. Cleaning and organizing was just going to wait). Tim Harford’s book, Messy, was the perfect audiobook for that moment. I only had half an hour, but I enjoyed hearing his argument that sometimes messiness is beneficial. Messiness can cause us to step out of our comfort zone and to be more creative.

So the next time we cannot find orange play dough, I hope we take it as an opportunity to mix different colors together to make new ones. And the next time we can’t find a specific Lego piece, I hope our search for a replacement helps us build something a bit more creative and unique.

Of course there are times when organization is important, but listening to Messy is helping me embrace some of the chaos that comes with raising three little ones.