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The Unexpected Joy of Chaos

Updated on March 9, 2010

#4 in Reflections of Life's Unexpected Joys

The Unexpected Joy of Chaos

September 2006

In the course of seven years our family unit has grown from my husband and I, to now include four lovely children. This has changed the dynamics of our home in a big way. We used to enjoy sleeping in on Saturday morning, then going out for breakfast and lingering over a second cup of coffee. No more. Sleeping in seems like a dream. It is not a reality here anymore. Lingering over coffee, not anymore. Now we just take a swallow between duties and the refill usually goes cold while we are tending to the needs of four young children. Our home that was calm and tidy is now full of noise, activity and messes. I don’t like messes but they are everywhere. There are messes inside cupboards. There are messes in every closet. There are messes under couches and beds and my personal favourite, messes on every available floor space.

Meal times are loud, busy affairs. My husband and I spend a great deal of time cutting up food, picking up utensils off the floor, wiping up spilled drinks, feeding reluctant eaters and wiping messy faces and hands. Adult conversations about our day are punctuated with interruptions. Sometimes we find all the mess and noise very discouraging. But then we think of the alternative.

We could have a clean and tidy house decorated with fancy glass items and plants that would never be knocked over. We could have quiet meals. We could eat food with ‘strange’ items like mushrooms, coloured pasta and green peppers and no one would fuss. But we would miss out on so much. We love having children. They complete our family. We never wanted to remain “just us two”. We wanted to have a busy household of energetic little people. And so, when I step on an uncomfortable piece of lego on my way to the sink to pour out my cold coffee I have to remind myself that there is joy in this chaos. It is the joy of having a family and truthfully I wouldn’t trade it away even for a clean house and leisurely cups of coffee.


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