Home Family Spilled Milk MOMents: Lessons Learned in a Messy Kitchen

Spilled Milk MOMents: Lessons Learned in a Messy Kitchen

by victoriavadenking
0 comment 23 minutes read
Victoria Vaden, and husband laughing while drying dishes in renovated kitchen

This is not your conventional ‘How to keep your kitchen sparkling clean’ guide.

I’m writing to the moms who, like me, have come to realize that a messy kitchen is a sign of a home filled with life, love, and learning.

Motherhood is full of spilled milk MOMents, and the kitchen is the battlefield where I often face my most significant challenges.

Here, countless spills have become lessons, piles of dishes a testament to hearty meals enjoyed.

And yes, the occasional cooking fail is a symbol of courage to try new things.

This post is all about spilled milk.

A Crash Course in Surviving the Spills

You know, the next time you come over, you’ll probably notice the kitchen looks a bit like a Picasso painting.

There are crayon stains on the walls – part of our resident artists’ latest abstract collection.

There are remnants of meals past somehow adorning the ceiling, though how they got there is still a mystery I’m trying to solve.

And trust me, I know about the secret Cheerio stash tucked away behind the plant stand.

You’ve got to admire their forethought, really.

But here’s the thing: I don’t stress about it anymore.

Those crayon-stains? Just another sign of creativity.

The food particles? Well, that’s a physics experiment in progress.

And the Cheerios? That’s just smart planning.

What’s more, I’ve noticed the kitchen has become their favorite haunt for yet another snack raid.

But it’s not just about their relentless hunger – it’s about learning.

They’re exploring independence, making decisions, and even learning the art of negotiation (“If you give me your apple, I’ll give you my chips”).

And the best part? They’re sharing.

You should see them, helping each other to open potato chip bags or negotiating popsicle trades.

They even remind each other to throw away the wrappers.

FYI: I may have a messy kitchen 5/7 days a week, but it is cleaned (just never spotless because let’s be realistic)

How My Kitchen Became a Messy Memory Lane

It’s this little community of snack-loving munchkins, learning, growing, and, sure, making a mess, but in the best possible way.

So when they excitedly open a brand new chocolate milk, trip over their own excitement, and it spills all over the floor…

Or, when they forget their cup teetering on the edge of the food tray because they’re too engrossed in their favorite show, and it takes a tumble…

Or, when my sweet little one-year-old lad gets the idea to pour his milk from his new tip not sip cup into his toy wagon because he’d rather slurp it from there…

Now, as a messy person, I admit, it’s a bit of a mess.

And as disturbing as these situations might be for the OCD-obsessed reading this, these [sometimes daily] situations are literally memories in the making.

They’re hilarious stories to share, laugh about, and cherish.

So, why do people say don’t cry over spilled milk?

This is our real-life demonstration of why there’s no point in crying over a spilled glass of milk (or whatever liquid your toddler chose).

I mean, it’s happened, it’s done, we clean it up and move on.

spilled milk
Being a married mom of 3 was always my goal in life, and navigating mom life after head injuries is a feat in itself.

Disclaimer: Not a Hoarder, Just a Mom

Please understand that in celebrating the chaos and messiness of parenting, I’m by no means advocating for unhygienic living conditions, nor am I condoning neglectful behaviors akin to those seen on the TV show ‘Hoarders’.

Hoarding is a serious mental health condition that requires understanding and treatment, and it’s not the same as simply having a messy home from time to time.

My aim with this post is to bring attention to the only notion our society so frequently brushes under the carpet of comparison: it’s okay to get messy and make mistakes (thanks, Ms. Frizzle).

There is nothing wrong with having a kitchen that looks like it’s actually used for living, not just a showroom display.

But let’s be clear: embracing the occasional chaos doesn’t mean we stop trying to better ourselves.

It doesn’t mean we stop caring for our families and homes.

It simply means we don’t allow ourselves to feel less than adequate just because our countertops glisten with the grease, from time to time.

We are mothers, wives, and homemakers, and our value isn’t measured by the sparkle of our kitchens, but by the love and care we put into our families.

I am grateful for only having one gray hair and for not stressing over cleanliness as our kids eat.

Motherhood & Memory Lapses Can Actually Coexist

This perspective didn’t come easily or quickly, mind you.

Eureka moments don’t come easy when you’ve got orthostatic hypotension, two bumps on the noggin, Attention Deficit Disorder, and a memory that sometimes seems as short-lived as a snowman in a sauna.

But here’s the thing: the state of my kitchen does not define me as a mother.

The state of my children’s hearts does.

The footprints they’re leaving in the world and the people they’re growing into – those are the things that matter.

My kitchen might resemble the aftermath of a toddler-led tornado on most days, but there is laughter that echoes off the same crayon-stained walls.

Sure, my memory lapse means I frequently encounter a Mount Everest of dishes in the sink, simply because I forgot to deal with them.

And yes, my kitchen sometimes seems to be the favorite hotspot for every toy, book, and art supply in the house – as if they decided to have a wild party without inviting me.

But you know what?

That’s perfectly okay.

Victoria Vaden, and husband laughing while drying dishes in renovated kitchen milk
This was our custom kitchen back in Florida, but even here, it got messy, but we loved cleaning it.

The Misadventures of an Untrained Homemaker

We live in an unrealistic society that often expects us moms to maintain a pristine home while nurturing our children, managing countless tasks, and looking flawless.

But it’s essential to realize that it’s okay to let go of impossible standards.

It’s okay to have a messy kitchen.

It’s okay to be an unorganized mom.

While the world spins on its axis and seemingly never ceases to pause, we do.

We are humans, not machines, continuously evolving, growing, changing, and yes, cluttering.

We are works in progress – wonderfully chaotic, sometimes beautifully disorganized masterpieces of nature.

Our children get front-row seats to witness this grand show – the magic of adulting in its raw, unrefined, and occasionally perplexing form.

The home is our stage, and the chores are our props.

Adorable photo of Victoria Vaden, and son laughing
I have always wanted to be a mom but underestimated how being a boy mom meant triple the spills.

When Cleanliness Isn’t Inherited

Growing up, my parents were mysterious beings who made our home look like it had been lifted from the pages of a glossy magazine.

Not a speck of dust dared to settle, and not a single cushion dared to crease.

I was shielded from the truth about chores, living in a bubble of tidy illusions.

The baffling part? I was expected to maintain the same level of pristine perfection as an adult.

It was as if I’d been handed a conductor’s baton and asked to lead an orchestra without ever being taught how to read the music.

Now, if that’s not setting the bar high, I don’t know what is.

I Wasn’t Born With A Broom

My parents are sometimes astonished at the sight of my beautiful chaos.

“How,” they wonder, “did our neatnik offspring turn into such a… mess-maker?”

If we’re being honest, cleanliness isn’t a genetic trait, and I still haven’t mastered the art of ‘telecleanesis’ – cleaning through mind control.

And so, my kids get to witness the behind-the-scenes reality of a home, a stark contrast to the glossy illusions of my childhood.

They observe the messy ‘before’, and through shared effort, they assist in creating the satisfying ‘after’.

They learn, stumble, grow, and yes, lose the TV remote in the strangest places.

Admittedly, instead of cleaning the kitchen, sometimes it’s just easier to order or dine out.

Between a Mop and a Hard Place

For all you chore-chart champions out there who might be thinking, “Isn’t this just a lazy excuse to evade cleaning duties?”

I’ve explored that path, and it’s more of a rabbit hole than a yellow brick road.

I once tried to transform myself into Supermom: the superhero who could cook, clean, homeschool, do laundry, and still have time for a full face of makeup.

It was during this heroic but ill-advised endeavor that I discovered a not-so-super side of me.

When my little ones tried to help me with chores that felt like lifting Thor’s hammer, or when they requested my undivided attention for the forty-first backflip of the day, I found myself snapping.

And it wasn’t the warm, nurturing mom sound I aspired to make.

Thanks to a postpartum fog that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, I unintentionally cast myself in the role of “Angry Mom” in my oldest’s childhood memories.

Let’s just say, it wouldn’t have won me any Oscar.

Since then, I’ve been on a mission – not to clean the house, but to clean the slate.

I have been desperately trying to rekindle the bond I once had with Mya, back when it felt like we were a dynamic duo, two peas in a pod, during those long days when my husband worked sixty-hour weeks.

My middle child and fashionista posing next to her baby brother with freezer magnets on the floor (again)

Sweeping Away Supermom

Stressing about a rogue Lego piece on the carpet or a dusty corner in the living room just doesn’t hold a candle to cheering on my baby boy when he figures out how to open the TV cabinet (where he’s been hiding our remote).

Or share the joy of my four-year-old when she triumphs over the daunting task of coloring within the lines.

These are the moments that make motherhood magical, and I refuse to miss them due to an arbitrary cleanliness standard.

So, no, it’s not about laziness or excuses.

It’s about prioritizing love over a laundry pile, connection over cleanliness, and family moments over floor mopping.

It’s about being present, not perfect.

After all, the dust bunnies can wait, but our children’s childhood cannot.

Despite wanting to downsize in our last two homes, our kitchen now is even larger with an added coffee bar SMH

The Cereal Trail Is Never the Road Less Traveled

We are all human, wonderfully flawed, and uniquely messy.

There’s an undeniable charm in our disorder, a sense of realness that bonds us together.

We transform our house into a home by cluttering it with memories, filling it with love, and occasionally leaving a trail of cereal across the kitchen floor.

We embrace our imperfect progress.

We take pride in our transformation.

We teach our kids that making mistakes is okay, that growth is a process, and that a clean home isn’t about perfection.

It’s about creating a space where we can grow, thrive, and yes, occasionally lose the TV remote.

In the end, our children won’t remember how tidy the house was, but they’ll remember the warmth, the laughter, and the shared responsibility of maintaining our co-created, cluttered haven.

They’ll remember the lessons learned, the mistakes made, and most importantly, they’ll remember the journey of their perfectly imperfect parents, who were never afraid to embrace their chaotic charm.

It took years before I could finally acknowledge each spill as a life lesson, for me and the kids.

This post was all about spilled milk MOMents.

So here’s my call to all you amazing moms out there.

Embrace your beautifully chaotic kitchens.

See the spilled milk not as a mess, but as a memory.

Take pride in the dish piles because they signify shared meals and familial bonding.

Don’t stress over the scattered toys but cherish the fact that your kids feel at home, everywhere in your home.

Through spilled milk MOMents, I’ve learned that being an unorganized mom doesn’t mean being unsuccessful.

It means you’re doing your best, and that’s more than enough.

You’re a mom full of love, resilience, and strength.

Join me on Instagram, where I share more of my messy kitchen adventures, and my unorganized mom journeys.

Remember, our kitchens aren’t just for cooking; they’re for living.

So let’s live, laugh, and love our way through the chaos.

Keep on being you, dear unorganized mom, because you’re doing an amazing job!

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victoria vaden

a diaper duties mom blog


victoria vaden king

Victoria Vaden

Original YouTuber when ‘viral’ was just a flu symptom. My English degree qualified me to tell stories (the good kind). So, I'm sharing the not-so-normal reality of motherhood and marriage.

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DYEM is for the not-so-perfect, spit-up-stained, smile-through-anything moms out there looking for sanity. Motherhood is messy and full of mistakes. You'll find plenty of that here.

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