“This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Dreft. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.“
Parenthood. It’s really something else, isn’t it? It’s hands down the hardest, but most rewarding job I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve been “Mama” for almost 18 months now, and every single day is a completely new journey filled with joy, struggles, learning, chaos and a whole lot of messes. Just the other day, my little one decided to dump an entire (large) box of animal crackers on the floor, and then proceeded to stomp over them while eating them off of the floor. Mind you, all of this happened in the 3 seconds I took my eye off of her while peeling myself an apple.
I got frustrated. I got discouraged. I got upset with her. I had a moment of weakness, and it doesn’t sit well with me that I got to that point. I’m not going to bash myself for feeling that way, because I’m a human and my feelings are real and valid, but I had to take a step back and realize that I needed to try to embrace the messes, because she’s only this small for today and today only. Tomorrow she’ll be a little older, and she’ll grow a little bit bigger. I need to relax and enjoy the gift of parenthood and not sweat the small stuff, like if I’ll be able to get ketchup out of her dress, or if I have to vacuum animal crackers out of the carpet 3 times a day.
So this afternoon as she ate her lunch, I let her go as crazy as she wanted with the ketchup and just let her be a baby. I decided to turn these little messes into memories, and in doing that, my day became so much brighter. Who cares if she makes a mess? That’s how babies learn! That’s how they discover joy and happiness, and who am I to put a damper on that just because I don’t want to take a few minutes to clean it up? I’ve been working on realizing that a messy baby is a happy baby, and that means more than gold to me!
As a newbie stepping into this parenting gig, I felt a lot of pressure. I obviously had no idea what I was doing (do we ever really figure it all out?) but I wanted to make people think that I really had my stuff together. I guess I was scared that if people saw my child getting dirty or making a mess, they would assume that my child wasn’t properly disciplined, or that I didn’t care about her, her clothes, or her surroundings that she was dirtying up. But let me just say what I wish I had learned from day one: Ain’t nobody got time to care about what other people think! Messes = memories, and I’m choosing to cherish every last one of them!
One way that I’m able to let go of my worries is by choosing a laundry detergent that I know is going to get the mess out the first time, but is still safe and gentle on my baby’s skin. For the longest time I thought that Dreft was just for newborn/infant laundry, but I have been jumping with joy since I discovered their Stage 2: Active Baby line! It was specially formulated for little mess makers just like mine, and for busy moms who don’t want to carry the stress of cleaning up messes and getting stains out.
Plus, the new Dreft Blissful scent beads are simply ah-mazing! I just sprinkle them into her laundry to give it that fresh and heavenly baby scent. I could smell it ALL day! Did you know that Dreft actually removes 99% of stains caused by food or other outdoor messes? It’s also the #1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians, so you know it’s good stuff!
If you’ve got a messy little one on your hands like I do, here’s a few helpful tips from Dr. Hes, the Medical Director of Gramercy Pediatrics in NYC, to help you encourage your baby’s messy side and to embrace the mess with little stress:
- Get Outside: It’s great to get your little one outside to learn and embrace nature and all it has to offer. Little ones tend to start creeping (pulling their bodies with their arms) before crawling and this can get their clothes quite dirty. This is all part of their learning process though, so feel free to let them explore and point out animals, plants, and the various sounds they may hear in nature so your child starts learning new concepts while having fun!
- Splish Splash in the Bath: Bring fun toys and activities into the bath and let your child splash around and have fun. Make sure to use warm water (vs. hot) and use a mild cleanser to keep skin soft and itch-free. Gently pat skin dry and end with an after-bath moisturizer to seal in moisture and protect baby’s soft skin.
So get out there and enjoy the messy moments, parents! There’s no need to stress about the mess at all when you’re using Dreft! 🙂
Messy Baby? You Could Win Big!:
Do you have a messy baby on your hands, too? If so, snap a photo of your little one ages 6 months to 2 years old doing what they do best (making a mess, of course) and submit it in the Messiest Baby Contest hosted by Dreft and Parents Magazine! TEN finalists will be flown to NYC to participate in a professional photo shoot, and one grand prize winner will be featured on the May 2017 cover of Parents Magazine! You can submit your photo here, or you can upload it to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #messiestbabycontest.
Actress, model and mother-to-be Molly Sims hosted a Messiest Baby play date with Dreft in NYC on October 25th, 2016 to formally kick off the #MessiestBabyContest going on right now. Go ahead and let your little ones dig into that spaghetti and keep your camera on hand. You’re definitely going to want to enter! And FYI: A little birdie told me that there’s going to be a Twitter Party with tons of amazing prizes on Monday, November 14th from 9-10PM EST! You can RSVP for the party here!
Happy mess making! 😉
One very lucky Southern Made Simple reader is going to snag a $50 AMEX gift card + a Dreft laundry product to try for themselves! Just enter using the giveaway form below. Must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway ends on November 15th, 2016 at 11:59 CST.