“I JUST got this shirt.”

I sighed loudly as if the kids would notice I was annoyed.

My 2-year-old was not phased as he continued to dig his electric toothbrush into my new button down mere minutes before leaving for day care and work.

I had just gotten the shirt in question the day before. It cost $10 so I shouldn’t have been that upset. Nor surprised that it would have been stained so quickly.

It’s just that I was finding myself starting a lot of sentences with, “I just . . . 

I just vacuumed the living room and the monster truck is now being used to crush Goldfish crackers into the carpet.

I just folded the laundry and the kids are now making it rain tiny socks and Paw Patrol undies.

I just got that shirt and I know it was only $10 but it’s the first new shirt I’ve gotten for myself in I don’t know how long and darn it if I wanted to wear it once in mint condition.

The thing is, I’m really not very tidy, and don’t like cleaning very often, and messes usually don’t bother me because, well, I have toddlers.

So saying “I just” at the beginning of my sentences was bothering ME. Because it was a sign that I was becoming THAT mom. The mom who gets annoyed at her kids for being kids.

Please tell me I’m not alone in using those words?

Are we trying to emphasize the brief period of time that something was not a hot mess? Does it somehow rationalize our annoyance? Aren’t we well within our rights to announce we had done something to better the overall appearance of our homes?

Probably, but I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Toddlers don’t appreciate clean spaces, or folded laundry, or shirts without stains. They’re the very reason why we can’t have nice things.

I don’t want to be the mom who rage cleans the crumbs on the floor. Most of the time, I kick them under the fridge or couch anyway. And to be honest, I can hardly find the time to do the laundry, let alone fold it. I’m perfectly content pulling clean clothes out of the basket each day.

So I’m finished with the I justs even if they seem justified in the moment. For me, those words breed resentment and general discontent for situations that just aren’t that serious in the first place.

At the end of the day, I’m OK with the mess, because in some ways it is saving my sanity.

You may also like: 

Dear Mama, This Part of Motherhood is Your Beautiful Mess

Two-Year-Olds Aren’t Terrible, They’re Just Trying to Understand Life

So God Made a Toddler

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Stephanie Brophy

Stephanie is a wife and mom to two kiddos with a third on the way (3 under 3 club, here I come!) I'm an Associated Press Award winning former news reporter and met my husband when I interviewed him for a story. I have had the opportunity to meet the Pope and have even appeared as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.