Whole Parenting Family

Apartment Therapy features our playroom . . . and we’re a little messy here

And . . . news! Apartment Therapy featured our playroom!!!!

apartment therapy whole parenting

Which led me to ponder as of late, will I ever have a really clean house?

The answer? No. I won’t. Because that would mean my children weren’t here. At all.

That’s not (ironically) because they’re all that dirty. That’s also not because they create that much of a mess. It’s because my time spent with them means I’m not cleaning our big big old house. When they’re sleeping (all three at once? pppshaaaa yah right), okay, when the bigs are sleeping and the baby just woke up, I might clean the kitchen, or prep for dinner, or design a new blanket for my etsy shop, or do laundry.

But dust? Vacuum? Catch up on all my sewing projects? Probably not.

When Design Mom featured our home, I dusted around the frame of the lens of my camera. And with Apartment Therapy, I may have run a vacuum before these pics were snapped.

But the day-to-day? It’s a little dirty and filled with cobwebs. But the kids still romp around, oblivious to the dust. They still play chess. They still run up the front stairs shouting “last one’s a rotten egg” before nap time. They still love me, despite my poor housekeeping abilities.

front stair

I don’t want to look back at this time and think wow my house was so clean. I want to look back and think wow my time was so full. Whether it’s spent volunteering in our local awesome birth& parenting world as an associate board member for the Twin Cities Birth & Baby Expo (Oct 4, mark it down, people), or running our parish moms group (Sept 17, mark it, ladies), or watching my kids spray each other with dirty water that’s been sitting in our plastic outdoor pool for a few days, those are the memories I want.

Sorry, house. I love you, but you’re not going to get much cleaner right now. And I’m okay with that. I hope you are, too, as you celebrate your 100 birthday this year. (So was this whole blog post a love letter to my house? You decide.)

whole parenting chess match


  1. Anna on August 31, 2014 at 8:48 am

    oh Nell…the times I’ve seen your house it always looks Amazing!! Also, Apartment Therapy? So cool!

    • Natural Mama Nell on August 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hahaha–don’t come over right now. It’s a pig stye! 🙂 So cool! I know! So much cooler than me!

  2. Designs By Katy on September 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Ah this is huge! Congratulations!


  3. […] on your porch, especially if you have one that is a three-season design, an idea inspired by the clever porch playroom Nell over at Whole Parenting Family created for her […]

  4. Sarah on September 24, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Stopping by from Catholic All Year, I love your blog and etsy shop. (And your devotional on Blessed Is She today is perfect!)

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 24, 2014 at 11:03 am

      So kind of you to stop by! Thank you so much!

  5. Maureen Buckland on September 27, 2014 at 9:48 pm


  6. Sheila on January 4, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Found your blog through Apartment Therapy, and it is quite the find for me! I’m loving reading your posts; this one especially is encouraging.

    We too found space for a playroom in our sunroom. Our home is small though. The only place to really fit play space was the converted backporch. Looking forward to reading more ideas on your blog!

    • Natural Mama Nell on January 5, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      so glad you’re here!