Well, let’s dive in….
The Phrases That Kids Swear They Will Never Say (because their parents said it too much)
You know what I’m talking about right? You grew up hearing your mother or father say something with such repetition you swore you’d never say…Like “One day, when you have kids, you’ll understand” or “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “If so and so jumped off a bridge, would you?” . Well at one point in the not too distant past I could be heard lamenting again and again this phrase to anyone who got in the way of my mood….and I’m sure there’s a part that would qualify to “never say” by my kiddos if I didn’t change things:
I am not your maid. My time is valuable and just as important as your time. I do not want to clean up after every little thing for every single person in this house. You are completely capable of XZY and I expect that you will treat me with respect and be sure to take responsibility for your XYZ (i.e. dishes, clothes, toys, MESS).
I love you and I love caring for you all. There are 6 of us in this home. I can’t do it all. Please love me back with a little respect.
hmmm. grown up whining??? It’s not entirely wrong but it’s definitely not effective either. **(click here to read about why/how I let my kids hire me as a maid)
APPARENTLY WHINING DOESN’T END AT 4 YEARS OLD
My family doesn’t want to hear me whining and lecturing do they? Do yours? My family wants me. They want a fun and attentive mother. And I certainly don’t want to create such a spirit that when my children grow up they think that having 4 kids was too much and that they wouldn’t dream of having a big family because of their mother’s lamenting. What if they said they couldn’t wait to leave the home because it was one filled with an overwhelmed mom? -not the legacy I want to leave-
Let’s resolve, together, that we will try hard to notice when we are ‘grown-up-whining’ and put the kibosh on it.
A LITTLE HELP
I’m not the Proverbs 31 woman and even if I tried to be as rock star amazing as she was- SHE HAD A MAID! I love that the Sally Clarkson gives a big encouragement to source out for cleaning help (if you’re able to do so). I love that moms who stay at home might feel freedom in asking for help like this. All too often women write their job descriptions in a metaphorical Sharpie so that it’s never changing. Sometimes we need to change our roles, adjust things. Inevitably busy-ness will come into your life and make it so that your plate is too full. So if you indulge in the occasional maid service or perhaps the consistent provision of a maid service it’s OK. You’re working on fostering your relationship with your family and that’s way more important.
Life happens and the mess we make is the evidence that we are enjoying it. – said me, and I’m learning to embrace it.
This year has been a year when all things “routine” have been thrown out the door. I can’t clean! I can’t do laundry. Well- not like I used too. I need help but we’re not able to source out a cleaning service. So I’ve got “anchors” in place to help with the rhythm of our day. Sally Clarkson says that she made sure she had “anchors” or things that were stable, recurring, and reliable events that happened at the same time each day. For her, she anchored chores immediately after breakfast. She anchored a 15 minute clean up at 5 pm every night (she loved welcoming her husband home with a bit of order and cleanliness after a long day of work). Her anchors gave her predictability in the craziness of life and motherhood. I’ve had anchors for a while now but I thinking acknowledging them as sanity savers just gave them a little more power!
YET ANOTHER HOMESCHOOL BLESSING
At the decision to homeschool I constantly heard from the Lord that he was going to bless this time immeasurably. He didn’t tell me how but I I also heard him tell me it was up to me to decide And that’d I’d be walking away from so much goodness if I chose not to homeschool.
Adding to the list of blessings:
# 25 I’ve stopped whining about the house (for the most part)
#26 The kids and I have never made more messes and had more fun enjoying our time together
QUOTES FROM THE BOOK THAT DESERVE A SHOUT OUT
- The point in keeping a home is not to be perfectionistic or neurotic about cleanliness and order but to create a life of balance that brings joy to your world and those around you. pg 112
- No child wants a mom who complains and whines. No child of such a mother will ever say, “My mom tried her best, but she couldn’t help being lazy, grumpy, or a nag. It was just who she was.” They most certainly will say, “I always felt guilty in my home because my mom was never happy, and she complained all the time…” pg 109
- If you want to want to find relative happiness and peace in your home, you must accept the limitations of your children and husband, who will regularly make messes. pg 109 (and I’d like to add that you too, Mom of the house, will make messes as well)
- The bottom line with cleaning is that we have to find what works for us. Set a timer, make a list, dangle a reward, make it a game (and involve your little ones….And know why you’re doing it. pg 107
What kind of environment are you trying to create? Are you a good housekeeper? Do you balance keeping home and enjoying the messes? Do you have anchors?
This posting is a response to reading ch. 8 of Desperate, hope for the mom who needs to breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. It is not a recap but intended to be received as if we were in a book talk circle, enjoying a cup of coffee and sharing our hearts as women who are reflective and relational.