Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Taming the Beast of Housework

You might recall the post, on the book, called Desperate, that I received for my birthday from Darren.  I had high hopes of being done with it LONG before now, but the reality is, if I am going to make time to read, I put my Bible first (above anything... blogs, books, etc).  I am EXACTLY half way done with the book.  Yea!!! I am so anxious to read it all.

Anyway, I just finished reading a chapter titled, "Taming The Beast of Housework".  It's no secret... I desire to keep a very tidy and clean house.  It's not what I expect YOU to do, nor do I judge anyone on a messy house, but rather it's what I desire and expect from myself, my husband, and my children.  Having 5 people under 1 roof (especially in the summer time) can be a sure way to fail at this desire/expectation.  AND THEN, I read a section in this chapter.  It stopped me dead in my tracks.

Sally was discussing how for years she had a yearly tradition, at Christmas time.  It was a Christmas tea party.  Both herself and her girls invited their favorite friends. One year, they sat with made up faces, bejeweled necks, and girly attire conversing while sipping on tea.  At some point in the conversation an unexpected twist took place.

Sally asked all of the girls what they thought their own lives would look like in ten years.  Here were some of their answers:

"To be honest, I don't want to have very many kids like my parents did, because my mom is always worn out and grumpy."

"Yeah, I agree.  The way my mom acts about housework, always complaining, fussing, and running about lecturing us just makes us feel guilty, so whatever my future holds, it will not involve a house full of kids and messes - it just seems too hard."

"[Sally] gently tried to stir the comments in another direction, but the point had been made.  When a mom complains and fusses as a regular way of life, it will inevitably go into the hearts of her children with great force.  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 grumpy.  It was just who she was.  They most certainly will say, I always felt guilt in my home because my mom was never happy,and she complained all the time.  It was such a relief to leave.  

We can't get away with anything with children.  They are keen and attentive, and they will eventually grow up to tell the story of their home. 

On the flip side, I have come to see that a happy mom is a real gift to her children.  A good attitude about work makes her children feel that she is glad that she is a mom and that she is thankful for her children.  She communicates to them that even with a full workload, she is fulfilled and content."

OUCH!!!!!!!!  No, I do NOT walk around this house grumpy all day. But there are moments where the house becomes a little shipwrecked with baseball clay droppings, fingerprints, crumbs, hamster shavings, a laundry overflow or what have you AND I loose it.  I don't want my children absorbing my heated reactions into their hearts and leaving home remembering those moments.  TODAY, I will take steps at trying to train myself to respond differently aka RIGHTLY.  I will try to erase from their brains, those times, I just couldn't contain enough self control to breath DEEP and tell myself, this is NORMAL.

What about you?  Are you putting too many expectations on yourself that causes you to make your children feel guilty about living in their own home?  

It's something to think about.