Tuesday, March 5, 2013
What Really Matters
I used to be a clean freak- Jason would call me OCD for fun. But, having 3 kids in a matter of 4 years really messed all that up! Not to mention 2 dogs!!
The first 4 years of my marriage were spent raising babies. I had my first child in 2005, second in 2007, and third in 2009. Things were crazy for the first few years!
My bundles of joy...and chaos! :)
More Chaos :)
I learned very early on that I can either have a super clean home, or I could have time with my kids. With our lifestyle, it was really hard to accomplish both. For the first 4 years of the kiddos lives, I was going to college....and working from home as a bookkeeper....and having my husband work many hours a week (which he still does), leaving all the household responsibilities to me. All the while I was the full-time "stay at home" Mom to a newborn, 1, and 3 year old. Needless to say, keeping a sparkling home was going further and further down my list of priorities.
Something I learned to embrace early on is that, aside from the Lord, my family is #1. Life is always going to be "too busy"- I will never be able to get everything done. But, I CAN take the time for the important things in my life. My first priorities were being a Mommy and a Wife. I have taken that priority very seriously, and do not regret it.
I am the mom that will drop everything to play a game of Candyland with my kids, or going out back and fingerpainting, or teaching my kids how to bake. We also did preschool daily in our home, and crafts. And science experiments. And built forts...the list goes on. I took them on weekly field trips, had a devotion with them every day, dropped my windex to dance on a whim, and cuddled them whenever they asked. When Jason came home from work, we all sat down to eat a homecooked meal. I talked to him about his day, and told him about ours. Then we had family time, which included things like going for walks with the dogs, watching a movie, or playing a game. After the kids went to bed, Jason and I hung out together and built our friendship and marriage.
Here are some pics of the great memories we have:
I felt that when the day was at it's end, I had truly done my best to be the wife and mommy, business partner and friend, that I could possibly be. That felt so good...I felt accomplished.
They were my #1. So, after them came work/school, then meal-planning and grocery shopping/cooking, then health and fitness. And guess what got left by the wayside much of the time? My poor house. I have had off-and-on symptoms of CHAOS (Cant-Have-Anyone-Over-Syndrome). It sucked! My husband is a huge people person and always wanted visitors- and I would freak out because my house wasn't clean. So now I still had the "clean freak" attitude, without the clean house! It has been my biggest struggle! I dealt with feeling inferior a lot of the time. It looked to me like everyone else had it all together, and I was just this inadequate person! Jason would always try to tell me that "everyone has the same hours in the day, and no one can do it ALL". But I was pretty much convinced that everyone BUT ME could do it all!
Finally, I had a couple of older Moms (they are so wise!)tell me just not to stress about the home. If my kids are happy, well-behaved, and my husband isn't overly worried about a perfect home, to just let it go. No Mother of grown-up children has EVER told me, "wow, you are going to regret not cleaning your tub some day". I instead have heard woman after woman tell me how they WISHED they would have let their house go sometimes and just spent time with their kids. So, when it all comes down to it, I'm thankful that I did what I did. I let go of thinking that I am inadequate, and instead embraced that God gifted me with children and a husband, and I truthfully did my best to savor every single moment.
Now, I have a 4,5, and 7 year old. They are old enough to employ in daily chores, and I am ready to claim my house back! My schedule has relaxed a bit, as I am not needed every second of every day (it's more like every 5 minutes now). I have recently found a great website, www.flylady.net, and have been putting many of her principles to work the past few months. My goal is to decorate our house to feel homey (I have not decorated...like, at all...since the kids have been born), and have it just clean enough that someone can stop by at any time and I don't feel panicked. It doesn't have to be perfect. I've given up on perfect! But, I do want a good schedule to keep everything flowing smoothly.
My first chore right now is getting us all the way unpacked. We've lived here almost a month now, and still have a lot of unpacking to do. We haven't had a free weekend since we moved, so it has been a little trying. During the week I homeschool (since we moved near the end of the shcool year, I am homeschooling Jayna until August), as well as have other obligations. Jason is working obscene hours currently. So, getting this all started has not been quite as "epic" as I would have liked. But I am slowly getting there. Our sink has been staying clean, our living room and kitchen is all unpacked and we've kept up with that. Laundry WAS doing well until our washer broke (UGH!).
Once we get unpacked and I get more of a system together, I will post about it!! This is a journey, and I am looking forward to its outcome :).
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This post is linked with an amazing blog called A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, check it out!