Pride Cometh Before a Fall

Several years ago I worked at a Mother’s Day Out.  I helped in the Pre-K room and each day we would take our class and go out to the playground with the other Pre-K class.  The children would run around and play while the teachers watched them, sat on a bench and chatted.  I remember many days when the other teachers would make comments like, “I left my house in a wreck this morning!” or “We didn’t have time to make a single bed today.”  I must admit that, while I never spoke up, I listened with pride KNOWING that I would NEVER let my house get that way.  After all, I had two children.  Those ladies only had one more than me.  They just needed to be more organized, plan a little better, have the kids help out.  There is no reason they can’t leave their house neat and orderly.

I am sure you can see where this is going!

Fast Forward a few years and two kids.  A lot has changed since those days.  I now homeschool.  I teach at a tutorial that requires planning and grading.  I have more children who are into more activities and make bigger messes.  They have friends who come to play and places/things to go and do.  My house–it is a WRECK!  I know it is a wreck.  I do not like it, but I am powerless against the forces of clutter that have taken over!  Every time I walk in my kitchen I swear this is the day I will tame the chaos.  Every night when I fall exhausted in to bed, I promise myself tomorrow I will get to it!  I have been reading a book and have felt quite convicted about my house, and frankly myself.  The book talks about how visual men are and how they really want to come home to a neat house and a put together wife.  SO, today, I was determined–I was going to get it done–Today was the day!  I got started early and got the kids involved. They did their “morning musts” and began summer math review and reading.  I got the laundry started and while the baby napped and the boys read, I got started on lunch.  We were doing a big lunch today because Tigerfan has a class to teach at the University tonight and wouldn’t be home for supper.  I made dessert, I cleaned up the dishes, unloaded the dishwasher, swapped laundry….the kids finished reading and quietly began playing together in the living room (they knew to play quietly so as not to draw attention to themselves thereby getting drawn into more housework).  I started the chicken, made a salad, prepared garlic toast, etc.  I washed ALL the dishes as I worked and even shined my sink (FLYlady would be so proud).  I must admit that old prideful feeling was coming back!  Baby started fussing and I jumped up to get him thinking that I could feed him and have everything ready as soon as Tigerfan got home.  I ran up the stairs, got the baby, took him to the kitchen, fed him, washed him up, and grabbed his bottle.

It was at this point my pride took a beating.  I literally could not walk from the kitchen, through the computer room to the living room and if I had, I could not have made it to the couch.  My beautiful children, who had been playing so well together had basically taken every toy we own, brought it down to those rooms and set up housekeeping!  I hadn’t even gotten one room cleaned, just maintained its current state, and two rooms were impassible.

Now, the good news I didn’t yell.  The bad news.  I just can’t figure it out.  What am I doing wrong?  (That is besides blogging instead of cleaning).  How do you balance a pleasing, neat home AND children who require time, attention and love?  I cannot find a balance.  Well, the living room is now straightened, but the kitchen is not and I would love to clean it up…but right now I have an appointment with the 8 and 5 year old “Ten Years Younger” team. 

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    The only advice I can give you is to set up a cleaning schedule. I have a daily list of housework. Some things I do every day, some things only once or twice a week. I also have a list of chores for the kids. They do specific things besides just general cleaning up after themselves. We have certain times of day set aside specifically for housework. It also helps that we live in a small apartment, and don’t keep anything that we don’t need simply because we don’t have room for it.

  2. 2

    Dawn said,

    We all say never, will I! Oh’boy do I have some really good stories about those times!

    This is so funny considering the post I just finished for tomorrow!
    Just wait your gonna have a good laugh, I blushingly hope!

    Don’t be to hard on yourself!

    Your either a Mary or a Martha at any given time of the day?!

    Let’s face it there’s not a good middle for anyone, have fun in this mess called life and don’t go beaten up on yourself!

  3. 3

    Carolyn said,

    It’s ok to be unbalanced! If we think about it, no one is pefectly balanced-if they were perfect they wouldn’t be on this earth!
    In the Lord’s eyes taking care of your family is more important than whether or not every toy is cleaned up in the house.
    I like the Mary or Martha thought…so true…so true!
    Hang in there mom…I had 5 under 11 years old and also homeschooled them. Part of their schooling was housework…considered basic life skills! They knew they had certain skills that had to be done daily…their room, their beds, their toys, and other small things…and school work. Do what works best for you and what works for your family. That’s all that matters anyway!


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