Less drama, more rose-smelling!

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It’s Monday.  For some people, that means laundry day!  I have a load in the washer, a load in the dryer, and at least one more load of dirty clothes sitting in my hamper.  That’s actually not a lot of clothes for my family!  I must be keeping on top of things. =)  Not!  I wonder where it all went…

(In the chapter of “Little House on the Prairie” that Kbug and I read today, Ma Ingalls washes all her clothes in a tub of water.  I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR MY WHIRLPOOL FRONT LOADER!!!)

If my clothes don’t make it to the folded-and-in-drawers stage, it’s okay.

If my maternity clothes mountain still sits in the corner, that’s okay too.

If I don’t finish vacuuming the mud room, so be it.  Dirt lives here!

If I run out of energy to make the casserole I was planning, and if the crayons stay on the floor, and I don’t strip the beds even though the sheets haven’t been washed in weeks, it’s okay.

I’m trying to live with less stress and drama.

My perfectionism drives us all up the wall.  (Um, you can’t always see that I’m a perfectionist, because my house isn’t perfect!)  I hate when the house gets messy, and I get stressed out if I see animal crackers under the couch.  The couch I’m sitting on while I try to be the perfect home school mother.  (Yeah, I stress out about that one too!) My perfectionism doesn’t always turn ugly, but when it does, it’s, well, ugly.  I yell and snap and turn into a mother and wife I would hate to live with!

A few months ago I was sighing, maybe even crying  (okay, I probably was), about all the work, and how I couldn’t do it all, and Dee said, “Babe, you have GOT to stop trying to be perfect!”

When I have my meltdowns, I think it’s like a slap in the face to my man.  I’m not 100% sure, because I’m afraid to ask!  Just a gut feeling I have.  Because when I complain, even if it’s not directed at Dee, I’m communicating discontent.  And discontent means I’m not happy!  And if I’m not happy, that means my guy must not be doing his job, right?  He must not be working hard enough, helping enough, loving enough… Basically, he’s just failing.  I would never, never, never say that to his face!  Even consciously think it!  But I think it’s easy to say it to his heart without even realizing what I’m doing.

One of the most powerful stories I read recently was about this lady’s trip to the grocery store.  (And I wish I could remember her name, so I could give proper credit!)  She ran into this elderly gentleman, her next-door neighbor, recently widowed after thirty years of marriage.  She hadn’t spoken to him since his wife died, and told him she was sorry for his loss.  He said, “Thank you, but I’m actually looking forward to starting over again!”  He looked excited.  He said, “Don’t get me wrong, I loved my wife dearly, but if I could go back in time, I’d choose less drama.  I just want to enjoy life with someone!”

Wow.  Hence, my resolve to be a happy wife!  Less stress and drama.  I would hate for my husband to look back over thirty years of marriage (even ten!) and say, “I wish things had been different.  I wish we’d just had more fun!”

This doesn’t mean I’m going to let my household go to pot!  (I hate to admit this, but I think many times less stress means more organization!)  I AM going to try today.  Not to be perfect, but to be diligent and orderly and do as much as I can because order is peaceful.  But a home is only as peaceful as the attitude of the woman who runs it.

I don’t want to run so hard that I miss life in the sweet, fleeting moments of now. 

Life is not an emergency.  (Okay, I’m totally copying that phrase from two bloggers I follow, but I LOVE it!)  The dirty underwear, the bowls with dried oatmeal hardening by the minute, the dusty lightbulbs… it will all remain for any old time.  The daffodils and forsythia blooming right now, along with my children… the chance to hunt for birds’ nests being built, or watch the peas pop up from the dirt… that stuff will be gone tomorrow.

I’m going to try to be supermom, but maybe it’s in the trying and the failing that we really appreciate Grace?  We realize our inadequacy, and appreciate God’s perfection?   We live on this fallen, groaning earth, and we realize that it’s not the perfectly beautiful place we only catch glimpses of.  It’s a beautiful glimpse of heaven’s perfection.

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About patchofheaven

"Mom" sums it up quite well! I cook, I clean, I homeschool, and yes, I do still ride a tricycle. I love to read books to my kids, and every once in a while I manage to read a book "all by my big self." I journal about my life, here at patchofheaven; hoping to remember, grow, love more, and entertain my mom and other readers!

7 responses »

  1. Timely post, I was just reading an article somewhere the other day about the invention of the washing machine and how liberating it was for people! It’s easy to forget that it’s NOT THAT LONG ago that washing clothes was still done by hand. Wow!

    Since I haven’t used one, and it doesn’t jump out logically, what’s the scoop with the front loading washer? Is that supposed to be better than top loading? My washer is top loading and my dryer is front loading and I can’t see any advantage. In fact, the front loading seems less practical because one is forced to stoop over to load and unload…

    • Well, not *all* people, like us short ones…

      I think for one, the front loader is easier on your clothes, because it tumbles them instead of churning them around that thing in the middle, whatever it’s called! (The agitator?) You can fit WAY more clothes in a front loader, which is a big advantage for me. The front loader uses about a 1/3 (if not less) of the water that a top loader does, and I think all front loaders are “HE” washers, which means “high efficiency.” You can buy the “HE” detergent instead of regular, which means you’ll be using way less soap!

  2. Ruth, I really appreciated your sincerity and honesty! I think every mom out there can identify with you. I am constantly struggling between balancing keeping a neat and peaceful and organized home but also being more tolerant of dirt that comes as a result of a family who is living and having fun. In order for our kids to have fun, we can’t avoid the dirt altogether.

    I know what you mean about the attitude thing too. I sat down to yes, FB, so I could get a few minutes to myself. I have been organizing clothes in the attic, sorting through girl clothes, freecycling unwanted clothes, washing loads of laundry, pulling out the boys’ summer clothes, pulling toys from the garage out for them, washing up their summer clothes, and now I need to think about supper and make a call for my husband. Life is so busy, but it is keeping a quiet heart in the midst of the chaos that counts.

    Amy

  3. Care if I join you? I need to boot the perfectionism habit and knock off the emergency stress attitude, too.

    And I, too want to be the one my husband can’t wait to come home to, not worried about my emotional state!

    Thanks for the reminder! Keep us updated on how it goes for you!
    Gina

  4. Yup, yup, yup. I agree with everything you said!

    What comes to my mind is a quote from Karen Andreola in _A Charlotte Mason Companion_ : “Prepare. Plan. Resist rushing about the day: hurry has ill-effects. I desire to be peacefully going about doing the “next thing.”

    That is soooooo hard for me. And yet, I know that on days when I’m conscious of my “need” to hurry and I determine to slow down and peacefully go about doing the next thing, we all have such a good day. But, oh, summoning the strength to resist hurrying and grumping and whining….I honestly think that’s my biggest struggle as a mom and as a homeschooling mom.

  5. Oh dear I think I gave up on perfect a long time ago…at least when it comes to the house, but I do need to work harder because I think we did pretty much go to pot! 🙂 I enjoyed your thoughts. I too work on being a happy wife and a happy mom–not always successful though!

  6. I’ve been reading over your sweet blog. I’m glad you all are safe after those terrible storms. I love the “life’s not an emergency” quote you used. Though, maybe that’s not applicable to you lately.
    I’ve got four little kids at home too. Some days I let the craziness get to me, but I don’t want to. Thank you for your beautiful post. It was just what I needed today.
    You’ll have to let me know how five kiddos goes for you. I still think we might have one more. Though, my husband is 100 percent sure we do not. We’ll see. 🙂

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