Monday, August 5, 2013

Definitely Not "Mom of the Year" Today

The title of this blog is "Sassy and Sincere" and when I started to write a few years ago, one thing I promised myself is that I'd be real.  I'd be honest. I'd be sincere. I'd talk about the good and the bad of being a woman, a wife, a mom, a social worker, a Christ-follower...of living this thing we call life.  Today is a day I need to be real.  I need to admit my faults and to confess my sin. Today is a day when I admit that I can love Christ, love my family, and love my children and yet I can still feel like I'm losing it!  Today is a day that I acknowledge Satan grabbed hold of an area of my life and I let him run with it.  Today, I need you to bear with me and to just let me vent my heart.  If you've ever felt the same way, let me know...we all need someone to hold us up every now and then, right?

I came home from work a little late today, already feeling a little defeated because I didn't feel I accomplished much during my day.  I shouldn't have, perhaps, but I decided to give myself an hour and stopped at my favorite nail shop for a touch-up before vacation.  Of course, that combination means I'm now feeling a little overwhelmed.  I arrived home and pushed the button to open the garage only to be immediately reminded of a mess and was a little frustrated that I couldn't park in the garage.  Entering the house, I'm reminded again of the laundry that we didn't get finished over the weekend and then I entered the kitchen to be reminded that the kids have been snacking all day.  One step into the living room tells me its been a day of pillows & blankets, computer & XBOX, and general "do nothing-ness".  Walking into the girls' bedrooms tells me the house is way too small for all the stuff we have and a peek in the bathroom tells me the kids forgot to rinse the toothpaste from the sink and to take their dirty laundry to the laundry room.  A peek into the boys room reminds me that I neglected to pick up all the hangers tossed to the floor during an impromptu closet purge over the weekend and I see the boys had apparently had a small lego battle, leaving behind a mess of legos on the floor.  Walking into the master bedroom tells me my husband attempted to help with laundry but didn't manage to get it put away and that I haven't efficiently put my jewelry away upon removing it for at least 3 weeks. 

Basically, it was like a small tornado had hit my home and left behind a path of family-like destruction!

Oh, and let's not forget the boys were apparently really getting on one another's nerves today because they were in all-out bicker mode.

Good times.

In an effort to, perhaps, deny my part in all of this I tried to pull the kids into "clean-up" mode which hailed a range of high-pitched squeals and whines almost worth of dog-whistle tones.  I still find it amazing that none of my children made the mess...and yet, a mess there is.  Can anyone relate to  "I didn't do it!" "But mom, I didn't get anything out!"  "Why should I have to clean it up?"  and so on.  My answers of "because you live here" or "I didn't do it either" go unheard.

About a half hour goes by of trying to make dinner while trying to get the kids to pick-up and I fail.  I lose it.  I yelled.  I barked orders.  I refused to listen.  I blamed it all on everyone else and I denied my failure to prioritize and to adequately adjust to life as a working-mom. 

This is the first summer in 12 years I've worked.  I feel like I've missed the whole summer and I feel like I've failed my kids.  I have missed spending time with them and I've failed at keeping up with my duties at home. I have even allowed Satan to tempt me into blaming my family!  I've forgotten to acknowledge that my husband has done far more laundry than I over the past 3 months and I've neglected to admit my laziness at home has led to way more fast-food or restaurant meals than has been healthy for our waistlines or our budget. I've just not managed myself or my time well.

As I tried to regain my composure, only half-succeeding, I sat the kids at the table over spaghetti and we developed a list of chores.  We wrote several of the chores onto strips of paper and drew 3 per child.  These chores will be put back each Sunday and the family will re-draw.  We also assigned "standing chores" to each family member...things we will each be responsible for each week, with no rotation.  Each child had equal say into what they will take responsibility for in their shared bedrooms and Mom and Dad were assigned larger chores as well.  I gotta tell ya...I've always hated the idea of a chore chart...thinking "just do the chore you're told to do during family cleaning time".  I may be changing my mind!

Finally!!!  After each child drew their chores (which they seemed to actually halfway enjoy doing) and having an agreement that each child will re-draw on Sunday, each child went their own way and completed their little list!  It actually seemed to work and the house no longer feels like a disaster zone. 

Prayers and fingers crossed we can and will stick with this plan.  We need this thing to be successful and tomorrow, we need to have a much better day! 

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