Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Solution To The Problem

As previously mentioned, I have been struggling with things here at home. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard! I know I think my life is hard and then I talk to people who have more children than I do and realize their life is hard, too. I have a friend preparing for twins and I know her life is about to become harder. Reflectively, I have to wonder how much of my stressors are self-induced. Am I to blame for being frustrated? What have I done to make or break the situation? I'm of the mind that if I'm the cause of the problem, then I can also be the solution. While that may be true, to what end?

To solve my previous problem of how to get it all done, I devised a very complex schedule that provided time to get the house cleaned and everything done. (Of course, my children were being entertained by Walt Disney while the house was getting cleaned.) That worked for a week. The following week, chaos ensued again. The familiar feeling of failure was back like a bad habit. A friend of mine reported all I really needed was someone to come in twice a month and do the deep cleaning that seemed to evade me. What a brilliant idea! So I made the phone call and found someone to come in and do the cleaning for me. The end result of that phone call was a meltdown of gigantic proportions. The feeling of failure that I'd had trying to "do it all" was nothing like the feeling I had when I'd finally "given up" and accepted that I just couldn't do it and I wasn't even going to try anymore.

Where did I get such a convoluted idea of how to run a home? Who in the world told me that in order to be a good wife and mother that everything had to be in perfect order, perfectly clean? Or at least, on some obtainable schedule for being cleaned? And, do that at the same time as providing my children meaningful, Bible-based learning opportunities? In hindsight, I have learned that I am only one person!

That feeling of "gigantic failure who must call housekeeper" went away when the housekeeper arrived. With her helper, she cleaned more things, faster and probably better than I would have, even if I'd had the time to do it. And better yet, I didn't have the feeling of guilt I would have had if Brian had been helping me do the housework. What helps a majority of my guilt is knowing I am providing someone with a job...

There is also much freedom knowing I no longer have to worry about cleaning the house and using that time to grow my relationship with the girls. I think they would rather I sat down and played Mr. Potato Head or Play-Doh or colored with them instead of leaving them to do this alone while I mop the floor.

I still think that the floors need to be mopped and the furniture needs to be dusted at least once a quarter. I think I need to ensure this is somehow accomplished. However, even the Proverbs 31 wife had servant girls...she didn't do it all herself. So, for now, housekeeping is under control.


Anonymous said...

Only Georgia gave you that idea about housekeeping.
Traditionally and, up until recently, an extended nuclear family would have lived in the same home or the same area making assistance much easier to come by. Just a little further back then that, women teamed up. Someone cleaned while others entertained while others chopped wood while others sewed.
You're not a failure but you *do* want to be an overachiever.:)
Hope the housekeeping was *wonderful*.

gran1967 said...

Your reference to Prov.31 is right on the mark of what I thought when we discussed this problem. Also, the other commenet on this entry reveals a huge short-coming of modern American society. We are, for the most part, the only people in the world who don't STILL haeve 2 - 3 generations living in one house or in the same closee area, pooling resources and dividing labor. Where'd we get off the right track????