Thursday, January 21, 2010

Play to Your Strengths

When my husband and I got married I was a complete neat freak. I would stay up until midnight cleaning and making lists (and then re-making the same list because the first one wasn't neat enough). Many homes and two kids later, you would never know that neat freak ever existed. You can hardly walk through 2 1/2 rooms of our house because they are stacked to the ceiling with boxes (two months after moving in) or covered from wall to wall with Christmas ornaments (a month after Christmas). There is always at least one large section of counter top in the kitchen covered and stacked a mile high with paper. The laundry is VERY rarely ever all put away.

I've struggled and struggled with the guilt of not being able to keep up with the housework. After all - I'm here all day. What else do I have to do? A stay-at-home mom's house should be spotless at all times, her kids in crisp clean clothes, and scrumptious hot meal on the table every meal - right?

This week I had an epiphany. I am the only one ever complaining about the mess and I am the only one that it appears to bother. And nobody is great at everything. I started thinking about the things that I DO get done and that I do well.

The list of positive things doesn't necesarily outweigh the list of things that I don't get done every day/week, but they are all of the things that are most important and mean the most to our family. We would rather spend evenings together as a family having fun (since that is the main time my husband gets with us during the day) than scrubbing the kitchen down and washing every dish in the sink. I don't mind the HUGE mess that my girls make when I let them help me in the kitchen. We laugh and sing and dance in the mess and make memories that they will smile about 30 years from now.

I mentioned my thoughts to my former-football player husband to get some feedback. He said, "Play to your strengths."

So, when I make an amazing dinner that we're all sitting around the table enjoying, I'm not going to look around at the cluttered kitchen and feel guilty. I'm going to take pride in the dinner that I spent alot of time working on. And when we're eating grilled-cheese sandwiches, I'm going to be happy knowing that we got all the laundry washed and folded (and some of it put away) that day. Have fun with what part of being a mom/wife that you're good at and enjoy.


Martha said...

I read this at exactly the right time. I'm a neat freak and trying to keep it up with one kiddo and a dog and a husband...and it' doesn't always work out so well. I'm glad to know it's okay to be a mere mortal and play to my human strengths.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just found your blog for the first time. I was checking out a post on mine and clicked the "Next Blog" button on top for the first time and stumbled up on it :)
Your post was exactly what I needed to read. Ive been having issues with what I am NOT getting done during the day. I even fill like I got more done when I was working instead of now when i stay home. Ive realized that now I just have different expectations and a tidy room isnt as important as it used to be. I used to have everything cleaned up each night but now I know I will be here the next day to work on it. Sometimes it drive me crazy but your right...its about what you DO get done during the day.