It’s amazing how the everyday tasks of house and home can help to provide words of wisdom for me to share with young parents!
One day several years ago I was feeling particularly self-satisfied with my accomplishments around the house. I had cleaned it from top to bottom and it felt great.
Just a couple of months before that, I remember looking around my house in disgust and asking my teenagers, “Do you remember when I used to keep the house so clean we could have eaten off the floors if we wanted to?”
The three looked at me, a bit puzzled and replied, “We don’t remember how clean the house was, but we remember how crazy, scary you got while doing it!”
I was horrified by their response, but they were right! I did get crazy, scary when I would clean. And not because I dislike housework. In fact, I like cleaning! I think it was more because I would get frustrated that the house wasn’t always clean because you just never know when one of those home decor magazines is going to show up at your door and want to take pictures! Just kidding. Sort of.
But my kids’ honesty humbled me and as I pondered their words, I realized my error.
A long time ago, I had fallen into a trap. A trap that said I had to be Suzie Homemaker, Betty Crocker, Joan of Arc, and Mother Teresa all in one.
It was a train of thought that said that in order for me to truly be a good wife and mom, I had to perform a certain way. It was exhausting. And unfortunately, I remained in that trap for several years.
You see, my children didn’t care how clean or dirty my house was. They cared more about how it affected me. They noticed more whether I spent time with them or on housework. They shared with me how they felt as if I cared more about how clean the house was than I did about them! The very thought of it brings tears to my eyes!
Through life and circumstances, I was freed from that way of thinking and began to relax a little bit more. I learned to choose my battles more wisely and how to make the best use of my time. And I gave up the idea that anyone was going to show up for a photo shoot of my house.
But by this time, my children were teenagers and didn’t necessarily want to always spend time with me, but when they did, I absolutely jumped at the chance!
The years go by too quickly and I now see that I wasted some of the best years on things that don’t matter as much as I used to think they did.
Parenting isn’t easy and thankfully, the children don’t hold it against me. Most of the time they laugh about it and make jokes about how “crazy” I was. Thank goodness that I’m better now – mostly. Ha!
As for Mr. SBF, he has never said anything about the cleanliness (or dirtiness of the house) – ever.
He’s always thought of me as Suzie Homemaker, Betty Crocker, Joan of Arc and Mother Teresa all rolled into one. And I suspect that it shall remain so for the rest of our days.
So, when all is said and done, what matters the most in life is spending quantity, as well as quality, time with your loved ones. Don’t pass up those opportunities for making great memories. The days go by quickly and before you know it, your children will be having children!
Don’t get side-tracked by the mundane things in life. Instead, cultivate a life of purposeful interactions and by the time your grandchildren are born, you’ll be a pro at having fun and making great memories!
Right now, we’re awaiting the birth of our grandson. His due date is the 18th and we’re on pins and needles, just wishing and waiting for the call from his daddy, announcing his arrival. What day will it be?
Check back soon or follow us on our social media pages to find out! Until then have fun making great memories with your babies!