As a working mom, I forced myself to get up before the kids so I could get ready for the day, have quiet time, make lunches, leave instructions for the babysitter, fold laundry, exercise, etc. Being gone five to eight hours a day was very emotional for me. There were few times that I did not long to be home. The major down side to being a working mom was emotional. When things got out of hand as far as cleaning goes, I would simply hire someone to come in and clean what I didn't have time for, but for the most part I would come home on Friday and clean the whole house and then have the weekend to enjoy with my family. Now I can't afford the cleaning fairy, and as I focus on spending time with my children, always being available for their needs, never feeling the pressure of time constraints (however right or wrong that may be), there are many days when I'd love said "fairy" to appear.
So my debit card is missing, my extra checks have disappeared ... I am sure they have taken refuge in a place similar to where Matt's wedding ring is also hiding. (Yes, it too is missing, but that is a whole other story.) Please don't imagine that the house is in complete chaos. Other than a couple loads of laundry on my sofa, it is clean ... deep cleaned, BUT there are things missing that have become a treasure to somebody with little hands, I'm thinking. My kitchen is now my sanctuary. It is where I create, dream, plan, and maintain cleanliness.
The old me would worry about the mess and forgo quality time with my kids to get it fixed, but the new me is looking for new solutions. A lesson I've recently learned is that it overwhelms my kids when I say "Okay, we're going to clean the house today. We aren't going to do anything else until we finish." Once a week I've started saying "We're going to play a game today. It has five rounds. Everyone gets ______ for this round. The winner gets an extra ________." I don't know how it is for other kids, but games and rewards speak loudly to mine. At least once every day, I'll say "Fifteen minute pick-up!" I let each kid know what they are responsible for and I set the timer. When the timer goes off we are done. It is working like a charm, with little redirection necessary. The house isn't pristine, but it's peaceful.
When I dreamed about staying home, I assumed I'd get better at the things I was good at and improve at the things that are a struggle for me. If I'm really honest with myself, I'll admit that I work better under pressure (which is absent for me at present), so the only thing I've begun to improve at is the giving and receiving of grace, but I have a long road ahead of me in that regard as well.
Today, as usual is not a perfect day for me and so I've decided to laugh at the old me and the new me.
1. When we first got married I would iron our slip covers at least once a week and always before friends would visit.
2. I currently almost always have a load of laundry on my sofa waiting to be folded or put away. I have stopped apologizing about it to maintenance men, friends, family, etc.
5. I must not be very good at sleep training. Even though I did with the older two and am in the process with our youngest, there are still nights when Lucas cannot fall asleep. This is how I found him (beside the laundry, haha) when I came home from Ladies' Night Out.
6. When my kids are sick, I have an unreasonable fear that they will stop breathing in their sleep. Here they are sleeping on our floor, so that I could check on them without getting out of bed. (In my defense, I was very pregnant when this was going on.)
|Bethany's 3rd birthday cake ... Ariel|
|Lucas' 3rd birthday cake Rocket|
|Lucas' 4th birthday cake Diego|
|Lucas' 5th birthday cake Spider Man|
|Matt's 23rd Baked Alaska|
|Simple boats from Tangled|
|Simple "Tangled" hair cupcakes|
|Matt's simple Bavarian Apple Torte (31st Birthday)|
8. I am okay with my kids running around in their underwear until they are well potty trained.
9. I used to take time to get myself ready for in-house dates. Now I enjoy the days when I don't have to wear make-up.
So ... my priorities have definitely shifted, and I'm loving every moment in my little piece of paradise!