Is your to-do list a mile long? There are days when the weight of that list settles into my bones and renders me immobile–and cranky. Being a busy mom gets so busy.When the 'busy' overshadows the 'mom' it's time to step back and re-evaluate priorities. Click To Tweet
I choose quality fun time with my husband and the kids first…pretty much over everything after the basic necessities of life. I choose their smiles over the dishes. Always.
Second is education and physical activity. Kids need to run and play outside every day.
Blogging comes next. Writing feeds my need to be doing something productive and intellectually challenging. It has prevented me from feeling isolated and discontented with my stay-at-home life. Over the years it has transformed from a hobby into a viable means of contributing to the household and now I identify as a “work from home” mom.
It is a tough transition to go from having two incomes for so many years to one. It’s also difficult to curb the ambition and need to be doing something interesting that is inherent in my personality.
Only after all of that come housework.
I know that my prioritization isn’t the same as many other mothers. And my husband and I have differences in opinion in this respect. I have friends that always have spotless homes. And there are those friends whose social lives are a priority. There is nothing wrong with either scenario.
It’s just not what I choose to do first, myself.
I choose the prioritization that is best for me…for right now. This will change.
I write this now because I am no longer struggling with my choices. Sure, I wish the laundry was folded right away. I wish that I didn’t spend so much of y time in the kitchen. Yes, I want to be more organized.
But will I ever choose to fold and put away laundry while my kids sit in front of the tv for hours or play together so long they start to get sick of each other and fight? (Granted they “help” with the laundry.)
No, I won’t.
My mother is one of those moms that was always busy and always cleaning. If she wasn’t suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis now she would probably still be mopping her kitchen three times a day. (How sad is it that her home is still much cleaner than mine when she can sometimes barely move around?)
But when I think of my childhood with my mom, her constant cleaning and folding of laundry aren’t what brings the smile to my face.
I think of my mom expertly catching a dragonfly, tying a piece of thread to its tail, and flying it like a kite while her three little kids clapped in delight.
I remember the first time we woke up to a hard freeze when we lived in Mississippi. I can still picture my Filipino mom’s eyes taking in the frozen beauty of the icy yard. I can hear her laugh as she ran to grab spatulas from the kitchen so we could run outside and scoop up the little bit of snow. We slid on the ice in our driveway for an hour.
I remember her consternation at all the broken spatulas after we were done playing.
And times like that are what I want my kids to think about.
I want to leave my kids with so many fond memories that one day they will look back and smile over the awesome fun we’ve had.
Daddy has his horsey rides and his rolling around on the ground wrapped up in our two kids laughing like crazy hyenas.
What I want my kids to remember about their mom
They will have memories of crafting with me. They will remember the times that I snuck up on them like a ninja. All the times I have done that and all the times that I will do it in the future.
My son will remember that I was Robin to his Batman.
My daughter will remember the time she finally “got me.” She released a blown up balloon next to my head when I was so engrossed in writing that I didn’t know she was there. I had a mini heart attack.
I am okay with the DIY modeling clay craft beads drying on the table.
I am okay with the empty jars waiting to be painted.
I am almost okay with the random pieces of scrapbook paper I keep finding.
Each time they make a decoration with their kids, I want them to remember making decorations with me.
I don’t want them to have memories of me being too busy to give them attention.
One of the biggest changes to my parenting since I left work is how I now view the weekend. Once upon a time, all chores got completed on the weekends. Housework, projects, wrestled against trips to the zoo or family fun in the two “free days” I had during the week. My goal now is to keep the clutter and perform cleaning tasks during the week so that the weekends can be reserved for fun.At the end of our lives, our most valuable possessions are the memories we’ve shared. Click To Tweet
Every time we pick up the paint brush, that is what we are creating.
Every picnic in the park is an adventure.
I can’t catch dragonflies but I can join in the hunt for fairies and gnomes in Butterfly Hollow or explore the history of old Florida at the County Fair.
Each time I snap a photo during a soccer game or I find a photo one of the kids took of me while I wasn’t watching with my phone, I know that what we are creating together is much more valuable than having a clutter free table for a couple of hours.
I’m a crafter. What is better than crafting memories? Tweet
It’s taken a while for me to come to terms with my messiness. There is a difference between messy and dirty/unhealthy! I mop a couple times of a week (I’m not EVER going to mop every day lol.)
I just won’t feel guilty about the mess anymore. I’ve accepted my reasons and my prioritization makes sense to me. Some of the stress has melted away now that I understand and accept how things are. Have you ever sat down and consciously thought about why and how you do the things you do day to day? If so, did it affect the way you do or stress about things?
PS and so now I leave you to go clean 😉