Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cinderella it is.

A few months ago I remember feeling so frustrated with myself one particular afternoon. I was going crazy and could feel it, the slip from sanity. The struggle to keep a clean home and still allow my children to roam about free within it seemed to be growing, and the only way I was making peace with it was to allow 17 hours of television viewing a day. I couldn't stand the the endless cycle of clean clean clean, pick up everything the girls were playing with scattered throughout the house, and then clean clean clean again. Every morning I'd try to wake up and scurry to get the house tidy before an errand, then refuse my girls entrance into their playroom for fear that they would actually play with anything. It was stupid.

What was the answer? Endless mess and chaos? No, that can't be right. How about chaining them to a wall for certain periods of the day (like 13 hours or so?)? Hmmm, that's an idea. Oh I know! I can just follow them around barking orders to clean up every single thing they touch. I can be the psycho mom who insists on order over happiness. Now I'm onto something.

It was later that night as I pondered motherhood, it's exhaustion and cyclical tedium when something whispered to me...Now is your time to be the maid. You need to accept that for this period of your life you are a maid. Your payment is the expansion of your children's exploration and imagination and growth.

So obvious and yet it really struck me like a ton of bricks. Chill out. Set them free. Ignore the crayon on the wall (and the hutch...and the oven door...and the hall closet). Let them enter in and out of the back door barefoot, without worrying so much about the dirty footprints all over your freshly mopped tile. Just keep cleaning, keep trying. Don't give up.

And along the way I have found connection to their moments. So sweet, as I pick up baby dolls and tutus and blanket forts. I disassemble their bug traps and clean out the hidden weeds (what they term "flowers") under their bed and smile as I hear them in the playroom calling each other "Sweetheart". It's an honor really. With a little shift in perspective, it isn't so tedious after all (on a good day).

Seriously, how cute is that? The babydoll tucked into the milk box with a cup of water (a "baa baa") just in case she gets thirsty?

1 comment:

Mrs. Officer Andelin said...

It's amazing what a difference a little perception cane make. When ever I am having a stressful day with one of my childre the aswer to my prayer is always "you need to spend MORE time with them."

It's so true.

You could always get a maid though. I have the number to a good on....:)