Saturday, June 20, 2009

Missing Piece

Another day, a different, perhaps more realistic and, dare I say, more enlightened perspective. It wasn’t that yesterday was abnormal as far as interruptions, messes, and general kid-related chaos goes. What made yesterday overwhelming was the pressure I put on myself to achieve some rather unrealistic goals. A lot of important things can fall by the wayside when I do that.

I grew up in a home with just one sibling and parents who don’t know the meaning of sit down and relax. Okay they do, but only after the end of a long day and “Winning the War on Filth” as my dad calls baths and showers. It was important to always be accomplishing something. I respect their work ethic so much but I’m finding, almost 15 years in, that I don’t know how to balance quality time with those around me and the non-stop, constant effort required to maintain a household, yard, garden and everything related to a family of seven. Michael tells me it’s a balancing act. It’s about priorities. I’m sure it is. I just have to figure out what those are.

People first. I know. It’s crazy hard for me to concentrate on playing with my kids if there are dishes in the sink or the rug needs vacuuming. Laundry waiting or a lawn to be mowed. I know in my heart and mind that I’m doing the right thing but it feels like nails on a chalkboard. Here’s where I probably need my head examined: Exterior order soothes me and gives me a superficial sense of inner order, even peace.

There’s a skill set, a missing piece, that I don’t have but I know it would solve a lot of this. I need to learn how to accept less excuses and to teach my children to do more. Reality is, I don’t work well with others and I take the easy way out, Robinson Crusoe-Style. It feels easy because I’m avoiding the here-and-now complaining and grumbling. My mom was like that; she’d just do what needed to be done rather than attempt to convince us that we should help. Truth was she probably didn’t need our help at all. But it’s not really the easy way out, as anyone who’s actually taught their kids to work would tell you. Unfortunately what it is, is a good way to turn to your kids into domestic cripples, unwilling and unable to enjoy work. The kind of thing that comes back to bite you in the butt.

I guess summer is as good a time as any (and probably better than most) to take on a project as lofty as this! Wish me luck . . .
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1 comment:

  1. As Rob Schneider would say "You can doooooo it."

    P.S. I will help.


So, what do you think?