Perspective

I didn’t mean to go a whole week without writing, but somehow life just got away from me. And then yesterday was just a Day. You know the kind, where nothing gets done, I get grouchy, someone flushed her underwear down the toilet (not me) and the kids’ hunger strike protest went into day three. By the end of the day, I just wanted to go away, to be anywhere but here. And then Joe came home, and after some miscommunication where I knew I was clearly right and so he obviously had to be wrong, I find out that the poor guy was just trying to be nice (notice the updated header above!) and helpful to his crazy wife… which made me feel even worse. Smart man that he is, he took the kids out for a long walk so I could make dinner without leg-clingers, and the kids were finally happy with what I served so dinner went smoothly.

I know that part of my problem is letting little things dictate my attitude, and losing my cool when they don’t go as planned. Another big part is measuring a day’s success by my to-do list. It’s hard it feels as though I can’t ever get ahead, when everything I do just needs to get done again in a day or two. The same dishes keep needing to be washed, the same clothes pile up, the carpet is always needing to be vacuumed, and many of the things I (and other stay at home parents and homemakers) do is hard to measure. I don’t calculate how much time I spend playing with the kids, how many hugs they give me, or count the books that they bring me to read them as they curl up next to me on the couch. I don’t keep track of all the times that Grace draws Sophie’s requests on the magna doodle (Elmo, moon, and stars, please) and the minutes they happily spend playing together. Granted, those times are generally ended by screaming, but still.

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I know it’s important for me to get my tasks done–the dishes don’t wash themselves, nobody else has been volunteering to clean the bathroom, and Grace has a tendency to use her clothes to wipe her mouth when she eats. But I also have a feeling that someday, in the next life, I won’t be questioned on how many days I finished my to-do list, but on how well I loved my family, even when things didn’t go the way I wanted them to.

9 Responses to "Perspective"

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  1. Lisa

    September 26, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    A-men. I can relate to all of this. The past couple of days I have been repeating that quote that’s been floating around Pinterest about children being the most important work instead of being a distraction from life’s work. Because holy cow sometimes i feel like i can never complete a household task, or that i’m constantly re-doing things! I always need to work on perspective. 🙂

    Reply
    • Lisa

      September 26, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Ps- love the new header!

    • Francine Weber

      September 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      I think I need to print that quote and frame it so it’s somewhere prominent in my house. 🙂 I could use the daily reminder!

  2. Rosie

    September 26, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Amen! Being able to look back on a day and count out the intangibles – books read, snuggles given, songs sung – really makes the to-do list seem meaningless 🙂

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      September 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Now if only I could remember that more often. 🙂

  3. Amanda

    September 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    So hard to get perspective in the thick of it! But yes, measuring our days by snuggles and songs, hugs and kisses makes me feel much more accomplished on non-to-do-accomplish days. 🙂

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      September 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Yes! The messes will always be there, but they’re only little for so long!

  4. Laura

    October 7, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks, I think I needed to read this today! I so often find myself all day long thinking, “If I can just get this laundry folded or wash these dirty dishes, then I’ll play with them…” But before I know it, it’s dinner, bath and bedtime and I’m kissing them goodnight feeling good because the house is in relatively good shape but guilty that I never did “fit” them into my busy day. I think there is a very important balance between idleness and perfectionism when it comes to keeping house and I often have to remind myself that my husband does not work hard so that I can be a stay-at-home-housekeeper/cook but rather a stay-at-home-MOM. 🙂

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      October 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Yes! Yesterday, I had to remind myself that even though I didn’t cross half the things off my list, it was important to rest and enjoy the kids. It’s okay if the house isn’t perfect (or even close!) if I’m trying my best to love my family. I love the last sentence you wrote, too. You sum it up perfectly!

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