Random socks on the floor. Stepped on another Lego. Dirty laundry spilling over the hamper. Beds unmade. One kid is entertaining the dog while the other is spinning bey blades. Welcome to 8am at my house. I pass the intricate morning schedule to find that that nothing is checked off. Silently sighing inside, I take a deep breath, and invite the clan to revisit their visual schedule. This is something I look forward to everyday. By the end of the day, I’ll be back on damage control…taking deep breaths, avoiding the twitchy eye because I refuse to lose it over clutter.
Does this picture sound familiar? Or are you keeping it together? Lucky you! As for my clan, keeping Casa de Williams under control with 24-hour social distancing has been quite the feat. Sticking to schedule sometimes seems impossible. Doing it with a happy heart…well…let’s all resolve that I am working on it.
Ironically, I spend my time promoting the creation of visual schedules, chore charts and check off list…why…they work…okay-they work most of the time and foundationally, it teaches our sugars to be responsible for their own stuff.
Admittedly, adults slip up sometimes-and so do our little sugars. It just seems to occur more often because everyone is at home 24 hours a day. This leaves the opportunity open for more mess, reinforcement, frustration, and everything between that is opposite of normal pre-COVID-19.
Tell me you are feeling the same way, or even a fragment of what I am feeling? We are parents, not octopus! Even the eight arms with eyes in the back of our head does not seem like enough. Yet, during all the cleaning, organizing, decluttering and reshaping, I find myself granting them grace. I even grant myself more grace about expectations, perfectionism, and values.
While I will never advocate for raising slobs who expect the world to clean up their mess, I have also lightened up on being so daggon
rigid that the poor kids are walking on eggshells about a sock in the middle of the floor. This does not mean rules won’t be set in place, it simply means that I cannot live my life monitoring all the little areas where they may fall short rather than highlighting the areas where they are absolutely amazing.
No seriously, I cannot live my life only highlighting the areas that I don’t like. If I am truly a world changer, then I must reflect and reshape what I want to impart on my children. Do I want them growing up self-conscious about every aspect of their life? Do I want them co-dependent seeking my approval? Or do I want them to have rules in place and independently rise to the occasion?
Unlimited time at home can leave anyone more irritable, but, in all of this, there must be a glimmer of hope that we can shine some light around the areas of our kids lives where they are rock stars. Rather than only seeing their failures, we can speak life into their victories while also working on the areas that could use some life support. We can also grant ourselves the space to embrace current changes that have an unspecified time frame before revisiting past norms. We can also create new norms that grow us closer together rather than lamenting times of the past.
Now, a messy home may not be your pet peeve, but maybe it is adjusting to unlimited time with your family around, or being thrown into homeschooling, or the difficulty of having “me time.” Whatever it is, I want you to know that your feelings are valid. Becoming a parent does not take away your ability to feel. However, I don’t want you to focus only on the things that are outside of the norm. I want you to try and find the beauty of what is in front of you.
Try this out…create a list everything that has you peeved. It could be related to unlimited time at home with the family, work, cleaning, 24-hour parenting, and whatever else you can think of. Next, create a list highlighting areas going pretty well. Make sure to highlight the things that make your sugars special.
Compare the list and see which wins.
Remember, this list is for your eyes only. And…don’t feel like you must do it all in one day. This is simply a tool that will help you reflect on the positive while acknowledging areas that need some life support. You may find that a few simple tweaks can limit those twitchy eye moments.
Short on time…no worries…use your smart device to create your list because identifying an emotion in the moment can help you deal!
If you are bold enough, share in the comments section below the areas of excitement and the areas that are not so exciting. I know you all can do this world changers. Remember, I am doing it right along with you.
Until the next time…take care, C.