Right now there are dishes that need washing, clothes that need folding, counters that need wiping, carpets that need vacuuming, garbage that needs dumping and food that needs cooking. There are a lot of things that need to be done, but sometimes the best thing I can do for me and my family is to just go to sleep.
No sleep makes mama a grumpy lady and if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
Over the past few months, PapaFish, KidFish and I have been getting rid of our belongings like it’s going out of style.
Here is a partial list of things that we’ve either sold, given away, donated or trashed:
– 1 large metal filing cabinet
– 2 desks
– 2 floor lamps
– half my wardrobe
– kitchen gadgets
– 3 boxes of books
– window curtains
– exercise equipment
– kids clothes & toys
– 4 large boxes of miscellaneous household items
– art/craft supplies
– 3 boxes of old paperwork
– expired pantry items
– old magazines
It’s been a month, and to be honest, I don’t miss any of it. In fact, I’m really enjoying the space, both physical and mental.
I used to think that I needed more space for my stuff, but now I know that I need less stuff for my space.
I don’t own a house, but I have a home.
A home filled with laughter, love, encouragement and forgiveness.
It’s a place where I can let my guard down and just be me.
I can cry when I’m sad and dance when I’m happy.
Hugs and kisses are abundant and free.
No, I don’t have a house, but I have something that no amount of money can buy—a home.
3 homes in 3 years. It took a few moves, a few homes and a whole lot of living before I learned the difference between a house and a home.
When we moved into our first place, I thought mostly about paint colors and furniture. I watched a lot of HGTV and flipped through countless interior design magazines.
When we moved into our second place, I spent a lot of time decorating, organizing, and making the place comfortable.
The third time we moved, I finally learned my lesson. We had a huge garage sale and donated truck loads of stuff.
After 3 homes, this is what I’ve learned about turning a house into a home: stuff doesn’t make a home, love does. Laughter does. Life does.
If you want to turn your house into a home, try doing these things more often…
Hug. Laugh. Apologize. Forgive. Encourage. Help. Play. Share. Dream. Pray. Celebrate.
How do you make your house into a home?
Being a stay with child mom is not a glamorous job.
I used to think it was all cuddles, blanket forts and frolicking in the park. In my pre-mom years I often saw women strolling their babies around the neighborhood and others having mommy dates at the park. How relaxing! How fun! How free!
How wrong I was.
When I actually became a stay with child mom, I learned about the other side of motherhood—the endless dishes, diapers and laundry.
Don’t get me wrong. I love being with KidFish all day. It’s the dishes, diapers and laundry that I could do without.
This year, I am challenging myself to see from a different perspective. To look at those dishes, diapers and laundry as a result of memories that were made and moments that were shared.
What stories can those dishes tell?
What sweet words have those diapers heard?
What adventures has that laundry experienced?
Instead of seeing a stack of dirty dishes…
…I should smell the delicious meal that was shared with love.
…I should hear the meaningful dinner conversations.
…I should see the opportunity I had to teach KidFish manners.
Instead of seeing a pile of unfolded laundry…
…I should see a life of abundance.
…I should see the stains on KidFish’s pants from the time she found a sand dollar at the beach.
…I should see the time my sweatshirt kept me warm on the cable car ride as my husband and I pretended to be tourists.
Instead of seeing a diaper that needs to be changed…
…I should see the awesome little person that I get to love.
…I should find comfort in knowing that KidFish is getting enough to eat and drink.
…I should hear the giggle that came out of KidFish’s mouth as I tickled her exposed belly.
Listen closely because those dishes, diapers and laundry tell many stories. Hopefully mine tell of a life well lived.
What stories can your dishes, diapers and laundry tell?
Dear Chore Chart,
We need to talk. Lately, I feel like things between us have gotten out of control. When we first met, I welcomed you into my home as an assistant. You quickly became more than an assistant to me, you became a real friend. When I was adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom with a newborn baby, you brought some much needed sanity to my home. You made sure I had clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to eat off of. You helped keep things in order when everything felt so out of control.
Those early days were great, but now our relationship seems less like a partnership and more like a dictatorship. Somewhere along the way we switched places. You went from assistant to boss. Instead of cheering me on after accomplishing a task, you started to make me feel guilty for every unfinished chore. I found myself exchanging time with my daughter for time with a mop and sponge just to make you happy. Every time I played make-believe with her instead of wash dishes I felt like I was doing the wrong thing.
I feel worthless and inadequate because you measure my value in household chores.
We need to re-evaluate our relationship. You are my assistant, not my master. You do not get to tell me who I am or what my value is. You do not get to determine my worth as a person or my effectiveness as a mother. What you do get to do is gently remind me that I have a responsibility to keep my home reasonably tidy, that I function best in order, not chaos, and that you really are here to help.
I really do appreciate you and all the calm you’ve brought into my home. I hope you will stay. Life is better with you than without you.