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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Being a mom means learning lessons out of messes

Two years ago I was so very pleased that I fixed up our basement enough to have a living area and a table to "do school".  It worked well until it got to be the dead of winter and was very cold in our basement.  Still, it was available for our schooling days.

Time went by, and somehow more stuff was accumulated or just misplace in our basement, making it very much a mess once more.  So, for months now I have been tackling cleaning up our basement to get it back to ship-shape school-time and play-time order.

Yesterday, I made great strides in my efforts as I cleared a couple of major spaces so the kids can at least move.  I was pleased and exhausted, but today I would discover that being a mom with a desire to clean is like shoveling snow in the middle of a snowstorm.

What all my efforts accomplished was an open path way to the games and video tapes that the kids have been longing to play.  I was greeted this morning with 3 children sitting on the basement rug playing a game - But, that wasn't all!  They also had another game in the wings ready to play along with an opened Monopoly game whose money and tokens were strewn everywhere, and the box was cracked and all but destroyed.

OK - So why, among everything in life that can get to a person, does the thought of a game box with corners that are torn send me into a panic attack?

I'm really not sure why, but it does.  I can handle the potty training clean ups.  I can handle the bedrooms that are destroyed with every breath.  I can handle many ridiculous messes, but break the corners of a game box, and suddenly I loose all sense of reason.

We had no sooner cleared up this catastrophe and mess then I came downstairs to witness my daughter (the neat and tidy one) standing on the toddler train table and going through videos.  She had taken out every last video that I had just recently spent hours picking up and putting onto the shelves.  When I approached her about this, I was greeted with upset and tears as if I was not trusting her to put them all back away.

See, turns out the girls were trying to surprise me by sorting out all the videos and organizing them. They were also picking out DVDs to watch on an upcoming road trip.  Great news!  It just didn't meet me with a pleasant response.

Why?  Why did this upset me?  I had to take a step back and see it from their perspective.  It was then that I realized if I hadn't come down when I did, that they would have, indeed, picked up every last video tape and organized them.  The result?  I would have been one thrilled mama!

Instead, I spent the morning upset and rebuilding relationship.

Being a stay-at-home, work-at-home, 24/7 homeschooling mom has moments like these.  Leaving it with my initial panic was not how I wanted to relate to my children.  So, I took a step back (after my initial shock) and explained why it bothered me.  My daughter seems to have understood because she is, once again, downstairs organizing videos.  Only this time, I'm sure it will be a pleasant surprise when I see the completed work.  And, I will not even attempt to see the process of their cleaning - this time - until they are all done and ready to reveal their surprise.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful lesson, Tere! It's funny how it can be a little, unexpected detail that throw us off-balance. I only hope that I can be a mother with the same kind of patience that you have. =)