Sunday, July 28, 2013

Iron? What's an iron?

You mean that super stuff in spinach, right?

I was never super at laundry.  I got it done but when I was growing up, we never really got into the habit of sorting out and putting away our clothes.  We washed them, dried them - both in the machines of course! - then left them in the hamper to be folded, or more correctly, to be rifled through.  It would sit upstairs between the rooms and be approached in the morning for a socks, underwear, that missing t-shirt or those comfy jeans.  Even if they were folded by someone else, we would rarely claim our respective batches and just take what we needed for the day.  Horribly lazy, I know!

I'm sure if my mom or dad were reading this, they'd either be laughing at us pretty hard or hitting up another page to avoid painful memories.

Now that I'm a wife and a mom, you'd think I'd get into a better habit of getting it all done.  Um, not really!  What is really helpful to our household but not so much for me forming a habit is my husband's desire for tidiness and getting things done, so he gets to the laundry before I do.

I used to feel really bad about it but we've had a good number of discussions as we keep discovering and re-discovering what our respective strengths are.  I am good at cooking, he is good at cleaning.  I am good at making sure our clothes don't shrink, he is good with folding and sorting.  I am good at keeping the kids happy, he is good at keeping all of us on time.  Or at least, less late.  =P

I still have to keep fighting that shadow of shame that keeps lurking around my shoulder.  Can't I do better?  Can't I just get it all together?  Well, of course I can!  But I have to keep reminding myself that I would sacrifice other things in the process and we have both come to prioritize keeping our emotional and mental health rather than a really tidy home.  This doesn't mean I'm not striving to be better but I have to recognize my own boundaries and limitations (check out Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud).  I have to remember that while other people are great where I am not-so-great, I have my areas of awesomeness too.  And I'm reminded every time I'm rewarded with a super smile from one - or both! - of my kids, or I hear Derek sing out the entire Thomas & Friends Roll Call song (every word, although enunciation is a different issue!), or see Kristen reach out to hug her brother (maybe it was an arm spasm, who knows, but in my books it was a hug!).

How about you? What goals and expectations have you had to let go of?  What aspects of your home life, couple life and personal life are you prioritizing?  What advice would you have for other moms and dads to manage the chaos?

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