One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “how do you do it?” This blog is written, in part, to answer that question. The answer right now is… not as well as I’d like. In the last 6 years we’ve moved 3 times had 4 babies, sold one house and foreclosed on another. We’ve changed jobs 3 times, suffered the death of my dear father in law and in general created a lot of laundry. It’s been a little crazy. Part of the crazy has been by choice: Hi darling babies! Part of the crazy has been nothing we’d choose at all: job changes and moves…I’m looking at you. Our most recent move was with a 5week old baby and thus not very organized. BUT, we are now in a house we like, with a job we like, with children we love and I need to rediscover my homemaking mojo.
Perhaps I should start with giving you an idea of where we are…this morning. At 5am my husband’s alarm went off. I was already awake watching a cheerleader TOUCH a basketball on sportcenter http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/24400/video-mike-mike-on-louisville-cheerleader. Dear husband scrambled out of bed, avoided stepping on the 3yo sleeping next to our bed, tripped on the clean laundry lovingly heaped…or maybe he tripped on the box of bills that lives on our dresser and recently took a tumble to the floor, where upon it broke open…anyway he tripped and in the process of controlling his fall he cut his leg on the bed frame. It’s a normal for a child-agony for an adult kind of cut, not an I need stitches kind.. Grumbling he limped down the hall to wake the 14yo for her early morning religion class. He is met with a lovely “Go AWAY!” from the 14yo who has just spent the weekend at a religious conference for teens with the theme “Be of good cheer!” Ahh Monday! How we love/hate thee.
But wait we’re not done with my dear husband yet. He’s now showered and dressed, and I’m nursing the 8mo and entertaining the 5yo twins. Dear husband bends down to get his boots and his pants rip…a lot. Back to the closet…to discover that he has no clean AND ironed clothes. I blame the moodiness of our washing machine, which has optioned out of the spin cycle function. I also blame the fact that I detest ironing and he irons much better than I do anyway. He heads off to work dressed more like a coach than a teacher. I head off to the store because we ran out of milk and eggs on saturday (which made my 14yo’s life difficult when she “needed” to make 3 pans of brownies on Sunday).
I think our life right now is needlessly complicated with preventable situations. Much of the above could be changed if we got our house in order.
Yesterday in church I was reminded of a conversation with a friend. She was talking about how as a mother, she felt like Sisyphus. You remember Sisyphus, the Greek guy who’s eternal punishment is to push the same rock up a hill, again, and again, and again. I admit that much of motherhood feels like that. Dishes, laundry, diapers, noses… it’s daily, endless and repetitive. You feed the children, they get energy so they play and make messes (and NOISE), which makes more laundry (and headaches), so you clean and fold and by that time the children are hungry again. I sympathize with my friend, but I believe motherhood is more, so I considered how I could change the myth of Sisyphus to best fit motherhood.
Motherhood is a lot like daily pushing a rock up a hill…with one major difference from Sisyphus. I get to leave my rock at the top. No my laundry doesn’t stay done and my floors do NOT stay clean…but I’m not going for that anyway. A clean floor is not my ultimate goal–sorry flylady. What I’m doing every day is building a temple for the Lord: a fortress, a peaceful haven, a shire, a place that the spirit of the Lord can dwell. The peace is the goal. I do feel more at peace and love in a clean place, but I can feel peace love anywhere.
This is why I’ve titled this blog lesson number one. A woman I greatly admire once said that as a girl she learned from her father that lesson number one is Love at Home. He said “When we have learned lesson number one, we will go on to lesson number two”. (from her later statements I think lesson number two is mission see http://lds.org/library/display/0,17884,662-1-5131-1,00.html and http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,9118-1-5187-1,00.html).
This all may seem strange for a cleaning blog. A blog about starting flylady…because that’s kind of what this blog is. This is a post I plan on rereading…it’s for the millions of times I will get interupted as I attempt to do 15 minutes of cleaning or a 27 fling or even before I even get my shoes on. I’m not pushing a rock, I’m building a temple. Peace is the goal and it can be felt anywhere. BUT considering my husband’s morning it would take some incredible inner zen to overcome all of our preventible mishaps: so while I want to remember my goals and dreams and vision, I’m also signing up for flylady.