How do you REALLY let it go?

As a mother of young children I often hear the advice “You’ll have time for a clean house when the kids are grown.”  Or, “This time goes by so quickly, and when the kids are older, you will miss them being so little.  You don’t have to keep up with everything now.”  While these sayings are certainly true, I still so often struggle with really letting the house go.  As of late it has been an incredible struggle.  Each day the list of household tasks gets longer, but I have less and less energy and desire to do it.  I wonder how and if I will ever be able to strike that necessary balance of being able to let things go and make sure that my kids come first while running a household.  At some point, no matter how much I’ve let things go, eventually dishes and laundry must be done and bellies need to be fed.  I know there are all kinds of things out there like FlyLady and Mother’s Rule of Life…these are constantly recommended to me.  These are helpful tools, but no book or regime can insert the unique demands that each child brings.  Life with three young, mobile children is crazy! Make no mistake, I love my life as a mother, and more I love them, but, seriously, everything is interrupted from sleep to washing dishes to tying shoes.  Even when I am simply focusing on them and spending time with them, not trying to do anything other than just be with them, there are inevitable little fights to be broken up, disputes to be settled, noses to be wiped, diapers to be changed, little men to capture before they dip their fingers in the toilet tank they’ve just taken the top off of.  Rightfully so, I’m just plain worn out by the end of the day, and it seems the more worn out I am, the more the house stares me in the face and I get all wrought up over it.  Those wise words of more experienced mothers always come back to me, and at times, I can relax a bit and not worry about the house.  But, for some reason, the issue goes a little deeper for me.  I’m not sure whether it’s the combination of a melancholic temperament which involves so much attention to detail and the pregnancy hormones (and, hey, aren’t there out of whack hormones just involved with being a mother, aside from being pregnant?!) along with my oppressive fear that the house is going to get SO bad that I’ll never ever be able to manage it smoothly again, or simply the cross that Christ asks me to lay at His feet 1500 times a day.  My favorite piece of advice comes from someone whom I very highly respect.  She says, “Focus on the things that you will be taking to heaven with you.  You don’t take your house with you…but your children, you do.”  So now, if any of you have some practical tips as to how I can put this into practice…I’m all ears!

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