Usually when I start out to write a blog, I have some kind of idea of where I am going with if it, but today I don’t. I have had a major case of writer’s block the last few days, so I am hoping that by just pushing through I might get over it. I guess we will see at the end whether I post this or not.
I said a couple of blogs ago that I was declaring war on mess.
Well mess won that battle. In fact mess has been winning the majority of battles in our house at the moment.
It doesn’t help that in our war I am the allied forces, Bailey and Ava are the Germans (sorry Germany if you’re reading this; I mean no disrespect), and Tim, Taylah and Bridie are Switzerland. Completely indifferent.
Well this morning Tim joined my side and I have a TV show to thank.
Quite often after watching The Middle on a Sunday night, I think of several blog topics. That show provides so much parenting fodder that I don’t know where to start.
But usually it is because their crazy lives are so far removed from our own that I can stand back and look objectively, and criticise all their faults. (I figure it’s ok to judge TV characters if it stops me from judging real people.)
Last night however, the message was a little closer to home.
Now I missed the first couple of minutes cause I was checking out the dresses on the logies, but from what I can gather, the family went out for the day and came home to find the police in their home. The head of the neighbourhood watch had supposedly called them to report a robbery. The house was trashed and their was stuff everywhere.
The problem was they hadn’t been robbed. That was just what their house looked like. Clutter everywhere, and three kids who really had no idea and very little concern.
Tim, watching it said, ‘well I hate to admit this, but we are clutter people. This is us.’
Now to be fair, we are not that bad. Our house does not look like it has just been burgled, and I do my absolute best to keep it clean and tidy.
But I think he might be right. I think it is time to wake up and smell the dead flowers on the kitchen table.
We, the Newman’s, are unfortunately, clutter people.
We just have too much stuff.
I don’t know how we really got like this. And is it that we have too much, or we just don’t have the storage space, or that we have four young children to look after instead? Maybe a combination of all three?
The question is, what do we do now? There never seems to be enough time to accomplish simple tasks. I clean out the closets for the Salvos, but then I never seem to have time to take the bags in. We fill the trailer up with palm fronds, but then run out of time to make the dump run. I get the floor vacuumed, and then Ava wakes up so I run out of time to mop, or I do mop and someone spills juice. Every time!
The other day I was dusting, and as I watched the dust float through the air, I realised the futility of the task. I wasn’t removing the dust; I was moving the dust. It will settle somewhere else and make friends and in two days I’ll have to do it all again!
It’s no wonder it has come to this; cleaning seems to be a completely impossible and non-germane task.
A lot of the time being a SAHM can feel like that. We often have very little to show for our efforts. Our days are consumed with repetitive tasks that with don’t seem to amount to much. Like washing. No sooner is it done, dried and put away than the process begins again!
And it’s not just the housework. The last few days I felt like I have been getting nowhere with my kids. All the time I spend training and teaching them, and for what? They still yell at each other, and hit each other, and leave their towels on the floor. In one ear and out the other!
Yes there are moments when I see fruit. When kindness rules the day, or someone picks up something without being asked, and puts it away. Or Bailey goes straight to sleep without coming out of his bedroom four hundred times.
But mostly it’s like cleaning under the couch; I’m aware that there are a couple of army men under there but when I pull it out I find ten soldiers, several cars, a bouncy ball, six hair ties and a piece of old pepperoni.
As I’m writing this I’m waiting for the inspiration to inspire to come, but I can’t find it. In fact I’m wondering what the point of writing this is at all. Now I’m just cluttering up the Internet with pointless blogs.
So here goes my half hearted attempt to pick this up. When it all becomes too hard; when the kids are ratty and the house is dirty, and no one bothers reading all my carefully thought out (ha ha) words, I stop and remember why I am trying in the first place. Which is because God wants me to. He wants me to put in the effort, and he doesn’t want me to give up. When I think ‘what is the point?’ the simple answer is, ‘He is.’
One thing we have been hammering home with Taylah at the moment is , ‘good, better, best.’ In Growing Kids they explain it like this. Good is a reflection of you. Better is a reflection of your family. But best is a reflection of God.
Clutter may be who I am, and sadly it is probably a reflection of our family too, but every time I try, and teach my kids to try, we get a little bit closer to that best, and that makes God look good. Not that he needs our help, but I’m assure he appreciates it.
So that’s my big finish. That’s my inspiration. That is what will get me up to clean the house this arvo, and post this blog right now.
Because if nobody else cares, at least God does
And if that fails to inspire, my mother in laws imminent visit will do the job!