Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Where I create HOME

As a stay at home mom I look to define “my job”. As words start to fill the description it quickly becomes obvious that no woman is capable of all that. I clung to the word “homemaker” for years to define who I was now. I liked that idea of creating a home. When I quit my job I felt the need to justify the loss of income by perfectly cooked meals, well planned grocery budgets, Pinterest decorated spaces, dust free corners and tidy organization strategies.

I was missing the point.

If a clean house was what my husband and I held in such high esteem we wouldn’t have needed a child to justify the loss of my income. I have always been a home maker. The home keeps changing along with the needs, but I was a home maker as a five year old helping my mom unload dishes. I was a home maker in training putting my dolls to bed each night. I was a home maker when I moved to college and when my husband and I bought our first house. Quitting my job as a producer wasn’t to take on a new job of home maker, it was to focus on a role I had already been playing!
I can be so narrow minded, so dialed in that I miss the big picture.

If our homes are beautiful, unhappy places to be we don’t really want to be there.

Creating home starts with the hearts that live in them. We as women, I believe, are to create peace and order. So many days I want that to be creating that order in a physical space because of the effort and tears it takes to create peace and order in my own heart and teach that to my children.

Guilt creeps in when the house is a mess. Those lies that whisper “What’s your excuse for having 5 baskets of unfolded laundry?” That lie that screams “Really? You couldn’t find 10 minutes to shower today?” That lie we all hear, “Are kids really a good excuse for not doing…?” The answer is “YES”.

I am telling myself over and over again; not to convince myself of a lie but because it is true!

It is better for my husband to walk into our house, stepping over toys to get to a kitchen with a sink full of dishes so he can eat peanut butter sandwiches at a table with a smiling wife and obedient children then for him to walk into a vacuumed room with toys put away but before he gets to the kitchen he hears me screaming at one kid for not obeying me while another kid is playing in the sink splashing water everywhere and the third child is crying in time out. The laundry is done though and dinner is made…a delicious one too! Yikes! Really?

There is something satisfactory about having uncluttered stairs, lined up shoes are just as beautiful to me as a Monet and I really do feel happy with a clean, empty kitchen sink. That order gives me peace and joy and makes me feel valuable. I mean, yesterday I managed to pick up my house and not have 3 kids fighting or crying or bleeding. That feels like success!!! But there are also days where I have looked around at my dirty kitchen floor, my dresser covered with piles of gadgets and trinkets and my ugly wallpaper covered rooms while cooking dinner with 3 kids helping me, or building Lego towers together, or them reading me a book and felt just as much peace.

The order that comes when our hearts are obedient, loving, joyful and focused on each other is more life giving and more valuable than my clean floors, weeded flower beds and checked off task list.
I am a mom who stays home for the purpose of raising kids and that means if you walk into my house you are going to see train tracks covering the living room floor, a pile of dirty towels waiting to be taken to the basement and water colors splattered on the dining room table. You will be greeted with kids that have messy faces and muddy boots on. It won’t be magazine ready and it won’t show that I am a great house keeper. It will show you I am a great mom because I am learning to ignore the dirt on the floors, the empty paper towel holder and the laundry baskets. I am learning to pay attention to the messy emotions of little people, the anger and impatience that flares up in me and intentionally give the overwhelming amounts of love 3 small people need. After that I rarely have energy left to clean, organize or complete a project and what energy is left is definitely not for the dishes…it is most likely for ice cream! 

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