Back to Basics

I am remembering who I am.

Over the years since I’ve been married and had kids, I’ve listened to a lot of voices outside of myself as to how a wife and mother SHOULD run her household. I’ve tried schedules, I’ve tried lists, but for as long as I can remember – even as a kid – I’ve loved making schedules but hated following them.

Last week I realized I was driving myself insane by trying to follow someone else’s method – whether it be Bryan, or the Flylady, or another mom, or a book, or whoever – because I had completely ignored how I best Get Things Done.

Last week I had a burst of motivation and cleaned my kitchen. I cleared off my deck and made it look homey. I cleared off the dining room table and piano and cut flowers from my garden. I cleaned my room.

And my house looked beautiful.

And now that it’s not still looking so beautiful (life happens, dishes get dirty), I’m totally okay with that because I know in a couple days I’ll get another burst of motivation to swoop through and clean it all up again.


I’m so tired of the pressures of Monday as cleaning day, Tuesday as grocery day, Wednesday as friend day, etc. What if on grocery day my kids are cranky and I’m feeling on the edge of insanity? Would YOU want to run into me in public? What if cleaning day is sunny and beautiful and we’d all rather play outside than dust the piano?

That schedule may work for some, and it may even be good for me during another season, but right now I’m feeling the need to embrace the Me that I know best, the one that can deal with a little bit of chaos, then swoop in and bring it all to order. And most importantly, I am embracing the Me who has an anger management problem, and acknowledges that rage comes when my carefully planned schedule gets hijacked. I am doing what I can to avoid the rage triggers until I am better at heading them off when they rise up.

And yes, Bryan, I can hear you talking to your computer about the fact that you live in this house, too, and what is she thinking? But I figure as long as you have clean clothes to wear and food to eat, and I’m not just sitting on my ass watching t.v. all day long, your needs will be met, too.

The point is, I took great joy in cleaning my house this week, and I felt refreshed by the task. I didn’t trudge through it. I actually put the kids to bed and cranked up the music and sang at the top of my lungs as I cleaned the kitchen. And when I was done I sat down with a glass of wine and read a book, satisfied with my productivity.

And today? Today I am less motivated. Today I will maintain, and probably do a couple loads of laundry. But I know myself well enough to not expect a lot of myself when I’m feeling like this. I will be a more patient mother today if I don’t constantly feel like something’s not getting done. And I know from experience that I will likely get a second wind later on and end up painting trim in the new office. That’s just how it goes.

I am remembering who I am, and it is bringing peace to my mind.

2 thoughts on “Back to Basics”

  1. Welcome back Jen.

    I firmly believe it’s possible and more beneficial to embrace yourself as you are working on yourself. Less energy wasted on judgement more energy available for progress. 🙂

    You are lovely and an original. It would be sad to lose that. And again, thanks for the wonderful gift today. I may have to rearrange my whole living room to feature it properly.

  2. Once again Jen, Thanks for sharing. I have never stopped to realize that I too will have that burst of “motivation” to clean and make my house look lovely, but what I need to remember, and what you reminded me of by your sharing, is that even though it might not stay that way (I know it won’t), that is ok. I will make it look lovely once again when I feel like it, when I am motivated to do it. I have to stop beating myself up (turn off the voices in my head from my childhood) and enjoy my life for what it is…FULL of kids who have not been taught how to pick up unless mommy is yelling and swearing at anyone because the house is a disaster and I AM the only one who does anything. So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! for sharing your insight!

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