I mentioned in my last post how being a Mum has given me a new appreciation of my own mum. I don't think I didn't appreciate her before; I was the oldest and as such had seen my mum through significant sickness, but also raising my two younger siblings and in both instances I saw a courageous, emotional, sacrificial, loving, weak, strong, uncertain, and wise woman who I was privileged to call mum. I am now more aware of what it took to do what she has done and my appreciation of her has grown. Anyway, my amazing mum will often (when she can) come over and give me a hand with my house... tidying, folding washing, doing dishes, you know all that fun stuff. It is SUPER helpful (read: life/sanity saving) but it is also an awesome chance to hang out, catch up, and learn from my mum. In my conversations with Mum, as we talk about how to maintain a tidy house (and much, much more), she has given me two pieces of advice that will stick with me forever.
1. Just Decide. Decide what you want to achieve each day. When Finn was young (and even now) my goals for each day are to do the dishes and make the beds... anything I do above and beyond that DEFINITELY deserves a treat! THIS has been a brilliant way of keeping on top of things, it also starts the day off right. Don't you find that if you have something to do in your day (errands, coffee dates, kindy drop offs) you achieve more than if you have a whole day free? I do, but if I have a home day and I start the day off with dishes (*YAWN*) or making beds (I would say yawn, but I do find it satisfying I am sad to say!) I find I will have a more productive day. I have also tried to have a cleaning day (coinciding with a kindy day)... that hasn't stuck just yet but I'm working on it! This obviously means that just deciding doesn't always translate into something working but there is always tomorrow!
2. Make your home a place your husband WANTS to be. Mum told me that every day when we were young, at around 4pm, she would go around the house and tidy each room up (I swear if it were me, I'd have to start at 1pm at the latest to get it all tidy!!) and make sure dinner would be ready by the time Dad got home. She followed that story up with the recognition that it might be an old fashioned way of thinking and doing things but... who cares??? It may not be in keeping with the latest PC feminist ways of thinking, but hey, if we look at the marriage stats in this generation, I think I'll take my chances on a bit of 'old fashioned' living. The caveat for this is that no, I don't think a tidy house and dinner on the table equals a happy marriage or family BUT, if I want my husband to show me love by surprising me with flowers or showering me with compliments, then I think I can take a little time now and then to tidy away at least some of the stuff that lines every surface of our house.
Inspired? I was... and every time I think of these two things I am inspired again. Learning from someone who has years of experience on us shows wisdom. Knowing that we don't have to reinvent the wheel, make the mistakes, and do it on our own is a RELIEF. But it is important to remember that 'mum-ing' (or 'dad-ing' or parenting) come with lots of good days, where this stuff is possible, but also PLENTY of not-as-good days, where success is no hospital trips and half the family with clean teeth, and dinner on the table is some good old weetbix... that's OK... heck, that's life.. well at least that's my life!!
Hoping for another 'better-than-bad' day tomorrow!
love Jess xx