Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Truth About the Holidays

     Ok Mamas out there, here's the truth.  I want my house to look just like Country Living.  I want my foods to taste (and look) just like Family Circle.  I want my crafts with the kids to look like Family Fun.  But I have to face it.  None of it does.  Heavens, I'd like my kids to behave like Duggars, but that isn't happening either.

     But here's another truth.  NONE of that is important.  Except the kids' behavior.  But I'm pretty sure we see what the cameras want us to see.  Also we don't have cable, I've only seen the show when I've been the hospital having just had my own "and counting".

     I get SO frustrated when I do my once a month cleaning and then within 2 hours of coming home my house looks like I've done nothing.  I, of course, know better.  I know that the crud that has been lurking next to the stove is finally gone and that the bathroom is indeed disinfected, but to LOOK around my house you'd never know I'd worked so hard.

    But this morning I realized, yet again, that I'm ok with it.  There are art supplies in various places they shouldn't be.  Sweet Pea, who is going to be 2 in less than 2 weeks, has a knack for getting into everything and redistributing it.  However, the supplies are out in the first place as the kids are working on presents to take to a local nursing home and I'm getting ready for a birthday party.  I'd rather be doing those things and deal with the collateral than not.

   There's cereal all over.  Again, mostly because Sweet Pea is a live Pig Pen from Peanuts.  But its also because the kids get their own breakfasts and sometimes that's messy.  But they also are learning to sweep, unload the dishwasher, and clean up after themselves.  And as they're learning it isn't perfect.  And I have to step back, breathe, and know that it is OK to find a Cheerio on the bathroom floor.  I just should be thankful that I found it before any of the kids.  Because food on the floor apparently is also a snack.

   I just think during the holidays we put even more pressure on ourselves to have a perfect family.  Nobody does, and if they think they do they're in for a big disappointment at some future time.  Please enjoy your family and keep your head above water this holiday season.  Take time to be thankful for what you have, even if it isn't perfect.  Have joy in the Christmas season, while remaining thankful.  As I was reminded by a fellow mom who spoke at a mom's meeting at church, it isn't everything your kids will get this season, but what you do with them.  Slow down and enjoy the little moments.  That's what they'll remember.  I bet that's what we'll remember too.


cclauson said...

Well said. Even though 3 out of 4 adults (I always said I was raising adults, not children) have left the nest, I still struggle with some of those issues: art supplies all over the house, wanting things to be decorated perfectly. I realized even when they were small that the home was a training ground. Acting up and getting into things was just part of it all. Home is where kids should be able to be kids. Home is a place to learn how to behave in public and in private. I often said that I would rather they act up at home where correction could take place than in public. My adult offspring passed with flying colors and from what I have observed of your children, they will too.
Enjoy the Holidays!

Esther said...


The Alburger Family said...

Thanks for posting this Jenney! I was just feeling that same way today as I look around the house and there are toys and projects from church in multiple places around the house. And as I am now into panic clean mode because my MIL is coming over tomorrow and her house is always spotless.

When it boils down to it I would rather be spending time with my kids than living in a magazine worthy home. :-).

Hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving! Love hearing about your great family! Tell your hubby hi from us too.


Anonymous said...

I feel that way WEEKS before Christmas... wanting everything to be just right. When the kids that lived here were gone,I discovered I was my own worst enemy with things left laying around. But I can't wait for everyone to come and fill the place UP! And play EVERYWHERE! I want to have time to have fun FOR MYSELF WITH EVERYONE ELSE while you are all here :)!!! Grandmommy

MamaBear said...

Amen! We had a very magical Christmas last year and the key was to make sure we did one meaningful activity every day. I focused on the TIME with the kids and not how it LOOKED around the house before or after. I'm nervous that I wont be able to pull it off again this year, but we'll prayerfully take it one day at a time. Isn't that all we really can hope for?

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! If Santa could bring me one thing this year it would be to spend IRL time with YOU my friend!

Laura said...

Collateral damage: Damage to things that are incidental to the intended target.

You have your intended target right friend!