Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's Not You, It's Me

A friend comes over to my house. 

Said friend looks around, sees the status of our home and then asks, do five children really live here? 

Immediately my heart sinks, I cringe on the inside. Because I know what they could be thinking..."my home doesn't look this clean!" (Please be sure to read to the end to get the full story.) And I hate to even think that they could feel bad about their home by entering mine because the truth is...well, we'll get to that.


From a quick glance our home usually is picked up and organized.

I've had friends comment before that my house must "always" be clean.


Ha! I can give you a detailed tour of all the things that need to be cleaned...couldn't we all? However, if we are talking about clutter, stuff lying around and kid's toys out in the open...it is true, things generally are picked up. The house gets messy but a day doesn't usually go by without "re-setting" the house for the next day. (In fact, I'll tell you how we get the kids to clean up in a few weeks.)

We have people over multiple days a week, as well as simply having a lot of people living here. That being the case our general rule is to pick things up each day so that we aren't tripping over things and everyone can hopefully find a place to sit. 


I'd like to say that it is a happy place to live. Full of lollipops, lemon drops and roses...can you see where I am going here? However, the truth is many times I feel just plain crazy. My personality is such that if there is a toy on the floor, I HAVE TO PICK IT UP. If I sit down on the couch and see a book under the other couch I will GRAB IT and put it back where it belongs. 

This is my brain. 

This is what I have to live with E-v-e-r-y. S-i-n-g-l-e. D-a-y.

In fact, many times I secretly wish that my home was a complete mess and that I could sit on the couch and read books and simply LEAVE THINGS BE. 

I dream of leaving things be.

Dream of it.

For so many years I've felt the damage from it all. I have a hard time relaxing. I have to be "doing" something. Things that are mismatched in my home drive me crazy. Chaos drives me batty. I long for order, simplicity and clean spaces. 

I hardly ever get to actually cleaning my house because I spend all of my time picking up the clutter and putting things back in their place.


Did I mention I have five children?

My house might be tidy but I feel as though I am going completely crazy in the process, can anyone relate?

Months ago I sat in tears in the presence of two women whom I highly respect and cherish. Both of these women are now grandmothers and I knew that we shared similar personality types. I simply said to them, "HELP ME?!?" how do I be a mom all while craving order and keeping chaos at bay?

They mentioned a few things from their experience... 

1) Less stuff
2) Leave the mess and get out of the house to go do things.
3) I do regret all of the time I spent cleaning and wish I would have stopped to enjoy the little moments more.

I soaked up what they said and have been thinking about it ever since. I'll be unpacking their thoughts more in the coming months.

Sharing this at:
Living Well Spending Less

15 comments:

  1. I had this fantastically long post all typed up and then POOF! it disappeared. Maybe it's for the best...the whole gist of what I was getting at is not to feel guilty about wanting to keep your home clean and organized. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says that God is not a God of disorder but of peace. If we are created in His image, then it's only natural that we would crave order and peace as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth,

      I hate it when that happens to comments. :-( Thanks for your encouragement. :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  2. I have the opposite problem! I leave things till I get the text from my husband saying he's on the way home! I need to be more productive during the day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristin,

      One can only do so much...and you ARE caring for one adorable little boy, that is hard work. :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  3. Yes, I too share your desire to sit still and enjoy my kids. I feel your struggle. My friends comment too on my tidy house, do the kids ever get to play? Less stuff does help, we just streamlined toys and blankets. That alone helped a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamie,

      I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone...and that less stuff does help! :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  4. Oh my goodness! I feel like I wrote this blog post! Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jami,

      Coming soon to a blog near you! ;-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  5. I love your blog..and am finally commenting :) As I read your post..I adored the photos! such a colorful, inviting home! then at the end when you describe how your mind races, I could relate... I am very much a planner. Until a couple years ago, I let planning go into overdrive. Literally. I'd spend the 15 minute drive home from work planning my every move for once I arrived home: "I'll set my work bag down, get the water boiling for pasta, change clothes, choose my outfit for tomorrow, unload the dishwasher, make a salad....." and my mind would race. One day I recognized this and simply stopped in my tracks to think about it. What I came up with was TRUST. I need to let my mind calm down after work during the drive, and I needed to trust that when I got home, I'd have the brain power to know what to do to get dinner ready. I had to decide what was worth my brain power running on overdrive and what wasn't. I decided to let my mind race in situations where there's stress or quick decisions need to be made. Other times I'd choose to or try to let my brain calm down and get a rest.

    Other times, my mind races when I'm figuring out my evening. I volunteer in a youth ministry where the youth pastor isn't as detailed oriented as I am. So as I think about an event he has planned, my mind buzzes with confusion if I'm not clear on the agenda. But once I find out "oh..the kids are watching a movie then having a pizza party?", then my mind settles down and finds peace. As if giving the event structure eases a part of my mind that was uncertain or anxious.

    Could your mind racing be a mind in need of structure What if you had designated times in the day and evening for for picking up and putting away things that are out of order. If you had those times, would that let your mind rest, knowing that you have designated times, and you'll pick up when those times arise....and meanwhile you're going to enjoy time with your kids or time with a book or a show?

    (I know you didn't ask for advice...thanks for letting me share here!) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunny,

      Such great thoughts and suggestion! A lot of what I've been trying to do to help with this is blocking out time for certain things and doing simply what I am able to accomplish in other open times. I thrive with structure so I'm trying to work certain things into the mix. I think that being able to acknowledge the way that I am created and find solutions...like carving out times to rest, relax and do things that I really believe are important will be so beneficial. Thanks again for the feedback! I'm glad that you've been able to pin point something that has been so helpful in your life. :-)

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  6. Can totally relate to this post! I am also one that needs everything picked up and put away before I can relax. I'm working on it though!

    ~Jen
    www.appledapplepancakes.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Sarah - have really appreciated the heart wide open honesty of your last few posts. I have always loved your easy style of writing and how you can tell a great "story" in only a few words and am always inspired by the things you are doing in your home and with your children - still loving those yellow doors and getting your family all lined up for a Christmas day photo - oh my!! I have often thought, "five children, a blog and an inviting home - wow she makes it look easy" But this post stopped me in my tracks. Your honesty comforting cause we are all there with you - those three comments the older women made to you - just gold - hit right at the heart of the things I'm struggling to get right too. Nothing about being a mum and creating a home is easy, we all struggle in some way or another with getting the balance right, wanting clean and order and a degree of calm is in our God given human nature but we want it to work for us not kill us - and bring us closer to our kids not further away - no easy answers but your bravery in sharing about the hard stuff helps all of us with our hard stuff, your being real helps us be real and what you find out about all of it along the way I know will be an inspiration and encouragement to many - not always fun going first though so thank you so much for letting us into your home and life. Tracey xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracey,

      Wow, thank you for sharing. We all struggle with things and sometimes being reminded that everyone has struggles does help us move forward in figuring out our own...or at least that is my hope. Your words were encouraging and I'm so glad that you enjoy the blog!

      ~Sarah

      Delete
  8. For me "outer order contributes to inner calm." Although, my house might not have always passed the white glove test I was always a much better parent when my ducks were in a row.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting, I read every single one. Because spam is so prevalent I moderate all comments. I also will delete any that are inappropriate or hurtful. All other comments will be approved and published in between me chasing around my five little tornadoes! For any specific questions feel free to email me at aninvitinghome@gmail.com. Thanks for reading and following along!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...