Yah, its a mess. In the past, I have written some goals about using the flylady's system to organize this place, but basically, I just get her many emails each day and delete each one without reading them. Somewhere, I read about "Blessing others with your messy house. I am trying to relax and still welcome friends inside, even though its cluttered. The idea of blessing others with your messy house, is that if you welcome your friends inside without it being perfect, they will feel blessed, because their home is not perfect either. Instead of her thinking, "Wow, I wish my house was this nice, how does she do it, and why can't I keep my house like that?" she will think, "Wow, my house really isn't so bad, is it. This place is a dump! There are three bags of trash in the kitchen. That dirty laundry mountain is taller than me!"
Only, I don't do well with my home cluttered and messy. That is the issue. I am compelled to clean it up, instead of doing necessary things. And, what are the necessary things? My priorities get muddled, and I become lost in lists and schedules that I cannot complete. I will clean, instead of doing school. I will do dishes, instead of food shopping. I will pick up Legos instead of doing laundry. I will take out the paper plates, and not do the dishes, because now I must wash diapers. I forgot to wash the baby's diapers and well, they stink, and the baby needs to wear diapers! The wash in the washer needs to be re-run because its sat there wet for two days, and has a funky odor. It all gets messed up in my brain. I don't remember to delegate chores to the kids, because its all too overwhelming.
I tried to hire a 12 year old as a mother's helper. But, she made the volleyball team, and canceled on me twice. It never happened. So, I am just pushing on alone as I am accustomed to doing.
My girlfriend offered to help me. She has 4 kids. She suggested that she'd watch my three and I could food shop alone. But, she mentioned, "Well, maybe when you are out, you could buy me some more toilet paper? The two year old has unrolled every roll and wound it around various things in the house, or plugged the toilet with it. No, wait, we shouldn't give him more TP to play with, I think I'll just use tissues. And, well, is it ok if your kids watch a video for a little while? My two year old mixed all the clean and dirty laundry together, and I'm having the other kids sort it out- dirty from clean." You see! I'm not alone in this problem. And, wow! I felt so much better about my house after talking to my friend. God used her loving willingness to invite my children over into her filthy house to bless me real good!
She did help me. I didn't get much done. The baby was asleep for a little while. My husband who is deployed all month, had a rare chance to talk to me on the phone. We enjoyed that peaceful time. I also offered something rather foolish. I told my friend that I'd go through her bags of discards - she is moving in two months, and take what we wanted, and bring the rest to the local thrift. She lives across the street from me. If she tries to take things to the thrift herself, her children desperately re-claim it for their own. And, useless stuff too- like an extra fry pan, empty bottles, or used coloring book.
So, now these bags arrive on my porch. We sort through them. The baby has "new to us" clothes and this is awesome. There is stuff that just goes in our dumpster. There is stuff that goes to the thrift. Then a new needy family came on the radar. So, I am giving stuff to her too. I am adding my own hand-me-downs. There are boxes for my SIL who is having a baby this Spring. Cause, I constantly purge my own stuff, as my baby outgrows it.
But, back to the mess. My neighbor is shedding her mess, by feeding my mess. And, I am helping others grow their own messes. Its a viscous cycle.
My MIL tells me that if my home is a bit messy and cluttered then I am spending my time on important things. My children and my family. I am. I am doing this Mom! My husband has been away for 3 weeks now. I am nurturing and loving our children. My baby no longer will sleep at night in the crib. We snuggle together at night, while he nurses every hour or so and my poor back is breaking from trying not to move and wake the baby. I get about an hour to myself alone. The hour that he sleeps in the crib alone once the other kids are to bed for the night. I do the school lessons. I endure the sibling rivalry. I take everyone to the doctor when they need it. I cook the meals. I don't have time to go into the meltdowns that are becoming more frequent in our household. That's a whole different post that I should write about autism.
I think I'm a little bit insane to be a married solo parent, military wife, isolated in AK, raising a new baby at 40, raising a child with autism, and homeschooling. But for the next while, please realize this: If you come to my home- I will bless you with my messy house. I am busy loving my family, and I would enjoy sharing that love with you too! And, if you live thousands of miles away, I hope that my blog entry will make you feel relaxed and calm about your own home.