Friday, May 18, 2007

Dandelion Fluff!

Have you ever felt that "crushing feeling" of living in a home that is anything but organized? You know... where the laundry is piled up on the guest bed waiting to be folded and put away; the dining room table is completely covered with mail, diaper bag, magazines, and other sorts of sundry items that have lazily been dumped placed there upon entering the home; shoes have been kicked off all over the place; toys are all over the floor in the family room; kitchen counters are covered with ... stuff; and your bedroom is ... well, I'll let you fill in the blank.

That's my home right now. And, I can't really use "we've been running like crazy this week" as an excuse, because it seems like that's been the state of my home since the last week of my pregnancy with Hunter. Twenty months ago.

And I'm RIGHT THERE ... at the BREAKING POINT ... where I go from room to room with a huge contractor's trash bag and throw everything away. I could care less about making money at yard sales. That would require free time for me to organize stuff, price stuff, and actually set aside a full day to, well ... sell stuff. In fact, I've had two different people who were looking for extra work ask me if they could come and clean my home, and all I can think of when they ask is... "well, will you let me tie a rope around your waist in case you get lost and can't find your way out? 'Cause that would be my only requirement!" Okay, it's not that bad ... but it's getting there!

When I was growing up, my mother had a full-time nanny living in our home, taking care of me and my sister, and cleaning the house and cooking. Don't get my wrong ... my mom didn't lie around all day watching soap operas. No. She worked full time. AND, she's quite obsessive-compulsive about everything, and she would spend hours organizing stuff. It's quite a tall order to live up to, especially when she comes to visit, and I feel like everything has to be perfect.

But you know what? I heard our local Christian radio station air a commercial on Sunday (Mother's Day) that really touched my heart and made me feel a whole lot better. It went something like this:

Dishes are piling. You're behind on the laundry. You haven't dusted in
ages, and your errands haven't gotten done. Dinner's not ready, and the floor is
littered with toys... And YOU'RE playing with your kids.

Thanks, mom, for keeping your priorities in order.

Happy Mother's Day to you from WXXX!

Well, I know that if I were a full-time mom, my responsibilities would be to keep my home in order... and I would do just that, too. But working a full-time job and caring for your family tends to throw my priorities a little bit askew. So, this commercial meant the world to me.

Then, yesterday morning, I read this post at My Quiet Corner by Momrn2 ... and she also expressed similar sentiments... It made me feel so normal.

I guess I do keep my priorities in somewhat of an orderly fashion. After all, my hope is that my child will remember mom blowing bubbles with him after work, and walking him to the park so he can slide down the slide 50,000 times. Or maybe setting up the sprinkler for him and sitting on the front stoop watching him daringly step into the line of freezing cold water while he giggles and squeals and laughs hysterically.

You know, I used to be obsessed with perfection, and in some things, I can still be like that. But ... I waited so long for this child, and he is so important to me. He is a huge responsibility that God has placed in my hands, and for the life of me ... I can't imagine choosing to dust and fold laundry over playing with him in the back yard.

I guess there comes a time when you have to ignore the raised eyebrows and questioning looks when people come into your home, and accept it for what it is ... a lesser priority. And move on to the more important priorities in your life ... family. Because one day, I'm going to want to pull precious memories out of my heart and reflect on them ... and I certainly don't want those memories to be of me folding laundry while my life passed on before my very eyes.

So if you're coming to visit my house, you'll need to give me warning. But if you're coming to see me and my family, I'll be in the back yard with my husband and a little boy who gets insurmountable joy from blowing dandelion fluff all over our backyard.


momrn2 said...

The description of your home made me feel "right at home!" :-) The following was left as part of a comment on my post:

" If you want to see us, come over. If you want to see our house, make an appointment!"

I thought that was absolutely perfect!!!

Oh my friend, I so hear your heart in this post! I completely understand. As a FT working mother you know I relate to the pull between the two and the battle over the remaining time.

Be encouraged friend!!! Now, back to the backyard and the "dandelion fluff"! :-)

As a matter of fact, I'll grab my children and head on over. We'll all celebrate the presence of each other... togehter!

If only... *sigh*....;-)

org junkie said...

I enjoyed this post Gibee! It is definitely a balancing act isn't it when we only have so much time in the day. I've learned to let some things go myself, it hasn't been easy but it has been worth it.

I loved the quote above from momrn2!


Heather Smith said...

Great post, GiBee! I'm sure Hunter will always be greatful that you spent so much time with him!

Stacey said...

Gibee, please don't feel bad. I'm a SAHM right now and I feel like I can't even keep up with it! Life is hard and sometimes we just have to get down on the floor, no matter how dirty it is, and play with our kids! You're right, in the end all that matters is that our kids remember how much we loved on them and took time for their little lives!!

Thank you for this wonderful reminder today!!

Susanne said...

I find if I do a little bit here, a little bit there it makes me feel better rather than trying to tackle the overwhelming whole picture. Hunter remembering his relaxed mom blowing dandelion fluff with him is a far better memory than a stressed mom keeping her house in perfection while he played in a corner by himself.

I'll step over your shoes and come see you in the backyard if ever I make it out your way!

aggiejenn said...

I bow down to you, GiBee, because I'm a SAHM (albeit a very sick pregnant one right now) and my house is A MESS!!! I like that quote from momrn2's comments section.

I did that meme for you. :-)

Shalee said...

I love that quote from the radio station. THAT says it all when it comes to being a mom.

Twice now when looking at school work from my kids, in the "I wish" sections, they both put "my mom would play/be with me."

I think it's time I do a bit of prioritizing myself...

Tara said...

This spring after having a baby I was in the gym tossing a ball around with my sons. My three year old looked up at me and said, "Mommy, you have time to play with us today?" Stab right to the heart let me tell you. Remember, the days of dandelion bouquets (and fluff) are gone all to soon. Treasure them. :) PS, thanks for the GREAT stuff!

Carol said...

At some point, we were handed a lie. We were told we could have it all. Not true. At some point, something's gotta give.

Sandy said...

Great, great post.
Your son will have great memories with you, and he is not going to remember how messy or unorganized things are.
I've learned to relax over the years. Now I feel sorry for people who are so anal about having things so perfect.
I say, "get a life!" ha ha
THank you for sharing you heart.

Melissa said...


Obviously, many of us are in your shoes. I know I am. I wouldn't let anyone in my house right now, it's so bad!

As for that yard sale...I won't have one either. Fortunately, we've got a missionary at church having a yard sale to raise money for his trip. So, I just starting going through things & giving them away to him. I'm free from the junk (some of it, at least) & he's going to be able to make money from it. Definitely the way to go!

Monkey Giggles said...

well are not alone. Believe me...I right there with ya. Our community is having a community wide yard sale in 3 weeks....I ask myself...where is my extra day to do this....YIKES.

Anonymous said...

I am on the "back side" of mothering. My 2 boys are on their own, married, and the oldest is expecting his firstborn. I remember feeling just like you do and I want to encourage you with a word from the Word. Proverbs 14;4 says, "Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox." My husband and I determined we were raising boys, not a house. In a million years, what difference will it make. The only thing that matters is what did you do with Jesus. Love their daddy. Love the Lord. Don't worry about the house. When they leave home they will not remember the cooking, cleaning, and the carpooling. They will remember that mom loved Jesus. Both my men are walking with the Lord and loving Him and loving their wives. That is all that matters. Invest in the eternal and throw an afghan over the rest! Blessings.

Faithfulmommy said...

WHAT???? You have a picture in your sidebar??? OHMYWORD!!! I think I'll faint!! It is too beautiful!

OOps! Your post was great too! hehehe!!