Wednesday, October 15, 2014
When I read way, way back into the pages of my early parenthood, I gag.
My goodness, I was ridiculous. When I was a growing child in my parents home I thought that I would eventually produce little angel babies that were perfect and that everyday as their Mother would be glory. And ladies and gentleman I tried to paddle in that stream of "ideal mother" for a LONG time. I started out really caring about important things like combed hair and carrots everyday and chore charts. I read about family systems and family motto's and rewards and all that JAZZ. I even implemented these things with fervor. I think I even taught my children at one point to wash their hands (every time, ha!) after they use the bathroom. I certainly believed in bedtime and book reading and all these awesome family traditions that I would keep up with. I cared at least some about safety and the avoidance of bodily harm for my brood.
But guess what? I kinda stink at all that. We have been through approximately 15 million different money systems. I cant DO IT. I always let these systems fizzle and die. Chore charts, 28 million. I will never in all my days make another chore chart. No rewards on your door, no points, or marbles or sticks or anything. Sorry about that Children.When chores need to be done, I just tell the precious children to do them. No gold star for you, just DO IT. Healthy food is awesome, I make a valiant effort but I will tell you now that the whole entire year after Cali was born, as I slept um, never, and tried to feed a baby that would NOT-- my other 4 orphaned children ate white flour, in the freezer frozen waffles- every day. I have let my girls go summer days on end with the same pig tails. Just the other day Branson slid down the mud hills left over from construction and doused in summer rain on his belly for an hour. I loved it. I let him use power tools. I gave him his OWN hot glue gun. I hand my 3 year old paint and say, GO FOR IT. We don't own knee pads, shopping cart covers or trampoline nets. I no longer hold my self to the daily regiments that say for every 150,000 minutes of reading you earn 30 minutes of TV. When I want the TV off, I turn it off. When I want them to read something I had them a book.
By Sunday night my home looks like a frat house. I believe in clean organized places with all my soul but I have people here. Humans that LIVE and PLAY and EAT and rarely, even though they have been taught, clean up voluntarily BEFORE lets say I turn into the Hulk and demand a clean up.
My children argue. My children tease. My children ride down the stairs on snow sleds. My children spill something every 1.2 minutes of my life. Yesterday, Branson and his buddy cooked bacon out on the sidewalk -with a lighter.
What I am trying to say is we are less than perfect here. I am less than perfect. I stopped caring LONG ago if all my children look perfect before we leave, or eat perfect everyday or read my carefully thought out "summer reading"list. (Who am I kidding, I never even tried the blasted summer reading list).
But, children don't need a perfect home, they need a loving home. And boy can I love. I care about scriptures, prayers and kindness. I care about TIME together. I don't worry as much about one of my kids scraping a knee or falling off a tree branch or running the neighborhood barefoot as much as I care about teaching them to avoid spiritual injury. My energy goes into LOVE more than into charts and systems and timed TV limits.
That's what matters around here. So I hope my grown up kids will forgive me for not making them organic lunches with star shaped sandwiches. I hope my girls will forgive me the buns they wear 4 out of 5 days to school. I hope they don't resent the fact hat I never looked up fancy hair styles on Pinterest and I never threw them a birthday party that looked like a magazine spread. I hope they aren't scared for life over not having a chore chart that ever worked or a reward for when they picked up their own darn mess.
I am totally over perfect. I am totally into what matters.
“Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?” There are so many good things to do, but we can’t do all of them. Our Heavenly Father is most pleased when we sacrifice something good for something far greater with an eternal perspective. Sometimes, that may even mean nurturing small but beautiful forget-me-not flowers instead of a large garden of exotic blooms."