We first learned that I was expecting baby number six while looking after a sweet little boy who was nearing two years old. The little guy stayed with us for a couple days while his little brother was being brought into the world and he and William became close friends during that time. The day that our children were introduced to this family’s tiny new born, was the day that we told them that they had a new little brother or sister on the way too!
Not only did William understand what we were telling him, but he was grumpy at the prospect of a new baby! It didn’t take him long to warm up to the idea though. Every week he saw his little friend at church who was bursting with pride over his dear brother, and William began to light up when anyone spoke of the new baby.
A few weeks ago I met a new friend, a Mom with three dear little ones. Her youngest, a seven month old grinning darling, had my girls crowded around waiting for a cuddle. Myra and Melanie each had a chance to hold the baby when William spoke up, “I hold him?” he asked with his arms stretched out in anticipation. I held the baby on William’s lap and William wrapped his arms around him in a heartfelt hug. “My baby,” he said with absolute delight.
“Oh, I’m sorry William!” I said, realizing that he thought that this was the baby he had been waiting for. “We have to give this baby back to his Mommy.” How could I explain to a little boy who had just turned two that our baby wouldn’t be coming for months and months? I wondered if he felt disappointed as he watched the family drive away.
The following morning the big kids told William that Grandma was coming. “Grandma bring baby?” asked William hopefully. It was time for another cuddle as I tried to explain to my precious boy that our baby is growing in Mommy’s tummy and we won’t be able to see the baby for a long time.
A couple of nights ago, I sat cuddling William before tucking him in for the night. He likes to ask me what everyone is doing during our evening snuggle.
“What Myra doing?” he asked. I replied that she’s doing the dishes and then we went through everyone in the family. “What you doing?” he finally asked.
“I’m cuddling my baby boy!” I said with a squeeze.
“I not a baby. I William,” he stated decidedly. “The baby’s in your tummy. It go round and round!” I laughed as tears sprang to my eyes. He’s growing up. He understands, and there’s that wonderful pain in my heart as I watch him leave his babyhood behind.
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Last week I posted on my need for a vision in housekeeping, and my goal to check up on the children to ensure that they are doing their chores properly. We spent most of two days cleaning the children’s rooms and the main room upstairs.
For the first time in a very long time, I tackled the clutter with much gusto and energy. How wonderful it was to know that the corners and crevices were clutter free. But alas, cleaning couldn’t go on forever and school had to resume. Progress since then has been slow, but I feel joyful that we are at least maintaing the areas that had been cleaned. Everyday I make myself go upstairs and check under the beds and behind the doors. At first the children were not being thorough, but they have since learned that it is easier to do it right the first time.
The children’s closets have yet to be dominated and I am afraid that my pantry is actually worse now, but, I am not discouraged, for I have the secret pleasure of knowing that it is clean under my couch.
There is so much more to do, but I actually feel that it is possible to conquer and overcome this clutter. I have never before dared to believe that it could be done. I’ve decided to make the long range goal to have my house organized by the New Year. I feel a little trepidation at making this public goal, but I know that it is exactly what I need to keep me accountable. (Anyone who thinks that blogging is a waste of time hasn’t factored in the value of accountability!)
‘Till next time!
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I had been ignoring the situation for far too long and it was time to face the facts: the children were not doing their chores properly. Crevices under beds, dressers and bookshelves were crammed to spilling over. It was time to do a major cleaning.
I felt frustration welling up within me as we overturned toy boxes, pulled mounds of junk from beneath beds and unearthed all kinds of long lost treasures and unidentifiable objects. And yet, I knew it was not the fault of the children. Where did they learn to shirk cleaning jobs in the first place? Wasn’t I choosing to look the other way when they would run down the stairs declaring they had cleaned their rooms in only 3 and a half minutes?
“I just can’t do this,” I inwardly complained. “I just can’t keep a house clean.” As soon as the thought entered my mind though, I realized how ridiculous it was. Obviously I am physically capable of doing the job, and I’ll fly at it wildly once in a blue moon, so what exactly is the problem here?
I wrote a post once entitled What’s Wrong With Me? where I poked fun at my “disorder” – Organizationally Dysfunctional. It was probably beneficial, as I was facing my faults and coming clean, but even there I was saying, “There must be something wrong me. I can’t do this.”
The problem is perseverance and consistency, which I’ve always recognized, but I didn’t realize the why behind the problem until today: a lack of motivation, a vision and a plan. I persevere in homeschooling though it is often very difficult and exhausting. I persevere because I see how important it is. I have a vision that helps me to overcome the difficulties. I need a vision for housekeeping. I need to catch hold of the fact that a clean home saves time and energy. It brings serenity and peace and is a way that I can serve my family and God.
Over the years I have tried to rationalize the idea of paying someone to clean my home. “I’m creative,” I would think to myself. “I can come up with a way to make money so that I can pay someone else to do the housework.” But I realized today that It’s not the housework that is the problem, it’s my attitude. God wants me to overcome my weaknesses, in His strength and wisdom.
So I still need a plan, but I know I need to start by checking up on the kids and making sure they do a thorough job. It will only take me a few minutes every day and it will be teaching them the importance of doing a job well. And I could use a little accountability too, so I’ll check in with you in a week and let you know how it’s going.
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