What I’ve been dealing with lately is stuff that all mommies struggle with. That desire to maintain control. It doesn’t matter what area of life we’re talking about. It could be work, kids, marriage…for me it was home.
I have a link to Flylady.net in my Linkos section. The “Fly” part of Flylady stands for Finally Loving Yourself, and her concept is that if you “bless your house” a little at a time and give yourself permission to not be perfect, you will find the peace of a clean home.
Her most basic tool is routine. She encourages a before-bed routine, a morning routine, an afternoon routine—all just fifteen minutes at a time. Then there are the one-load-of-laundry-a-day routine, the what’s-for-dinner routine and so it goes. Just break it down into little pieces. “You can do anything for fifteen minutes.”
Well, I put this link here because Flylady has been a great blessing to me. I’ve made improvements in the organization of my home (still have a long way to go) and even greater strides in keeping up with the daily cleaning. So in no way am I dissing Flylady.
Keeping up on all these routines sometimes throws me into a frenzy. That’s what’s been happening lately. It goes like this:
Day 1: I miss my before-bed-routine.
Day 2: I say to myself that I’m going to do it tonight. Then I’m tired, or we’re out and about. I don’t get it done, and I feel terrible.
Day 3: I feel even more stressed about getting it done, but still can’t seem to do it.
Day 4: Start saying things like, “Kids, mommy has something she really needs to do now, okay?” Gritting my teeth.
Day 5: I become grumpy and resentful toward anyone (my four wee ones and angel husband) who get in my way. I become the Flylady nazi, “I vill get this done! Or somevun vill pay!”
Multiply this by three or four other missed routines and … you get the idea.
So, I felt the meltdown coming in the air. Knew it was on its way, and yesterday it came a knockin’. Truthfully it wasn’t only because the house was a disaster. The demands of four kids (all sick this week), lack of sleep, and my own stack of commitments may have added to the overload. (Ya think?)
Whatever the causes, I was a mess. Tears and anger intermingled into nonsensical rants. I felt overwhelmed and depressed. Like a failure and outcast. I wanted to throw the mess in the lake and run down to the corner pub to escape into a merry time with the locals.
But since I couldn’t do any of those, I just sat on the couch catatonic waiting for my husband to call, and when he did, I opened the floodgates on him, demanding a housekeeper, and that he give me ten compliments for every negative. Then I called my dear friend and unloaded on her. And then I called one more friend and spilled it to her. (Thank You Lord for friends.)
Getting it out helped a bit and somewhere along the way I remembered something I’d forgotten. It was something my spiritual mother told me. Are you ready?
“It’s not the end of the world.”
What a blessing those words are! When I don’t get my routines done, it’s not the end of the world. When I forget to plan dinner, and we have to eat soup out of a can, it’s not the end of the world. When I’m so exhausted, I tell my kids to watch TV so I can rest, it’s not the end of the world. When I lose control of any or all the areas I’m trying to nail down, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of the world.
So today’s been better. And actually, the house is a little cleaner. Now that I’m not all psyched up about it, I can just relax and pick up a few things. But I won’t forget (at least for today) that if my routines don’t get done, it’s not the end of the world.
(I should mention that another major concept of Flylady is that we implement the routines one a time—she calls it babysteps—so that we don’t get overwhelmed. Guess I forgot that too.)