Tuesday, March 2, 2010


You know how it goes. You meet someone for the the first time. Or, someone you've known a while is sharing about something that's happened recently.

It could be that they felt that housework could wait a day or two while they spent time with family. Or, that they spent all morning cleaning their bathroom with a toothbrush.

Maybe a little extra money came their way and they spent it on a new gadget. Or, that they splurged on a bottle of wine.

Is that first person a bad housekeeper? The second an overachiever? The third wasting their money on technology they don't need. The fourth a excessive drinker.

Or none of the above?

I've been struggling lately with the whole what's-expected-of-me-according-to-a-variety-of-people and how do I see my job as the keeper of the home and hearth of the Viking Hus.

I'm working as hard as I know how on all that I can manage around the house and yet I'm often embarrassed when people stop by unexpectedly. Dishes in the sink, food on the floor, toilet's dirty, piles of "in process" papers on several surfaces, laundry in process of being folded on the couch.

I go to other moms' homes for play dates and such and everyone else's homes seem spotless and organized. Their things nicer and cleaner. LOL And, yet, I always wanted a home that was "lived in" instead of a "museum" where the kids can't touch, can't play, can't just "be."

My kids' rooms may not be spotless but they are cleaner than they were a month ago before our latest job chart. My kids are still learning how to care for their things and what to do if they have too many things.

While I'm the first to admit to being a control freak of sorts, one of my goals is to let the kids have some freedom (within reason) and to be able to live without me harping on them constantly about how clean everything should be.

Ninety percent of the time I'm OK with the decisions I make about how and when and how much housework and chores get done. But, occasionally, an interaction with an outside source throws me into a tizzy of re-examining everything I'm doing.

I just want to rest in the knowledge that I'm doing "enough" - enough for DaHubby, enough for my kids, enough for myself. And, to be able to recognize when I've had "enough" of being compared to someone else.

I want to rest and know that the priorities that I'm responsible for and that I set for us are ones that make a good home, glorify God, and fulfill everyone's needs. And, that those priorities are "enough" for us and the Vikings.

And, I want to be less worried about what everyone else thinks.

Anyone else?


Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

I know I don't need to remind you of this, but the only One who needs to think you're doing a good job is Jesus. I get caught up, too, in wondering what other people think of me as a parent. And it causes stress. But then I need to pull back and remember that I am not living to please them. I am living to please Him.

Love you. And I promise that I won't ever stop by your house unannounced. ;-)

sara said...

I hear ya - and yet I'm also often encouraged in my work here by picking and choosing what I like about how other people do things. kwim?

For me, I just have to choose what's most important to us as a family and focus on those things. AND those things change frequently.

I'm so glad you're blogging.

Mel said...

First off - Your house never seems as bad as you make it sound. I'm always comfortable in your house as are my kids. You're an awesome mom and I so look up to you!!!

Second - I hope you're not implying my house!! You may never see clothes on the couch waiting to be folded but that's because I toss them on my bed when I know someone's coming over. You don't see dishes in my sink because I've overstuffed the dishwasher. (Today I did last nights dishes super quick at 3pm because my MIL was coming over!) And my house is definitely not a museum. I, too, love the 'lived in' feel. :)

You're an awesome mom Beth!!!!

Elizabeth V said...

Thank you for such wonderful honesty. Honestly I think every mom struggles with this. People always tell me how neat and clean my place is, but they have never really examined the many hiding places I have found throughout my living space. I noticed your title "Priorities" and I do believe you've nailed it. Many chose to go to bed at a decent time each night I, on the other hand, have to regain control of my surroundings each night so that I don't feel like I am going to lose it, but I'd rather do that than take away from my time with my kids. It would be such a blessing to moms all over the world if we would all just vow to judge less and not care so much about what other's think.

Jamie said...

I think we're all that way. I go over to people's houses, who have younger kids like us, and their houses always seem so put together. But then I do a major clean up when I know we're having company over as well. If you were to stop by unexpectedly, you'd find an entirely different story - probably much like the owners of the houses you were describing.

All you have to worry about it doing what's right for you and your family. Because that is different for everybody.