Do you ever have those moments where you're laying in bed and it's dark and your husband says something to you and you can't say a word because you know it's true? It's dark and you just look at the darkness and try hard to defend yourself, but nothing comes out. You're almost glad it's dark because then you don't have to look into his eyes as he's saying something that was probably hard for him to say and is very hard for you to take.
That scenario happened to me a few nights ago. Aaron and I were laying in bed and talking about our kids and stuff and he said something that made me stop in my tracks. I knew he was right. I was embarrassed at how right he was. I was sad that he was right. I was mad that he was right. I had no words. Nothing could be said to change what he said.
He said this, “I think you're too hard on the kids and you should be more encouraging.”
Did you hear the pin drop? Did you hear the dagger to my heart? Can you just see the tears swell up in my eyes? Can you picture the lump stick in my throat?
He is so right. I sometimes find myself running a business around here and not a family. Anyone ever feel like that before? It's almost like everything's being timed and if something goes off the timeline the whole ship will sink. Parenting four kids between the ages of 3 and 7 can do that to you. I feel like things must go my way. I make the rules. No one has a choice about anything, because if you have choices then the other 3 need choices and then after that 20 minutes has gone by and we're still not out the door.
Here's an example. Amos is always asking to put his swim suit on and play outside after school. I always so NO. Most of the time he accepts but then sometimes he pouts, which leads to more trouble for the night because he has a hard time shaking things off. You may be asking yourself, what's wrong with letting the kid put on his swimsuit? Well in my business fun family all I think about is the extra laundry that gives me, and then he'll probably track water and mud in the house and I'll have to sweep for the 19th time that day and mop two days in a row. Also when he wants to wear his swim suit he'll probably want to wear his swim shirt and that's more laundry. Oh and if Amos gets to then so does everything else and whalla you have a whole extra load of laundry for mom.
That's how my brain thinks. Awful. Let the kid wear a swim suit. Geez.
As we lay there in silence after Aaron said that, I knew that he was right. I knew it from the bottom of my heart. In fact knowing that was true hurt my heart badly. I don't want my kids to think of me as a hard mom that only utters these words to them all day long ….
“whose towel is this?”
“where does this book go?”
“No, you can't wear two shirts today. I don't care if you're hot outside, you should have thought of that this morning.”
“No orange juice, we're having water.”
“Clean up the toothpaste stains.”
“Pick up these socks.”
“Whose lunchbox didn't get put up?”
“Clean up the playroom.”
“Why is this blanket on the floor?”
All day long I'm yelling orders, commands, instructions, all in the name of having a household that runs smoothly.
Today when the kids got home guess what I let them do …. yeap you guessed it. They all have their swim suits on and are playing in the water waiting on the rain to come to get them wet. OH yes I'll have more laundry, but I am choosing to just let it go. I didn't think of laundry when they were wanting to do something fun. I thought of fun.
*Not quite sure what's up with the gang signs my kids are throwing up!
I'm on a mission to think less about laundry and more about fun.