Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perspective...Take 2.

Well, I know I posted about keeping a good perspective on life just a little bit ago (Here in August)...but apparently I needed a recalibration. Again.

As I was sweeping the kitchen...for the 2nd time today; changing another load of laundry; reloading the dishwasher; and picking up the toys that procreate on my living room floor...I became annoyed.

I mean WHY should I have to sweep (or vacuum) the floor after every meal??

Why can't the children just LEAN OVER their plates like I tell them to do about-50-times-a-meal?

Why do they have to always spill something sticky on the counter I just wiped clean, or the floor I just mopped?

Why do they have to pull out every-single-book-on-the-shelf to build their forts?

Why do they have to cause blood to explode from their body (most often the face) as soon as the laundry is caught up?

I mean really. 

Yet, as I was struggling to heave myself up from pulling the clean clothes out of the dryer...I was struck with a thought:

I am looking at this all wrong.

Yes, I do need to sweep after every meal...but that is because my children are home and we are eating together.

These little beans (One in particular) do indeed have trouble leaning over their plates...because they are too excited about what they are saying - or doing - or telling each other - to focus on something like sitting still.

Yep, there are constant spills...because my little beans are home. They are here with me! What a treat to be with them and an opportunity to teach them manners and cleanliness.

The books and toys come out...and they are learning. They are creating and imagining. They are playing together. They are reading their favorite stories to each other. They are acting out the stories they love. How can I be upset or annoyed about that?

There is a never-ending-amount-of-laundry...because all my beans are home. We have more than just the clothes on our backs. We have indoor plumbing...I am not traipsing down to a river to scrub our other set of clothes. 

That may seem a bit of an extreme perspective - but many, many people in this world have never experienced the surplus of clothing that I take for granted.

And the dishes. Oh the dishes! Yet, if I didn't have the constant dishes...where would my reminder be of all the beautiful moments shared over breakfast and lunch and dinner? 

Overall, I was struck with my lack of thankfulness. I could easily be annoyed at the daily-routine-repetitive things that I must accomplish....or I can choose to just view them as the blessings they are. They are reminders of a family. MY Family. All the children are home...and well. I don't lie awake at night wondering if they will have food tomorrow...or a jacket for the winter. They are still young enough that a kiss and a hug can often solve all problems. They want me to share in their day - in the little moments and the big ones. 

I know the day will come - sooner than I could ever anticipate - that they will be running off on their own adventures. My house will stay clean. My washer and dryer will rest for a day or two. I'll have days that go by of not running my dishwasher.

But when that day comes...I won't have little sticky hands cupping my face to say "I love you Mommy!" The hurts and injuries will be deep and not curable with a kiss. They will be going off on their own adventures...and we will no longer hear about them around the table. There will no longer be cries out in the night from the bed down the hall...but I am sure I will still wake up to pray for  them and hope they are well. There will no longer be the unexpected gift of a special rock...or a request to sit down and read a favorite story. 

And when that day comes, I will miss this. 

Copyright 2010


  1. Whitney - WOW - what an awesome reminder! I don't have kiddos yet, but we're planning on having them soon and I have started to worry that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the house, cleaning and kids and still be ME. Reading what you wrote makes me so excited for even the rough stuff. Thanks so much for what you do!

  2. Lindsey - I'm glad this was encouraging! Things will change with the addition of kids...but that is not a bad thing! Once you learn the balance that works for your family it is a LOT easier. :)

  3. Whitney, you definitely have the right perspective now! Beautifully said.



Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement!