Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stolen Post of lists vs. kindness

I read this post on another blog and it was taken from another one as well. I loved it so much that I want to post it for myself to go back and re-read each day. Here is the passage:

i was a young mother.
i had a 2 year old, a 1 year old and i was pregnant with Anna.
i had just finished folding baskets and baskets of laundry.
they were ready to be put away, sitting in a line at the top of my upstairs balcony.
the next thing i knew, my boys were laughing and throwing all my laundry off the balcony.
like 6 loads.
in a heap on my entryway floor.
i was devestated and SO MAD.
i was convinced that they knew better.
that they had to be taught.
i remember wanting to throw them off the balcony.
{i know, horrible mommy... they were BABIES!}
right when i was about to YELL... to TEACH them not to make MESSES... to TEACH them to respect their mother and all MY hard work... when i was just about to give it to them and feel completely justified in all my rage because what they had done was WRONG!!!...
right at that moment, i felt a still, small voice that asked me...what is more important? teaching them to be clean, or teaching them to be kind?
i wondered if my children went off to college and had no idea how to clean a bathroom, or f
old their laundry, could they still be good, functioning adults?
i remembered my college room-mates.
they were good girls.
one had a father who was a general authority.
they were messy.
they once cleaned the bathroom with windex and toilet paper.
i remember being surprised that they didn't really know how to clean.
{maybe this was just my impression...}
i KNEW at that moment, that it was NOT important to teach my kids to be clean.
i NEEDED to teach them to be KIND even when they were ANGRY.
i NEEDED to teach MYSELF to BE KIND, even when i'm ANGRY.
and... LOVE is more important.
i will always remember that moment. sitting at the steps, with my boys in my lap and the mountain of laundry strewn below us.
i hugged them and i cried.
for my weakness and their purity.
i learned that day to tell myself... love them today, you can teach them that tomorrow.
and. today, my boys are wonderful.
they don't ever throw clean, folded clothes around the house.
they have learned.
and... i have learned.
be consistent. yes.
consistently LOVING.
and, if you cannot teach cleanliness and kindness, pick kindness...
they can learn cleanliness another day.
if you cannot teach potty training and kindness.
pick kindness...
they can learn potty training another day.
if you cannot teach your grand scriptural insights and be kind.
pick kindness... they can learn scriptural wisdom another day.
because if you can't teach with love, you aren't really teaching at all.
you're just enforcing.
so, i guess i am for consistency... just depends on what your trying to be consistent in.
when it comes to most of life's tasks... i am consistently inconsistent.when it comes to teaching my kids, loving my kids, keeping calm and carrying on...
i'm pretty dang consistent.
and surprisingly, when i choose kindness... the other things happen more consistently than you would expect.
it's the loose yourself and you shall find yourself principle. give up control and you'll find control.
ahhh... the lessons i'm learning...
NOTHING teaches you more than being a mom.
"He taketh the barren woman and maketh her a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord."
{psalms something...}

I am struggling with this right now, well actually for a while now. For some reason it's hard for me when people (my family mostly) make my life harder by making mistakes. I know how harsh that sounds, believe me! I, like so many mothers, have so much housework to do along with trying to work part time and homeschool and volunteer and be a good mother, wife, etc. that when something falls out of whack I feel very frustrated. It sounds like a cliche but it's like I'm juggling and if someone as much as 'blinks' all the balls come falling down. That's when I feel mad because it then makes more work for me. I have a home business that I do mostly at night. When the kids go to bed about 4 nights a week I am up working for hours and hours until the wee hours of the night. If household tasks don't get completed during the day then there isn't time to do them at night. It's not like when people say "I don't have time for..." There actually isn't the time. Only 24 hours in a day, even though I keep wishing for more. I have customers counting on me and these are not the tasks that can be pushed aside until another day. I want to have an attitude of calmness. I want to love the "blinks". I want to be okay if a task doesn't get done that day. I want to be able to sit on the stairs and laugh at the mess. Oh how hard this is for me. I am such a task driven person. I have always measured my self-worth with how many tasks I can mark off my list for the day. I realize this needs to stop and I am working on it. This is my goal for 2012. I want to not worry about the junk that can wait till tomorrow or next week or when my kids go to college. So what if we have to sort through a pile of clean clothes for socks, right? So what if the pictures from Christmas don't get framed, so what if I don't get the thank you notes written, so what if my desk doesn't get cleaned off, so what if I don't get to hang my new plates on the wall, well that's where I draw the line. That WILL get done soon! Ha ha! I want to enjoy my babes while they are in my house. I want to enjoy having them at home during the day while we homeschool. I want to laugh at the laundry. I'll try that and let you know how it goes. Maybe the laundry will laugh back at me. I'll have to wait and see. Or, maybe I should just go to Target and have a slurpee, this always makes my babes happy!