Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mount Vesuvius
Yesterday I blew my top. And the words that spilled from my mouth were like molten lava. They burned a scorched everyone that got in my way. It was a humbling moment when I walked down the hall and heard Baby Girl yelling at her toys saying the exact words I had just said to her. I got so caught up in my feelings that I let it overflow to those around me. I'm tired of house work. No, tired isn't the right word. You see, I am a person who loves projects. BUT, those projects need to have a beginning, middle, and an end for me to feel satisfied with the outcome. Housework isn't like that. It's a circle. For example - I finished the laundry yesterday. Spent the entire day washing, folding, putting away. And then when everyone got in their pajamas last night they threw their clothes into the hampers - meaning that I didn't FINISH the laundry. There was no end. I got the dishes done, then we had lunch - more dishes. We got the toys cleaned up, then the kids wanted them back out to play. I'm really struggling with the fact that there just isn't an end. There is no real finished product. It makes me frustrated and at times, angry.
I apologized to the kids and tried to make it up to them. Red was already at school when it happened, so he was safe. I took a magazine to Little Bug that was from the San Diego Zoo. It was full of pictures from the Wild Animal Park of the 4 baby elephants that have been born there in the last 3 years. He loves elephants! We sat and looked at the pictures and said "elephant" for each picture and then giggled. Baby Girl and I spent some time together after Little Bug went to school. I painted her toes a lovely shade of sparkly blue and we watched a PBS cartoon together. We giggled and had a lot of fun. I just wish I could have done those things for fun and not as an apology.
So, how do you get through your housework? How do you find joy in it and not let it become drudgery? Any ideas how I can feel accomplished with this? I just want to feel like what I do matters. And right now, it doesn't. Plus, I can't blow my top like that every time I'm frustrated with folding laundry... suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Don't forget to go here today :)

15 comments:

PRP said...

I don't think there is a magic answer. This is unfortunately just part of life. Maybe try focussing on WHO you're doing it for, rather than WHY you're doing it at all, and that will help.

I say treat yourself to a Carmel Apple Cider from Starbucks and feel better today!

Maddy said...

It's an extremely stressful time of the year. A few years back I read a book called something like 'pull the plug on Christmas' [a light quick read] which helped me sort out what was important and what I could ditch.
Just a thought [not a book promotion]
Cheers
This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.

Heather said...

I hate housework for all the EXACT reasons you pointed out. I try (and I'm using that term really loosely) to just focus on one task a day. That way it seems a little more manageable and I don't stress out about everything else that isn't done, or is getting undone because I have one taks under my belt.

Kimberly said...

The Done List is what works for me when I get feeling that way. I write down everything I get done, and even if it's undone by the end of the day, I have a piece of paper as tangible evidence that I worked my tail off. I always leave it somewhere Neil can see it. =)

JustRandi said...

I like the Done List, too. I did that when my kids were really little. I vividly remember the day it occurred to me that for my laundry to really be Done, everyone in my family would have to be naked for about a 3 hour period. Hehe

I had to decide that there was a point where it was enough. That even though everything wasn't perfect, I had done my day's work, and it was ok to be off the clock.

People who work outside the home have a point where they are done with their work for the day, even if the work isn't completely done... so why shouldn't I?

For me, if I've done dishes in the morning and the evening, that's enough. One load of laundry completely processed per day is enough. I have a checklist for each day.

Flylady taught me a lot about that.

Sorry this is so long - it's just something I feel like I learned the hard way and I'm anxious to spare anyone I can.

Dedee said...

I'm going to be checking back often to see what other people say. For me, I just had to acknowledge that it would never b done and then try to let it go.

Andrea said...

I have a pretty good housework routine going, and I just try to get it done as INSANELY FAST as I possibly can every day. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Holly said...

I think you need some good chocolate! Also, if you have a Cost Plus anywhere nearby, they have darling elephant ornaments. It's where we get all of ours!

I'm right there with you on the blowing your top. I scare myself sometimes with how loudly I can yell and how angry I can get. And it's usually over the boys' and their messes. I always apologize but I feel like such a bad mom.

And as far as chores and laundry go, it is a never ending battle and unfortunately it doesn't seem to matter to anyone but you. I have a list everyday that I go by and I check things off as I do them. And, since I end up doing a lot of things that aren't on my list, I add those to my list and then check those off too. It's amazing at how much doing that feels like an accomplishment.

I agree with JustRandi when she says that sometimes you just need to decide that enough is enough. You don't need to do it all, everyday. I've learned that one the hard way.

whymommy said...

Only way I get through it is by focusing on the good stuff ... the time with the kids. The rest is not important, just stuff that has to fit in around the edges.

Jodi W said...

Here's one for a laugh...When I was a kid I'd pretend that Michael Jackson was coming to visit. (Remember this was in the mid-80's!) That would motivate me to get my room cleaned up. Now all I have to do is remember the many times I've had unexpected visitors and felt totally embarrassed by the condition of my home! Of course, that's not fool-proof because then I just clean the main part of my house that visitors actually see. But seriously, do take a look at flylady.com. Love her!!

Jodi W said...

Here's one for a laugh...When I was a kid I'd pretend that Michael Jackson was coming to visit. (Remember this was in the mid-80's!) That would motivate me to get my room cleaned up. Now all I have to do is remember the many times I've had unexpected visitors and felt totally embarrassed by the condition of my home! Of course, that's not fool-proof because then I just clean the main part of my house that visitors actually see. But seriously, do take a look at flylady.com. Love her!!

Yvonne said...

There used to be an old saying (please everyone don't attack me for this--I am just old) "A woman's work is never done" I know that probably isn't politically correct, sorry. I am forever making list and then crossing things off so I feel like I accomplished something--it always makes me feel better. I don't think anyone can get EVERYTHING done, but I'm happy when I get something done. There truly is a time and a season for everything--focus on what is most important right now, those little ones running around the house.

MAGIRK said...

I am right there with you, girl.

I struggle with the temper sometimes, especially when it seems like they 'suddenly become stupid' and don't understand a single word I say! Even though, if I said the word 'chocolate' they'd be all ears!!

A few weeks ago, DH stayed home to recuperate from illness. He watched me work all day long, and responded at the end of the day, "Man! I've been here, I've watched you work all day. But it doesn't look like you've actually made any progress."

The irony of motherhood & homemaking! Or is it just the irony of having twin babies....?

Circular only BEGINS to describe a woman's work - and YES, sometimes frustratingly, it truly is never done.

Nancy Face said...

What you do matters more than any other job...because of who you're doing it for. I understand your frustration, and I LOVE how you apologized to your kids! :)

I really like the checklist thing...everything I scratch out makes me feel like I really have accomplished something, even if it doesn't look like it! There is always something left over at the end of the day, so if it is important, it just gets moved to the next day's checklist...or the next day's...

Hang in there! :)

diana said...

sounds like you've got a lot of good advice. i hope you find something that works for you and fits into your life.

the most important thing to remember is that you're a good mom. the ocassional blow-up is normal. your apologies spoke louder than the blow-up.