Nesting Place (one of my very favorite blogs) is doing a 31 day series on "Home." Since I already love her blog the rest of the year, I knew that her series would have some thought provoking things on this subject.
I wasn't wrong.
Yesterday's post had this little bit in it:
Is home just another place where there are unmet expectations, lists, work and exhaustion? What does being home purposefully really mean?
Ouch. That stung.
You see, I have this uncanny ability to spread myself too thin. To say yes to many, many things. Because, I like doing things. I like to volunteer for stuff, to help out other people, to use my gifts in different ways, and most of all, underneath it all, to get that little thrill of an invisible pat on the back.
Being a mom can easily feel thankless and oftentimes, the rewards seem far off or can be overlooked when your heart is distracted by being productive. Having a clean house at the end of the day (while in and of itself) is not wrong, but when you achieve it by crushing everyone around you so that you can have something to show for all your hard work... well, at that point, you've just made a really pretty jail.
I'm in a place where I'm trying to balance teaching my kids how to be responsible for their things and not derail to either an complete disaster zone or home that looks like a magazine. (Not that it could really look like a magazine because come on. We have 6 people in our house.)
I'm not sure how to balance this. I think I will probably always struggle with this. I love for my home to look pretty and comfortable, but I feel like lately that I haven't done a very good job on giving a place for my family to look forward to. It's a place of "unmet expectations and exhaustion."
I don't want to be a slave master. I want to allow my kids to play and learn to be responsible for the aftereffects. My knee-jerk reaction is to make a schedule for when chores will be done and know that there will be set times for cleaning up.... but my true reaction, I think, needs to first repent of some things that I have made into idols around here.
(Any tips on how to balance play time, eating time, and cleaning up time would be greatly appreciated, though!)