Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reality Check

If a mom ever wants to feel needed, just leave town for a couple of days.

I guarantee you'll quickly realize just how much your family needs you.

It will probably hit you like a ton of bricks, and it will probably make you a little angry.

Case in point: I was out of town for two nights and two and a half days. Not a long time at all. I even took the two little girls with me. Keeping the house running smoothly should have been a piece of cake.

Far from it.

Here's just a small list of what I came home to this evening:
  • A sink full of dirty dishes, including the bowl of cereal Morgan ate before we left on Monday. That didn't smell so good.
  • The crockpot that I had left supper in for Monday was also sitting in the sink, with sloppy joes still in it.
  • The cake platter I had washed before leaving, was once again dirty, because apparently no one realized the dishes beside the sink were clean.. so they just stacked dirty ones on top of the clean ones.
  • The laundry was still untouched - the load I started before leaving on Monday was still in the washing machine, although the lid had been opened, but when they realized there was a load in the washer and in the dryer, they just walked away. Because suddenly, washing a load of clothes became a lot more work than someone had planned on doing.
I could continue, but I don't want to hurt any feelings.

But to say I was annoyed, would be an understatement.

So I spent six hours on the road, with the girls, by myself, worked two nine hour days, and came home to even more work.

Talk about a reality check.

But the thing is, I was never really on "vacation". 

I was working.

And I had a two year old and a five year old with me.

Definitely not a vacation.

But then I did what I always do.

I lost my temper.

I yelled at Jake.

I yelled at Brad.

I yelled at Lexi.

I sent the little girls to bed.

Lizzy started crying and asked "Mom, do you even like us?".


Another slap in the face.

That's when I realized I was freaking out about stupid things.

So the dishes stink.

So the laundry needs to be rewashed.

So what?

There is plenty of time for those chores.

I need to remind myself it's ok to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.

The world isn't going to end if a load of laundry sits in the washer overnight.

And I also have to remember, my "big" kids are still just kids.

Yes, they know what needs to be done on a daily basis, but they know those things because I remind them daily. Without those gentle reminders, they will just be kids. 

And that's ok.

However, they're not completely off the hook.

As with every "situation", there's a lesson here for us all too.

My lesson is to chill out.

Their lesson is to be observant - notice what needs to be done, and do it without being asked.

Wish me luck.

And, to answer Lizzy's heartbreaking question, I do like my family.  In fact, I love them more than anything in the world.... stinky dishes and all.

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