Thursday, May 28, 2009

Encouraging Others

I met a new homeschooling mom this spring, one who has somehow stayed under the radar and managed to have a full, homeschooling social life without belonging to our local homeschooling organization or even hanging out with anyone who does. Another story for another time. Anyway, she was telling me that her house was so messy her mother-in-law was coming to dig her out. She's pregnant and super busy, so a messy home was to be expected, but her willingness to have someone see the mess was what amazed me. "I don't even pretend to keep a perfect house," she told me. "Keeping up a facade is too discouraging to others."

What an epiphany. Personally, I do my best to hide the fact that my house is messy on a regular basis, that my children eat (organic, of course) macaroni and cheese for dinner when I am cramming for a chemistry exam, and that we have even had to wear each other's socks at times for lack of clean ones of our own. I tend to think people would judge me if they saw these moments, that they would think less of me.

In all honesty, I think I'm not giving my friends enough credit. Only a jerk would look at a pile of clean laundry and think bad things about me, and my friends are not jerks at all. When I see glimpses of these realities in their lives, I usually feel relieved: I'm not the only one???

So, I figured I would encourage you all in my friend Heidi's spirit. Today, instead of telling you about my successes, I'll tell you about my failures. I got 77% on a chemistry test because I mistakenly thought I understood the difference between a paramagnetic and diamagnetic complex; I am making taco casserole for dinner because my stove and counters are covered with goldfish apparatus; my to-be-folded laundry pile is so substantial that my kids don't even look in their drawers for clean underwear anymore; I am using the dryer and putting disposables on my youngest child because I am too backed up on laundry to deal with lines or create one item of extra linen; I haven't even started my homework even though it's about the most fascinating subject ever: monkey penises (no kidding). That's just the beginning, folks. I'm not even going to get into the relative emails and phone calls I have to return.

I hope you all feel encouraged now. If you want to encourage my readers and me, feel free to leave a comment telling me about your own personal failures.


sajmom said...

I've been reading through some of your posts. I came here once back in march I think from a google alert, and commented on a Jon and Kate post. I just ran across your return comment on mine and I clicked on your name to check out your blog. This post particularly resonates with me. I'm guessing you are much more organized than I am to begin with! I tend to have piles of stuff on most flat surfaces. Before kids things were still pretty clean, just sometimes cluttered. Up to two kids, it was more cluttered, but not really messy. Enter the third child, and it has been just CHAOS ever since. If someone comes over without calling I often won't answer the door-I'm just not ready for company. (In my experience everyone says, Oh it's ok! We understand! but then they make comments behind your back anyway) My house isn't dirty-my kids make too many messes, so each area of the house gets cleaned regularly without me even trying! I generally have piles of laundry waiting to be distributed and dishes waiting to be washed or just to be put away. I won't go into more detail than that, but altough I constantly clean, my house is generally a mess. I agree with your thoughts on kids and cleaning, I'm just struggling to impliment a system of that type. I wasn't diligent enough and I'm paying for that! Thanks for the knowledge that I'm not the only one with a messy house, and for the interesting posts. I may have to make those banna frosted bars soon-that sounds REALLY GOOD!