I broke a promise yesterday. I did not post. No excuses! Kids were off school. We had 14 inches of snow. When I finally sat down to write, my brain was a jumbled mess. My head was pounding. I felt a cold coming on. I tried my damndest to describe baking biscuits, but face it, reading about it is about as exciting as watching paint dry. After all this blog is not really about about my biscuits anyway. It is a diary of my everyday life. The trials and tribulations of being a newly single mom with 3 kids, a dog, a 100 year old house and a red minivan, who greets each day with the best of intentions and occassionally loses her way.
The dog barks. Three kids vie for my attention . My untidy house screams out, clean me, clean me and a keyboard awaits my not so gentle touch. All the while I know I should be working on the Grrchews launch. I officially enter "OVERWHELM". Welcome to the chaos that is my world.
Overwhelm is my point of no return. Patience walks out my front door. Life as I know it deteriorates into pure mayhem. I put a lot of pressure on myself in my ridiculous strive for perfection. I want to do so many things. Super mom, I assume I can do it all. I bark my orders. I expect my kids to do things exactly like I do. I hover over them to make sure they are doing their designated tasks correctly. They complain. I get frustrated, let them off the hook, figure it is less hassle to do it myself, and in so doing, I reinforce their false belief that I am their full time, live in maid. It is a no win situation.
Yesterday I set out to clean our house. I enlisted the help of my children. I watched them as they worked. They were arguing with one another and literally getting nothing done. The dog started to bark and FRUSTRATED ME went into overwhelm. I ranted and belittled them for their lack of progress. The situation was about to fall apart at the seams when my son said, "Mom, I just want you to leave! You have made it impossible for me to get anything done now." This morning his words still ring in my ears. Whoa Nellie! I can feel the insight a comin' at last!
My son was right! If I take away any possibilty for success, I deny them opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them. When I hover over my kids and expect them to do things only my way or the highway, they will not learn how to do it themselves. Regardless of the fact that I consider myself an expert housecleaner, my way is not the only way. After all, who died and made me Betty Crocker?
How important are a few stray dust bunnies, when there is a biscuit to be baked, a snowman waiting to be born and children to be listened to and truly understood? I need to pay better attention. I need to slow down. In the words of Simon and Garfunkel, I sign off.
Slow down you move too fast now
Got to make the morning last now
Kickin down the cobble stones
Lookin for fun
*(A version of this story is an excerpt from this week’s Noticing newsletter. You can read more about Noticing here.) * In a rare interview, Italian auth...