Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald

Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew

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09 September 2010

Keeping Score, Time and Why They're Bugging Me :-)

Not really ranting here, so don't worry... just confused.

For starters, a couple weeks ago a man from my husband's squadron came by to put together my kids bunk beds. My husband has been gone since April and this guy got here in July, so we've never met and he knows nothing about us.... and in 2 minutes I was reminded so clearly why I don't get out much. The dialogue went something like this:

Him: So, are you making a list of things for your husband to do when he gets home?
Me: Nope, you and my parents (they had planned a quick trip to help me situate things) are getting all the stuff I need finished!
Him: No, I mean your list of things he has to do to make up for being gone and leaving you with the kids.
Me: I'll just be happy to have him home.
Him: Well I know, but he should like have to do all the diapers, cleaning, and take over so you can go on vacation for a few weeks.

What's sad is that this guy is married and has a couple kids... I'm pretty sure that I can guess what happens around his place after he gets home from an assignment! Unfortunately, I hear these types of statements a lot. What's confusing to me is why I should "punish" my husband for being away doing his job. He's been in the military for 9 years, this isn't anything new, I know what I signed up for, and his job provides for our family and I get to not only stay home but get supported in any and every endeavor my little heart and crazy head comes up with. Plus, despite insane days when everyone starts the day screaming and crying and mom's brain is about to explode... like today!... it's a privilege to raise my children and having my husband literally by my side while I do it is a way better gift then leaving everyone so I can go be alone. Keeping score makes me sick. I'm in a partnership with my husband and we each have our roles in our family that are supported regardless of geography.

My second item of confusion stems from a bit of frustration over time. I know I do stuff! However, today as I've been making baby food, shampooing couches, sweeping my patio, and striving to finish moving in before my husband gets home... almost in vain so it seems... I was finding myself annoyed that no one taught me how to keep a home! Sure I can clean everything and make it sparkly, but not in an entirety like I want. While I know some of you out there don't care for books like Laddie *cough* my mind rushed back to the description of their home and how they functioned as a family. The mom in that story had her stuff together! Yes, it's a story, but women before our time for the most part really had their stuff together (and yes, June Cleaver is my hero!) What happened! I'm getting rid of "things" in my home because clutter makes me nervous, but I SO don't have my act together! Once upon a time I'd like to say that at least my living room and kitchen were presentable even with a gaggle of small kids, but nowadays it goes from lovely to disaster in 2.5 seconds flat, and always minutes later someone shows up unexpectedly at the door! People see me as a strong, confident person, who's rarely shaken.... all it takes is my home in visual chaos and I'm a wreck! (Now you know my kryptonite :-D). Anyway, so I'm confused as to why I can't keep up with things the way I want. Yes, my kids help out. Yes, I'm taking the time to teach them what to do. Yes, they're little and it's okay to have messes... yah, that phrase still causes me to cringe/convulse when applied to my home... so not acceptable! Women before our time had way more back breaking labor (like more than take the clothes to the washer, add soap and push the button), and yet they not only had the pride of running their home but they stayed on top of it in ways that I've yet to master AND accomplished a lot more tasks. What gives??


Courtney said...

Are you going to give me a hard time because one of my main arguments for buying a stroller is because Matt bought a bike?

crazy4boys said...

I can't figure out the house thing either. How do we juggle it all and keep the house clean? Growing up I knew how to clean certain rooms, but only one at a time. Putting it all together is killing me!!! I'm trying really hard to figure out how to teach that to my boys.

I don't like to punish my husband when he's deployed either, but I do like to take a short break now and then. Maybe a night out with a friend, or going to bed early with a good book. Not all the time, but ONCE in a while. It's hard to carry the whole load yourself. I'm also looking at deployments more as an opportunity to teach my boys how to be men - "This ______ thing needs to be done and I don't know how to do it. Let's learn together and get it done. Or let's call So-and-So and ask them to do it and we'll watch and learn how for next time."

Michelle said...

I am so with you on keeping the house clean. I have discovered that I am a much happier and better tempered person when my home is not in visual chaos! I have started to get rid of or sell things we don't use to get them out of my house. But that being said....I clean it and then when Dave walks in the door from work it is a wreck! I wish it would at least stay clean so when he walks in he can enjoy it for 2 seconds before disaster strikes! When Dave asks what I've done that I day usually my response is cleaning, but how come it doesn't look like it? When you figure it out, will you please let me know?!?!

Being A Mother Who Knows said...

We have too much stuff. Laddie's mom did not have as much stuff. We have soooo many things that are just extra's that, yes make our live easier, but to what end? We have become emotionally attached to our stuff and it controls us. So sad. How to find the balance between enjoying life and living in this age, but having the simplicity of days long ago.

I am with you on the clutter. I am also known as the women who doesn't get phased by anything, but if there's clutter, I'm a mess!

Thanks to you and Heather and all the other wives's out there that let their hubby's go off and keep my family safe. We owe you!

Brown Ohana said...

I've come to realize that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. My weakness is housework. I try, I do, but there is never enough time in the day, so I know just how you feel. Often I feel like all I do is clean all day, and yet when hubby walks in the door the house is a mess. I'm to the point now, though, that I tell myself I can either neglect my kids completely for a perfect house or have a decent house and be with my kids. I figure that 20 years from now when the kids are gone I won't be wishing I had a cleaner house but that I had spent more time with my children. So that is what I intend to do! Anyway, just so you know, every time I think of you, I think of Superwoman! You do SO much and I admire you!
P.S. Oh, and I'm definitely with you on the whole punishing the husband thing. I don't get why other women feel the need to subjugate their husbands in that manner is if a deployment means they're out partying 24/7.

mindy said...

Nothing brilliant to add, but I can relate to these thoughts. Though I might be a little guilty of wanting to "punish" David when he gets home...and he's only gone 2 weeks at a time. Actually, I think I've only thought that once.

But I definitely agree about wishing we'd be "taught" (by example) how to keep a home. And I wish I hadn't been taught (also by example) how to keep WAAAAY too many things. I really am trying to come up with a purging plan that I can live with. It's hard for me.

So, hang in there and I will, too. :o)

The Greevers Posse said...

Funny you should mention this...I too am dealing with my kryptonite (as is for the rest of us living here). Visual Clutter...a must for purging in order to breathe!!!!

We have just started another 6 month purge which so often seems like we never did it in the first place 6 months ago. How did we end up with so much STUFF?!?!

I know that the only way for us to focus on our routines, schedule and way of living is for us to be able to lift our heads up out of this mess! We have mostly toys & clothes to go through. I use MOSTLY lightly since there is so much more things to go through. It's the clothing that I have a hang up with purging. Having 7 children, I always wonder: Will we need this later? Can so-in-so wear this if I save it? WILL so-in-so where this if I save it?

Now, I just purge most everything unless I have someone growing into it by next season. If not, out it goes! I have whittled it down to 4 boxes of clothing. 1) Big Boys, 2) Little Boys 3) Girls & 4) Baby Boy. 4 Boxes, 4 Bedrooms...1 Box in each of the childrens' rooms. Rule #1: If it can't fit in the box, I (they) don't get to keep it! Oh, and did I mention...I DO NOT WANT ANY OF IT IN MY ROOM ANY MORE!!!

I'm thinking that we need to do something similar with the toys. We've already began to declutter the kids' rooms to have absolutely NO toys in them. Only 1 cuddle toy on the bed & perhaps a few decorative items (piggy banks, trophies, jewlery boxes, etc.) on shelves. Rule #2: The toys belong in the schoolroom/playroom.

They may however have a book to read, writing & drawing items (pad of paper & some colored pencils)during Quiet Time.

Ok, I'm rambling...seems to me that I need to blog about it. I've got a lot on my mind, too many things to go through for our purge & I need an excuse for not having to do it right now, lol.
Can anyone say, I deserve a break today?

Hope you & yours are well Cherie!


Heather B said...

Hey, Courtney's sister, Heather, here. Can I just say, I LOVE your blog! Okay, that being said, I can totally relate to what you said. Jason and I have been married almost 17 years, and he has been deployed about half of it, at one point for 18 months when we had 5 children, ages 3 months to 10 years old. (We have 7 kiddos now, ages 16-2) It would have never occurred to me to punish him for serving his country, AND his family by making it possible for me to stay home! I have it easy when he's deployed, since HE'S the one who has to be away from his entire family, the poor guy. The least I can do is make it as easy for him as possible, both while he's away and when he comes home. I'm totally with you. And by the way, Laddie is my all time FAVORITE book :) Look forward to reading your blog.