Among members of my dad’s family, there are some well-known parenting phrases that came from my great grandmother, who had eight children and lived to be 92. It’s hard to pick a favorite. When asked how she raised so many children so well, she always replied “With one blind eye and one deaf ear.” I love that one because it’s basically the only way I’ve stayed sane since becoming a mom.
The one I’ve got on my mind this week is “I’m raising children, not furniture.” She would say it whenever one of the kids would spill, break, or generally mistreat an object in her home. I love it because it’s so true! Whatever angry outburst that I am inclined to have when my kids break something is never worth it compared to the positive and lasting worth of the patience and love I can show them instead.
That’s not to say I don’t erupt from time to time, like when they combined forces to make the toilet overflow yesterday, just so they could “use the potty fixer thing like Mommy does,” and I walked in to find water drowning the floor, the kids, and my humility. La di da, la di da.
I find another use of this phrase–perhaps unintended by Great Grandma–is an internal mantra when I’m pondering whether to play with my kids or clean up. Tonight we voted for playing dominoes at the dining room table instead of doing the dishes. And so, okay, dishes aren’t furniture, but the general meaning is the same.
|Random assortment of above-the-sink collectibles. Items change weekly but never disappear completely.|
The likely reason I’ve got the phrase on my mind this week is that instead of doing my nightly cleaning and organizing, I’ve been writing and reading. I have gotten back into the swing of writing every day, even if it’s only a paragraph, and I’m immensely enjoying myself. NaBloPoMo (the blogging every day thing) really helps me get the gears turning. Tonight I’m doing more reading than writing, since I am doing my part to vote for The Bloggies. Check it out, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the potential for time suckage.
Be well and stay dry,