As I piddle to arrange hydrangeas around the house and cook with the herbs from our yard, delight in a bowl full of fresh veggies from the farmer's market, get a whiff of bug spray or sunscreen, or trip over a floatie in the play room, I say to myself, "my house looks like summer and I love it." So, this is a blog about the house, and life and my home.
I love my house, but I must admit I REALLY love it when the cleaning lady has just left and everything has been put away right before I go pick up Anna Cate from Miss Diana's. I waste a lot of emotional energy wanting it to look just like that....like a 4 year old doesn't live here. So the thought hit me, "if I love the way my home looks like summer, why don't I just love the way it looks simply because I do love my girls, and this is our home?" What freedom can come with a change of perspective!!!! And, this is what I've got to work with since while nursing I'm not taking my lexapro, which is the way to chemically alter this need to surround myself in a pristine house.
My heart is being tapped to "get over it" with a few sources of wisdom. I've been inspired by reading the blogs of kellehampton.com, a mom who openly shares photography of unfinished laundry or toys strewn, which pale in comparison to the ways she just simply enjoys her children. Her father mentioned in a comment how he wished he could see his grandchild's stuff in his home. Also, my friend Lori, who has older kids, told me she desperately wished she could tell her younger self to let the house go -- don't worry about it. A friend without children told me after I envied her day all to herself, which included a pedicure, she sees pictures of my girls and "got butterflies in my stomach because I long for a new baby like Molly and an outgoing little girl who wins everyone's heart like Anna Cate." I think the universe is talking to me here.
So, I gave it a try last night and didn't really stress out about the house looking "perfect." We had friends over and I knew they were coming for BJ's ribs:
(and the company),
I even served wine out of box!
Maybe I'm on the road to freedom from this monster that says "your house needs to look perfect."This home has our young children in it, and I need to stop myself to enjoy that because an older Sarah, whose house will be pristine again, would desperately desire the chance spend one minute here. I know that she will not care at all what the counters look like, but she will want to see the beautiful faces, hear the giggles or revel in the conversations like this:
Anna Cate: Mommy tell me how I'm going to get earrings when I'm 16
Sarah: well you get a shot in the ear to make a little hole
AC: With a needle?
Sarah: yes, but it is just a little pinch. Or you can be like my Granny who wore clip-ons her whole life (I explain that to her)
AC: I think I'll just stick with my sticker earrings. Don't you think that is a good idea?!
That little conversation took place on a Mommy and me trip to the pool this evening. We were only there for 45 minutes but it was so nice to get some one-on-one time with her. I think she agrees and let me tell you how I know. Usually Anna Cate finds some way to tell me that she loves BJ more than me, and she finds a way to weave the proclamation into the conversation EVERY DAY!
Tonight at dinner, when Molly couldn't take her eyes off of BJ I said, "maybe Molly will be a Daddy's girl, too." Anna Cate said I'm tired of you saying that Mommy. I am your girl, too! Wow - what a nice jaunt to the pool will do.
An older Sarah will say to hell with the loads of laundry undone on a Sunday evening and commend me on spending a Sunday morning in church with my family. Today in church a hymn reminded me of childhood, and I'm not sure of which childhood church memory: whether I grew up with it or heard it on a summer evening when my Dad would take me to one of the country churches he visited. Then, I thought of my brother who is teaching his Sunday school class this morning only 9 days after the birth of his daughter, Kitty, and working all the time building his law practice. I appreciated how much we love our church family and experiences here, that it is definitely worth the hassle getting out the door on Sunday mornings. I had the self-righteous thought that my parents should be proud that they instilled in both of their children the importance of getting involved in church is, even though I may struggle with theology or tenants of all the teachings. I hope an older Sarah can say the same thing about her two kids (and even from a weekend trip doing something fun together like my parents are this weekend watching Vanderbilt baseball with friends in Florida). I don't think an older Sarah will say, "I wish the home my kids grew up in looked like a model home with everything put away."
Then I started thinking about people who can't have children or of my friend who longs for them, and I bet that they would pinch me to know my annoyance at all the "kid stuff" I see laying around. The swing my precious baby swings and coos in or rolls over when Mommy isn't looking can be more beautiful than a Pottery Barn advertisement if that is what you long for, and it is what I longed for last June as I wondered if this were possible.
So when I get annoyed that I have a breast pump sitting in my living room or boppies strewn throughout three rooms, I will say to myself, "this is a sign of the way nature allows me to nourish my child" and that is more beautiful than a "put away" house.
Cheers to the beginning of our summer break. Last week I was beginning to worry about how I would keep up the housework with having both girls at home. This week, I am looking forward seeing the sights of our home because it represents our life, and I do love it....our home and our life.