Tuesday, March 13, 2007

plans? who needs 'em

Since I have given up trying to plan my life, I tend to get a little discouraged when each day slips through my fingers like clear water, leaving nothing behind to show any of the work that was tirelessly done all day (except for a pile of soggy diapers that is).

Last night, my wise husband encouraged me to be content with little things, and there find the satisfaction of a job well done. This was truly a novelty to an independant woman like myself who is used to getting many things done all day long,... before the twins and the toddler came along.

I was annoyed and rather deflated that the only visible 'chore' that I had accomplished that day was to bring the laundry down from the bedrooms to the landing by the stairs (only half way to the laundry room). My plans call for mondays to be laundry days. Each piece of dirty clothing in the house is to be lovingly sorted, washed, folded and returned fresh to my families drawers and closets for another week. This is how I measured success in the laundry department, and therefore, since I had only gotten half of the first step done in a whole day, I was dissapointed.

My husband, however, saw it in a much different light. "At least you got it down the stairs!! That's a great accomplishment," he said. "And you had time to go out of the house for a walk by the river with all five kids, have coffe and treats, and do some crafts with the kids. I call that a very succesful day! Tomorrow you can bring the laundry down the next flight of stairs, and maybe even do a load or two. If not, there's always the next day".

Funny, he saw the details of being present to the children as much more important and succesful than getting the laundry done. And today, when I was practicing what he suggested, I found that I agree with him... and because the kids were happy that I was tending to their needs and being present to them, I ended up having more time for laundry.. and even a leisurely hot shower, a blog post, and a visit or two on the phone with some friends.

So looking at the little things in the day and finding satisfaction in who I have given to, here is our list of a day well done:

  • reading religion book over breakfast, taking time for a lingering conversation about honesty and telling the truth
  • reading a story on the couch after breakfast (A life of our Lord for children), and through that, reviewing all of our history we have learned so far, since the first 3 chapters are a quick summary of the old testament.
  • making modelling clay creations with the kids, and enjoying Z's people he was making (such creativity), E's alligator, and H's piles of clay on the floor.
  • letting the kids go outside and play in the snow for 45 min
  • drinking hot chocolate with the kids and reading the last few chapters of Farmer Boy together, laughing at Almanzo's voracious appetite for good food, and crying with joy at the end when his father gives him the best gift ever.
  • listening to E read to me a book about David and Goliath
  • doing 2 loads of laundry, unloading the dishwasher twice, cleaning the kitchen, making beds, changing many diapers, feeding babies numerous times and rocking them for a nap
  • reading my toddler Make Way for Ducklings and putting her down for a nap
And it's only 3:30pm here, so I still have a few hours left in my day to enjoy with the kids. Life is sweet. Unpredictable, and scary at times, but sweet nonetheless.


Angel said...

It's wonderful that your husband is so supportive. Early on there were some days when I think the only chore I accomplished was putting bottles in the dishwasher.

Little by little, you find yourself able to do more, though. One thing I found about the laundry, especially after having 5 -- I couldn't possibly get it done on one day. So I made it a goal to do 2 loads a day. This keeps us in clean clothes, and I can manage it. (Usually.) When the babies were little, it seemed like every other day one of those loads was a load of baby clothes.

Hang in there!!

Dana said...

Oh Mel, you're doing such a great job! I often get discouraged just reading your blog because it makes me feel like I accomplish nothing compared to you, with only 2 kids and not even officially homeschooling yet! Keep pluggin away and don't forget to check all the mls listings I send you...if you come south we'll have strength in numbers ;-)

Mom said...

Melanie, when you add up for accomplishments for the day don't forget that you found the time to invite your Mom & Dad and Grandmother for lunch, and a very nice one too.

Karen E. said...

It sounds like a perfect and perfectly lovely day to me. :-)

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