Thursday, February 3, 2011

My "Almost on Purpose" Story, Part 3

So, I'm hoping this is my last installment of my "Almost on Purpose" story for the week.

Note: I've also fixed the blog, so you don't have to "sign in" to leave a comment.

In part 1, I share my journey to become a stay-at-home mom. In Part 2, I learned to enjoy being at home because I knew I had a plan.

For part 3, I want to share how I am still learning to love my home. I'm not talking about loving the features of my home but learning that taking care of my home shows my family that I care how they live.

As a young married couple, maintaining our home was not a big struggle. We both worked full-time and were rarely home. After having kids, I felt like it was a battle for the ages. In corner 1, we have Kristy (me, of course), the struggling stay-at-home mom trying to keep her head above water. In corner 2, we have the house. It's a strong house — full of toys and endless piles of laundry and dishes. And I was losing! When I had people over, they were kind enough to say, "Well, you do have two kids, so it's understandable." I was starting to believe that the mess was inevitable. It just goes with the territory of being a mom.

I don't know if anyone else is like me, but I can't sleep well or rest if I have a mess around me. It's like there's unfinished business. If you've read my Keeping It Together post, you know that I love to be organized. So, you have to understand how frustrating it was for this Type A woman to not have a handle on her home. I'm just being honest here.

My husband was never rude about it, but he would not be a in a good mood when he got home — for good reason. The house was messy. Who really wants to leave a proverbial mess at work and come home to a literal mess at home? Um, not me! But that's what I was doing. I would then feel so guilty when he would help out. I always thought he was helping because he was mad at me.

Don't you love how I put thoughts and words into my husband's mouth without any confirmation of his feelings? I'm sure NO other female in history has done this, right?

So, to recap, we do have a plan to get out of debt; but now I needed a plan to get out of this mess. I started reading any books I could find on home organization. However, most of them suggested you start with a clean home and then gave tips for staying organized. That was no help because I needed help getting out of this mess. If you've ever tried the tactics on the clean-house shows, they just haul everything out of the room and sort it on  the lawn or in another room. <Insert cough and clearing of the throat here> In case you haven't noticed, I don't have extra rooms lying around to sort my mess or time to have all my stuff hanging around outside while I sort. Sorry... no can do!

Then, I remembered (most likely the Lord) my mom and her friends following this website and e-mail reminders to clean their house. I remember how excited she always was to clean her kitchen... ewww, that's weird! Well, in my desperation, I checked out the FlyLady. Her belief is about taking little steps. Our homes did not turn into a complete disaster overnight, so why should we expect ourselves to clean it in one day. That hit me between the eyes. Her e-mails for the newbies don't allow you to jump ahead to bigger tasks, just one new task a week. Interestingly, once you get started with one space it's hard to stop. The FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself. Once you can accept yourself as you are, it's much easier to bless (clean) your home. I'm not always on top of things, but she just says to "jump in where you are." And that is so encouraging. I'm not so busy beating up myself for not getting that extra load of laundry done. I can jump in where I am... just set the timer for 15 minutes and see how much I can get done. It's amazing!!

To me, it's not archaic to want to keep my home nice (even though it still is not always perfect). Keeping my home is my job and joy. By finally accepting myself (recovering from perfectionism), there is so much more excitement in trying new hobbies. There are amazing artists on both sides of my families. I always felt so inferior (my own silly thinking) and decided it was easier to not try new things.

I wasn't any good at it, so why disappoint myself by trying? Crazy, I know.

Now, I can enjoy my own art through cooking, crafts, and sewing... and ballet, of course. If it's not perfect, it's ok. If you know me, you know that it's a HUGE deal for me to say, "It's ok; I'll try again later." I think I may cry just thinking how far I've come.

I look forward to all the new challenges I'll face. The dread is gone. The fear is gone. Only expectation (not anxiety) is left.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my "Almost on Purpose" journey. It certainly is not over, but now I look forward to bringing you all my accidental discoveries!


  1. I've really enjoyed your posts this week! And I can so identify with this one! It is really hard to balance everything and not feel like I'm failing in one area. I really like my house to be clean and neat and have realized that I often measure my success in my job of being a mom and mother with how clean, neat and organized my house is. I try now to keep things up around the house but also focus on what is most important. And most days, that is not my cleaning list. Finding balance is a daily test!

    Stephanie Carroll

  2. So enjoyed reading these. It's really the simple little changes that make all the difference. I love the part about you being in control over how much money goes true! While working full time, I certainly didn't have the time (or care) to stay on top of how much was going out.