With all that has happened within our family in the last few months, I have learned some major lessons about life. The biggest one is just to Let Go. When we had a day to pack and move from our large 5 bedroom farm style house north of here, to move in temporarily with my parents, I had to let go of a lot of things. With people I didn’t even know helping pack, and a yard sale going on at the same time that was run by 5 different people who were not all on the same page, as to what was for sale and what wasn’t, I am sure there was some things I really wanted to keep that got left or sold, and things I could care less about that were taken along. Since our belongings have since been in a storage unit, I don’t even know what we have and what we don’t anymore. The amazing thing is… I have managed to live without knowing for over 4 months now! The things that once seemed to be so important are uselessly sitting in a metal storage box out of sight and mind.
Being sick for weeks on end, and requiring emergency surgery, also taught me some valuable lessons. There are more important things then a clean house. Like picking flowers with a toddler, or throwing the ball for the thousandth time for the dog. Enjoying those last few rays of sunshine. More and more, the dishes, the laundry, wait, while I sit and drink my coffee while it’s still hot. Or tickle one of the kids silly. Or read a blog post on one of my favorite blogs. Or teach my daughter how to make a friendship bracelet. Make a loaf of homemade bread or a carrot cake with one of the kids.
I recently reviewed a copy of Eternal Encouragements Magazine, where the topic was Time Flies. It really hit me hard. I had to stop and ask myself what will my kids remember about me when they are grown and gone.. will they remember a mom who always had the dishes done and laundry folded? OR will they remember a mom who laughed and listened? While housework and chores are important, I have to constantly remind myself they are not my life work. My children are…my life. They are what it’s all about… getting them from here, to there.
It seems in the past week or so, every blog post I read, every scripture verse I teach my children are all about letting go. And not just the material things… but to let go of ideals, and things I thought needed to be done. My kids don’t need the dishes to constantly be done. I don’t need the dishes to constantly be done. I need to sit and enjoy time with my Hubs… and so I have learned that I can do the dinner dishes in the morning while the kids eat. Leaving my evenings open to sitting on the couch watching a movie with Hubs and the kids. I have also learned that the kids and I have some pretty awesome conversations while I do the dishes while they eat breakfast! Before I would take my coffee while they ate, and go read a book or check my emails. I have learned that having a clean house doesn’t make me a good mom. With 6 kids, it’s never clean anyway, no matter how much I do! Does this mean I no longer clean? NO! But it does mean I no longer stress about the mess.
But how does a mother of 6 not stress about the mess anymore?? Not so easy! I start to panic now, looking around and seeing the sink full of dishes, the lazy boy peeking out from under the pile of clothes needing to be put away, my beautiful couch cushions all over the floor, and blankets from this mornings cartoon viewing strewn about the living room!! Could I go now and clean it all up? Yes… but my children are outside laughing in the swings the neighbor hung for them yesterday. Putters is snuggly and ready for a nap. So I choose to wait… to listen to them laugh, to snuggle a little with Putters. Finish my coffee. Those other things will still be there when Putters is asleep, and the coffee is gone. When the kids have moved on to something not quite as fun…like folding blankets and putting clothes away. Because before I know it… they won’t be out there laughing anymore, Putters will be to old to snuggle when she is sleepy… and I will actually miss the dishes and laundry… but the memories will still be there to hold on to, IF I take the time to make them!