I’m a stay at home mom with three kiddos. 6 years, 4 years and 5 months. Not the most relaxing season of my life, but it’s most definitely entertaining. I run three small businesses from home putting in about 20 hours per week of work. Add that on top of maintaining 3 acres, working a garden, feeding (or overseeing the children feeding) 25 animals, homeschooling and all other domestic chores such as keeping the books and cleaning house, and my days are jam-packed full.
Even though each day is very full, I enjoy almost every single day.
Don’t get me wrong. I have bad days. I have days that as I’m going to bed, I feel like I did a bad job as a mom. Or I feel like I got absolutely nothing done. Or I feel like I’m never enough for everyone. Or that I’m not able to give everyone and everything as much of me as I’d like. But in general, I end most days very happy. Happy with what I did and happy with who I am. As I was cleaning the house this morning, while the kids were in quiet time, I realized the one thing I am good at on a regular basis is changing.
My husband, Seth and I, have talked about this a lot. As individuals, a married couple and as parents, we are constantly changing. And we are intentionally changing. If something isn’t working, we change it. I think that one statement right there wraps up why we enjoy most of our days. We are intentional. If we aren’t happy. If the kids aren’t happy. If something isn’t going well, we take time to think about why. Once we sort out the why, we figure out how we can change it.
Tuesdays are my cleaning house day. For the past couple of months, I just haven’t been able to make it happen. Tuesday comes and goes, and the house still isn’t clean. A clean house is VERY important to me. I love neat and tidy. Since I have three small children, two indoor dogs and live on a farm, I completely understand my house never will or never should be perfectly clean. Throughout the week, we all keep things picked up, but I don’t go around scrubbing surfaces and making all things perfectly clean each day. But I do look forward to Tuesdays.
If I don’t get the house cleaned on Tuesdays, it hangs over me for the rest of the week. Sometimes, I’ll get a little bit done, but I can never seem to get completely back on track. The house never gets completely clean, and I feel bad. The same thing happened this past week. Tuesday came and went, and no clean house. I started thinking about why. Monday is my husband’s day off. We usually do school with our daughter in the morning, but the rest of the day is a fun day. We go hiking or play outside or anything special and relaxing. Tuesdays I am usually playing catch up on emails, work, etc. Tuesdays are packed full of “catching up” leaving no time for cleaning. I realized I simply needed to change my cleaning day. Wow! Immediately, I felt relief. I realized the problem, sorted out why there was a problem, and then came up with a super simple solution.
Why Change Matters
Often, we go around feeling miserable about something (an unclean house) but don’t ever take the time to change it. Another example from our family is bedtime. I’m sure every parent can relate to bedtime with small children. It can be awful. And exhausting. And miserable. Seth and I don’t tolerate that though. We totally get that our children don’t want to go to bed. They make that obvious, and we remember being children too. We get why they don’t want to go to bed, but we have to sort out how to get them to bed anyway.
I’d say we’ve changed our bedroom routine 15 times in the past 5 years. We change it, and our new routine works for a while. Then we notice it’s not working anymore so we have to make some adjustments. We don’t have to change our bedroom routine. But we value having a smooth and peaceful evening. If we want that, we have to adjust as our children get older (and smarter about avoiding bedtime).
Sometimes the smallest change can make the biggest difference in how much you enjoy your day.
Change matters in every area of your life. Work, home, marriage, children, play. Take a few minutes and pick one area or part of your life that isn’t quite working. It can be as simple as your house isn’t getting cleaned as you like, or it can be as complicated as trying to connect with your teenage kid. Think about it a bit today. Try to figure out why it’s happening. If you can’t sort it out, ask for help. I go to Seth ALL the time about things that aren’t working in my life. Some stuff he can’t help with. I didn’t ask him about my house cleaning issue, because it was just something I needed to think through myself. But most of the time, he is a huge help. He has an outside perspective that sees beyond what I see. Think about ways you can change. It might take several tries. I’m going to give cleaning on Thursdays a try. But after a month or two, if my house still isn’t getting cleaned, I’ll have to try out a different option.
Change. Change. Change.
Don’t stress about it but also, don’t avoid it. Change can be so good. Sometimes the smallest change can make the biggest difference in how much you enjoy your day.