Today is Ash Wednesday. I went to the noon mass at our church. As I thought about ‘what to give up’ during this Lenten season, all I could think about is how can I be the best mom and wife to my family. I mean, I feel like I already give so much up already.
The worst advice ever given to me from one of my mom groups was to raise your voice to get your kid’s attention. Well, that doesn’t work. When you get to the point where you’re just yelling, the looks from the kids are like, ‘this lady is crazy’. And as the new year resolutions to ‘yell less’ roll around, I realize, that I’m not the one yelling. The kids do it more often than me; almost a way of talking. So, I sat the kids down and asked them, “How can I be a better mom to you?”
They were stunned. Dears in the headlights. I asked again. Thankfully, I got out of Harrison that I was already a great mom! Not what I was looking for, but I’ll take the compliment! Holly was looking for ‘yelling less’. So I gave it to her. The complete quiet treatment. And here’s how:
Normally, during the day I rush around the house picking up, cleaning and getting the house in shape the way I like to see it all day long. But by the time I’m done picking up from breakfast, fluffing the pillows the kids jumped all over before school, making beds (that they should have done anyway), the laundry, you get the idea, I’m too exhausted to do anything else. But there’s always more to do. Go food shopping, buy a birthday gift or two, get miscelleous items for the house. Then it’s pick up kids from school, rush them around. So, instead of doing all of the house stuff – I let it all sit. I can’t stand it, but I let it sit. Because I know I can clean the kitchen blindfolded and while the kids are at home. So they see me do that, not have it magically appear clean while at school.
So, what am I doing instead? Working in the office. Oh! The office! The central nervous system of the house. Where all paper begins as reams and goes to printed piles. Drawings, artwork, certificates, email printouts, it’s all there; organized? No. Cluttering? Yes. I found sticky notes dating back to 2008 – really? It’s time. It’s time to give up. It’s time to give time to the office paperwork and give up the clutter of this room.
So, for the next 40 days (43 if you count the Sundays), to work in the office, everyday. It’s going to be hard; especially with days where I have to run around for piano lessons and pick up lacrosse gear or drop off choir music or bring snacks to the school – it will be tough. But I’m going to do it. Quietly. Without yelling.