In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kids and Kitchen Counters

When we bought our house, I stood by the spotless, not-a-thing-on-them-except-polish kitchen counters and said, "We're going to keep stuff off the counters."
Yeah, right.
I'm giving you a glimpse of said counters today--far from spotless. Piles of papers, a cell phone--my cell phone--a laptop, more papers, the lid to a bowl--where's the bowl?--gum, books, a store catalogue,vitamins . . . you get the picture.
Sometimes my counters are spotless. On the all-too-rare occasion when that happens, I am one satisfied woman.
Motherhood is a lot like my cluttered kitchen counters.
I have a lot of expectations for myself as a mom. Some I attain. Some I miss. Some I've abandoned completely, realizing I am just not that kind of mom. Case in point: My friend, Terri, made her now-grown boys breakfast every day before they left for school. I'm talking pancakes, eggs, bacon. I am not that mom. I will, however, buy my kiddos their favorite breakfast cereal or bagels and cream cheese.
You know what? My kiddos were okay with that. Never once did they sneak off to Terri's house for breakfast. And, every once and in a while, I made them pancakes for breakfast.

Thinking Out Loud: Maybe you woke up today and found yourself staring at a lot of expectations. Or maybe that one big "I didn't do this as a mom" expectation is sitting on your chest and you feel like a f-a-i-l-u-r-e.
Expectations are emotional clutter. Take some time and throw a few unrealistic expectations in the trash. You're a good mom even if your kids had Cheerios for breakfast or you cleaned your toddler's face with a napkin out of your glove compartment moistened with spit before he went to preschool.
Breathe in, breathe out.
And be gentle with yourself. Motherhood requires lowering your expectations--and a lot of grace.

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At 6:48 PM, Blogger Evangeline Denmark said...

Great post, Beth. And you saw my counters today!
You know, for me it's the public school/homeschool thing. I often feel like a complete failure because I chose my own sanity over homeschooling my kids. I keep trying to throw that expectation out and it keeps ending up back on my counter--like leftover mac n'cheese.

At 11:55 PM, Blogger Roxanne Sherwood said...

I'm also really big on extending grace. Everyone needs it! Thanks for a great post--and for being honest enough to show your clutter. ;-)

At 12:50 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

There were times I literally kept my doors closed to friends because my house was cluttery.
What a waste of my life.
Today I smile when the counters are cleared off--knowing it won't last long.
And when I see another friend's clean counters, I just wonder where she hid her piles before I came over.
Hee hee.
Not really.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Nadia said...

Beth, I love this. It's true... we need to cut ourselves a little slack. And then extend that to others. :) There are days when I can get a hot breakfast out... but I make my kids make their own lunches. I sometimes feel horrible about that...but honestly, it works for us.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

My kids wouldn't eat the lunches I packed. They'd bring them back home,half-eaten or confess to tossing them in the trash. Aaargh!
So, I compiled a list of their favorite lunch items and then let them pack their own lunches--with a few mom guidelines, of course. Lunch couldn't be all dessert items!


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