Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Midweek Pick Me Up

Last week our TV was successfully "broken" (TV Turn-Off Week), forcing me to spend more one on one time with my son than I have been recently. It was fantastic, horrible, and in the end definitely worth it. In fact we are still unplugged.

During this experiment I noticed a couple interesting side effects. First, my child's behavior. Less aggressive tendencies and a longer attention span? Wrong. He still turns everything into a toy gun, loves to tackle me, and rarely sits still for more than thirty seconds. What I did see, with delight, was an increase in his spontaneous affection. Let me spell it out to you: I traded in TV time and got extra hugs and kisses all day long with no prompting from my non-stop little boy. Now that's a great deal.

A second observation was on the state of our house. Generally, I'm not extraordinary at housekeeping, but I try to keep things decent and orderly. Last week nothing got done. No really, nothing. Dinner? Not quite. Laundry? Negative. Sweeping and mopping? Sorry. Tower of dishes with invading ants? Yup. In short, I learned I don't know how to keep the house clean while being the ideal [aka: totally fun and TV-less] mother. (You may have noticed I also never got around to posting anything on last week's fabulous theme, ahem, "Chores".)

This week I'm keeping my balance a little better. And that's what it is, balance. For me, last week was an imbalance of housework and kid-time. You've got your own attention teeter-totters pushing you to drop one thing in favor chasing after that unattainable, but oh so desirable, perfection on the other side. Well, rather than expecting to be practically perfect in every way , or even practically perfect in just one way (How I long to be Mary Poppins!), I'm allowing myself to be imperfect at everything. Crazy thought, I know. It's taking some practice, but I'm trying to improve in a broad range of duties rather than throwing everything I've got into excelling in one area of expertise.

The best part? In my practice eventually makes perfect efforts, hidden somewhere between the mostly clean house and the TV which is hopefully turned off, priceless miracles are happening. Miracles--like spontaneous hugs and kisses-- that remind me:

"I'd like to be the ideal mother, but I'm too busy raising my kids."

1 comment:

MOM said...

Here's a quote I came across. Does it apply here, just a bit? "I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking the kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk's lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with the children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived." -Marjorie Hinckley