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You know you are a mom when even your bathroom is littered with things that don’t belong to you.
As a mom, it can be so frustrating to constantly have things underfoot that you are stepping on. If you find yourself doing this, you are not alone. I think legos may be the worst things to step on.
With a busy family life combined with a homeschooling schedule, there are days that we are on the go continually from morning until after the little ones should be in bed at night. This means that people just drop their stuff, we grab the new stuff we need, and we are off once again.
We have three showers in our house. A shower stall type in the master bathroom, a tub type shower in the kids’ bathroom, and a shower stall type in our downstairs bathroom.
In an effort to keep my bathroom cleaning load a little lighter, we have always just had the kids use our shower in the master bathroom. I have visions of my kids not keeping the shower curtain in the tub if they used the tub shower in their bathroom and flooding the bathroom on a regular basis, and the shower downstairs is also where we keep the cat litter. Although we vacuum the cat litter off the floor every day, it always seems to be back on the floor within an hour. There is nothing worse than wet cat litter, so we avoid using the shower down there most times, too.
As I came into my bathroom last night, this is what I saw:
There is a:
- dress from my daughter
- a toy from my two year old
- a teething toy from by baby
- a sock from a different daughter
- underwear from my third daughter
- a hose that is used to blow up a mattress that my five year old son uses as a trumpet and drags all over the house.
That means that on my bathroom floor I have random junk that belongs to six other people. Six people have stuff all over my bathroom floor! Of course anyone other than the baby is supposed to clean up their things as they leave, but we can see how well that rule worked yesterday.
Of course I found this scene initially frustrating, however, after that initial response I was struck by how this is just the life of a mom.
Things rarely go as I have planned, kids
never rarely do everything they are supposed to in any given day, my house will never be completely free from stuff under my feet, and this will never bother other people even half as much as it does me.
Kids will borrow my things without asking, kids will put things where they don’t belong when they do clean up at times, and the pile of things that get broken and need to be fixed will never be empty.
If you can relate to these things, clearly, I can, too. However, I encourage you to shift your feelings of frustration to feelings of gratitude for the kids who allow you to create this seemingly endless list of inconveniences.
- I can be thankful that I have so many children to leave their stuff in my bathroom.
- I can be thankful that I am able to homeschool my kids, which means they are home to make messes much more than if they were away at school.
- I can be thankful for the stuff they leave all over.
- I can be thankful for my house, even though it always seems to be a mess somewhere.
- I can be thankful that my kids are so able to be independent, even if being independent means they don’t always do things the way they are supposed to.
- I can be thankful that my kids do put forth a great effort to do what they are asked and to meet the expectations that we and others place on them.
- I can be thankful for the many opportunities we have that keep us busy enough to make our home a dumping grounds and a staging area in between activities during different seasons, like this one.
- I can be thankful that my older kids are so willing to help with the younger ones in things like taking showers, even if they do leave a mess behind.
I’m sure I could add more to the list, but this is just what comes to mind at the moment.
Does this mean that my kids won’t be sent to my bathroom to collect their stuff? No, they most certainly will have to clean up after themselves, however, the shift in perspective changes the way I feel about it, which then changes my reaction to it.
The next time you find yourself overwhelmed by something your kids have done, I challenge you to:
- take a step back and take a deep breath
- shift your perspective
- change your frustration to gratitude as you find things in that situation to be thankful for (like I did with the list of things)
Notice how your reaction to the situation will be diffused, which allows you to decide how to proceed rather than simple reacting in frustration.
If you are a mom you know that our work is never done, and we are never off duty, either, but keeping things in perspective diffuses our reactions to the everyday frustrations that being a mom can bring.