Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Milestones

Today marks a very big milestone in my life. One I am exceptionally proud of and one that has taken me many many years to attain.

Today is the two week anniversary of me making my bed every day.

Not my bed. Not even close. I wish my bed were this nice. And my room were this clean. And I'm a little jealous of all the pillows. Anyway...moving on...

Before you close this page and stop reading, bear with me! That may seem like something really dumb to be proud of. I mean, everyone makes their bed, don't they? At least, that is what my mother would have you think. My grandmother ingrained that into her. Make your bed every. single. day. My mother, being the good daughter that she was, always did. And my mom taught me to make my bed every single day. Except...I didn't. Unless I was threatened with being grounded or having something taken away, I rarely made my bed. When I was in college and lived with my grandparents, and I didn't make my bed, my grandma would just make it for me. She also picked up my room, did my laundry, cleaned my bathroom and made me lunch everyday...but that's a story for another time. (PS...I loved living with my grandparents.)

My point is, I've never really made my bed. I don't know why. Perhaps it was my inner rebel (more likely my inner slob) but I just never grew out of not making my bed.

When Mike and I got married he would just make the bed. I felt a little guilty, but not guilty enough to make the bed. The only time I made the bed was when I changed the sheets. And then I was an animal. I wanted everything straight and lined up and the corners to be perfect. I would place the pillows just so and arrange the comforter exactly perfect ... because once a week I liked having a nicely made bed and crisp sheets to climb into. Mike hated it when I changed the sheets because I would get so anal about how the bed was made.

He called me The Sheet Nazi.

Once a week, I cared. And I hated it when he helped me put sheets on the bed because I'd just have to redo his side. We've been married over ten years now and this has been my song and dance for the entire time.

Never make the bed unless I'm putting clean sheets on. Then, and only then, be a royal terror about how the bed looks and the blankets are organized.

So, basically, my bed-making habits are a big fat joke.

15 days ago, when I attended my homeschool support meeting, we had a wonderful woman named Pam speak to us about children and chores. Trust me, I was there with a notepad and paper ready to take notes. I could not wait to get the answers on how to get my kids to help out around the house. I figured if anyone was going to help me, it was going to be the mother of eleven, yes...11...children.
Pam will have the answers!!!

So, with pen and paper ready to jot down every word that came out of her moth, I listened intently to what she had to share. And she had a lot to say.

To me. About me. She offered me hope and helped me to see that chores...

Begin with me.

I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't see that before. Teaching my children how to do things requires that I teach them by example.

And Pam very gently and sweetly encouraged me to start small.

"Start," she said, "by making your bed every day. Once you have that mastered, move onto something else. Picking up your room. Once that is mastered, add something else. Baby steps. Teach your children by being the example."

Baby Steps. That resonates with me. Baby steps got us out of debt. Baby steps are helping us change our eating habits. Baby steps are going to help me become a better home maker - the kind of home maker who has a clean house every once in awhile. Baby steps are going to help me be an example of how to do chores - and help me teach my children how to do chores.

So, I began making my bed. And 14 days later, I think it's become a habit. Maybe? This morning I didn't want to make the bed. You know...taking the 45 seconds out of my morning and applying my sheet nazi skills is apparently difficult to do? Maybe it's not a habit until I don't even notice I'm doing it. Maybe not. Maybe it will never be something I want to do.

But, I hate to admit this...it's nice to crawl into a made bed every night. When company comes over I'm not embarrassed to keep our bedroom door open. I don't have to rush to throw things together if someone has to use the bathroom in my room. And the made bed kind of makes the other messes look more messy, so by default I've been picking those up to.

So, today I celebrate two weeks of having a made bed. Something small that represents something so big.

To celebrate, I might just finish folding the load of laundry that has been sitting on top the the dryer for four days.

I know, I know ... I'm an overachiever.

2 comments:

sarahrose said...

This made me laugh! I felt like you were in my house, watching my daily routine. first one up, so duncan makes the bed as he is the last one out of it. Laundry folded - but it lives on the guest bed or sofa for about a week.... you have motived me to be a better house maker. Thank you for sharing. I do not feel so alone in the "ugh...really...can't it wait one more day..." life. xoxo

CM said...

Good for you! Who would have thought...it starts with us first! Thanks for sharing, it makes perfect sense.