Your socks do not determine your goodness.

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Your Socks Do Not Determine Your Goodness

You’re right. That feeling you have as you stand over the ever-full sink of dishes, tears welling up, because nothing ever gets done. Completed. Accomplished.

It doesn’t. It’s one of the hardest parts of being a grown up that I’ve ever had to deal with. As soon as you think you’re done, it starts all over again.

Remember the feeling of putting a finished assignment in your backpack? It felt amazing. You could just chill the rest of the night, because you were done.
Ever clock out at the end of a long day at work and skip off to your car because you were DONE for the day and you go do whatever you wanted?

It’s not like that anymore. Not now that I’m a parent. I love being a parent. I am so immensely blessed to have these four precious people in my life. This isn’t about loving them. This is about loving me. I crave a feeling of accomplishment. I need to sit down at the end of the day and look back at a job well done, and I can’t. No matter how hard I work, this day still comes. The day I’m crying at the sink, wondering if it will ever get done and knowing in my heart that it won’t.

We have a home full of energetic children, eager to play and learn and move. They need to be fed and washed and educated. Meals are waiting to be cooked and bills are waiting to be paid. Dirty laundry is waiting to be discovered – just as you think you’re putting in the final load. Birds are dropping feathers, dogs are shedding fur, and dust bunnies are planning revolutions.

No matter how hard and fast we work, it will never be marked “done”. My list never includes a task that can be fully completed. It’s always a task that is just meant to keep one of the many plates spinning. Load of laundry, run the dishwasher, make sure bathrooms have toilet paper, take out something for dinner. Rinse, repeat.

My Self Worth is Not Determined by The Dishes In My Sink

I write, and I craft, to give me a brief feeling of accomplishment. I finished a post. I finished the blanket. I can mark something as “done”.

Here is where my own head starts to mess with me. Unless there is a justifiable reason (wedding, holiday, birthday) to warrant the putting aside of the to-do list to do something fun, I can’t do it. This means that on an average day, I can’t write or craft or do anything that could bring me a sense of accomplishment, until all the other things are done. Those other things are never done, not completely, not in a way that satisfies my brain. My motivation and inspiration disappear because I’m not getting a boost from having something be finished, and I start having difficulty in just making progress on all the daily tasks, even the easy ones. Fun circle of doom isn’t it?

This especially cold winter is only making things worse. In the spring and summer, I can send the kids outside for a bit, get something cleaned up, and actually see it stay clean for more than five minutes. No snowing dog paws on the freshly vacuumed carpet in June. Shorts and bathing suits take up less space in the washer, so laundry takes half the time. Picnics are held under the willow tree, crumbs landing in the grass instead of the kitchen floor. And sunshine. Glorious sunshine.

Marbles in socks

I can not make winter move along faster. I can not stop my children from learning and playing and leaving a trail of happy childhood messes behind them. I must adjust my thinking.

Reconsider my standards: am I expecting too much of myself and others in my house?

Reinstate a routine, even if it’s a flexible one: have I stopped requiring certain “must dos” to be done because I became overwhelmed by it all?

Rediscover joy: have I failed to focus on the blessings? the giggles? the “a-ha” moments that my children have daily?

Set a time: As mommas (all mommas, not just homeschooling mommas), our day is never-ending. From the moment the family is awake (if not sooner), until the moment the last sweet head hits the pillow, it’s game on for us. Set working hours. Set them for house work. Set them for school work. When the clock says it’s closing time, shut her down. Call it a day. That doesn’t have to mean you stop being mom. It doesn’t mean you have to ignore the socks on the floor, if you don’t want to ignore them. It means you stop, acknowledge a day’s work well done, and choose what you want to do next. Take a bath, watch tv, knit, read, write, without guilt.

Because you did work hard. You did do a good job. The dishes can wait.

Don’t let a dirty sink or crumbs on the floor determine your worth my friends. Jesus already told you what you were worth. You were worth dying for.

Socks on the floor can’t take that away.

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The Laundry Hamper

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It’s been sitting in the corner of my room for days, just staring at me. It watches me walk by, trying to ignore it, when I make my bed.

Full of clean laundry, it waits. I hear it whispering at me, whenever I get close enough to touch it.

It’s telling me that I’m a slacker mom. A good mom would have folded these by now. How lazy can you be that you can’t put away a small hamper of clothes.

I shuffled into my room today feeling drained. I’ve been feeling really drained by 3 pm since my surgery. The doctor said my body would still be healing for some time and that a short break should enough to help. I laid across my {made} bed, and pulled my throw blanket over my feet.

From the corner of my room I could hear it.

“You don’t deserve a break woman! Get up, lazy, and fold these clothes! Worthless….”

Know what I did?

I got up. I walked over to the hamper.

I kicked it. I kicked it hard enough to knock some of the clothes onto the floor.

God said I was worthy.

God said I was good {thank you Jesus!}.

God said I could rest.

The laundry is not still there because I am lazy or worthless. It is still in that hamper because every time I tried to head towards my room to fold it, a little person grabbed my hand and said “Play with me Momma”, and I did.

Maybe in the world of Laundry Hampers I am totally and completely worthless.

But in their world, I rock the awesome.

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Restaurants You Don’t Take Kids To

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There are some restaurants, even with their obligatory kid’s menu, that are not suited for children. Their atmosphere isn’t kid friendly. The tables are tight. The lighting is dark. The music is too loud or the crowd is too loud.

I wouldn’t take my kids to Buffalo Wild Wings.

I don’t take them to restaurants if I couldn’t wear jeans to dinner.

I avoid Golden Corral.

For four years, I have avoided Ruby Tuesday.

I love Ruby Tuesday. I love the salad bar. I love those cheddar biscuits. Their steak melts. (I’m going to pretend the mashed potatoes are real)

We took Bubbagirl to Ruby’s once, shortly after we moved up here. The bigger girls were with Mr’s parents and we were going on a mini-date.

She wasn’t even a year old yet. I felt like the high chair was in everyone’s way and our table was so tiny it barely held our plates, much less her bottle and a small rattle.

I felt crowed and stared at so we decided only to return when we were child-free.

It would be three years before we went back. A few months ago, I went and had lunch with my Mr. at Ruby Tuesday.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the food and I immediately came home to search for copycat recipes for those biscuits.

Today was one of those days where Momma needed to be anywhere but home.  If that meant eating out then so be it.

The plan was to meet up at our favorite Japanese place, Osaka’s. Unfortunately, they were “closed due to the vacation”.

Well, if I couldn’t have my yum yum sauce and ginger dressing, then I wanted cheddar biscuits and Ruby Tuesday would just have to deal with my big family.

I expected the Mr. to complain but he didn’t. It was 6:15pm, prime after work dinner time.

The hostess did a double take as we walked in the door.  I scanned the room.

80% of the diners were elderly, the rest were upper-middle aged, and there was not one family there.

There I stood with my mismatched, bandana wearing, flip floppin’ brood, holding hands patiently waiting to be seated.

Everyone watched us be seated.

They walked us to the far corner, where the big table was located, surrounded by four tables full of ladies and gentlemen old enough to be my grandparents. The entire corner fell silent.

Now- we have had our fair share of crying, whining, meltdown, rotate between the table and the car, dinners with our children. We know why everyone held their breath, thinking their quiet grown-up dinner was about to be ruined.

We ordered. We rotated trips to the bathroom. We swapped out crayons and did our crossword puzzles. Mr. and I took turns at the salad bar. Everyone ate.

I was cutting up my last piece of steak, and I noticed a lady in pink inching closer to me, leaning over slightly.

I turned to see her beautifully made up face and perfectly coiffed hair, and her smile.

“I just wanted to tell you that you have the most beautifully behaved children. You should be very proud of them.”

I looked past her to her dinner companions and each of them were smiling and nodding and waving to our kids.

All I could say was thank you, and smile.

Then I thanked God for our peaceful outing.

Her kind words, her willingness to go up to a complete stranger and bless her with that compliment, turned my day around.

Thank you Lord for that sweet old lady.  This momma, who feels like such a failure most days, needed those words today.

Dear Ruby Tuesday, I know they were good today, but have no fear, I don’t plan on pushing our luck. Your food was great, but it will be a while before we’re back. Because we like you.

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

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