So, every now and then (or, um, every day) I get to feeling a little down about some of those endlessly undulating household hot spots. You know the type: the “target behavior ” of one kid or another, the piles on the counter, the dust on the blinds…the zillion and one things that conspire together, alternately biding their time and rising in accusation…
The angst, of course, is often triggered by an unrealistic expectation that goes sprinting around a blind corner, only to be smashed back down on its behind, painfully wounded, after running smack into the reality that was moving inexorably around the other side. Yes, I think it’s safe to say that “keeping it real” is a skill that I haven’t quite mastered.
So a couple days ago I was feeling quite keenly the mismatch between The Ideal Household (you know, the one that exists somewhere in Plato’s world of forms…) and the one that had just lost another game of chicken with reality. After the kids were finally down if not out, I sat me down with the computer and a cup of tea and indulged in a little long-overdue bloghopping, notably down our blogroll.
Boy, am I glad I did. In many of the blogs I caught up on, y'all offered, in one way or another, great encouragement for keeping it real. Thanks, girls ;). For instance, Leah (Hey! Congrats, Leah!) blogged an “everyday,” wonderful moment of confession and absolution in her family’s life. And Dakotapam warmed my heart by being “perfectly imperfect.” I particularly like the adage from her husband’s engineering days: “There is quick, cheap, and quality. Choose two. You can never get all three.” This concept is endlessly adaptable for motherhood. Choose two in each group, because you can never get all three. For starters (and I'd love to hear someone else's infamous triads):
Breakfast, shower, hair combed.
Children’s teeth brushed, own teeth brushed, sink clear of egregious toothpaste goobers.
Homeschool, clear counter, floor swept.
Clean house, happy children, homecooked supper (HAHAHA sorry I can't even type that one with a straight face).
Way back, I wrote about another remedy for my to-do list angst. Triage seems like another great way to trick the to-do list and get a head start on the day: Make a list of things that “must” be done, and then go ahead and ward off that inevitably painful collision with reality by crossing one* off.
*Eh, better make that one or more...