Love Home

It is absolutely lovely to be home today after traveling to and from Seattle. I look about my house and there is so much to be done. I don’t know about you, but when I’m gone, my work does not stop. I come home and my greatest temptation is to either begin dashing about trying to quickly set everything right, or criticize my family for not doing things the way I want them done. Neither of these responses is loving to the children, who have not seen me in a few days, or to Russ who has not only been doing his job, but carrying much of my load too.

I have to keep my eyes focused on what matters most, clean uniforms for my school girls, dinner planned, laundry started, reading to my homeschoolers, and school work accomplished. Today we have spent nearly two hours doing a nature study challenge on fall leaves. Now lunch is over and we are diving into math and spelling. Reading will come later. Most of all, I am trying to keep my heart beating at a gentle pace and not at the frantic, “I have so much work to do!” pace.

Here are a couple of pictures of the lovely centerpiece Honeybee and Sunshine made yesterday, as well as a glimpse at the kids’ nature study journals.

More soon.

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Kate in NY
    October 18, 2010

    Actually, I was wondering about how your house runs while you are making your Seattle trips! Lately, I am finding it so hard to give up control of my "domestic duties," even to get away for an evening with my girl friends. There is always so much to do (and I only have 4 kids, and I am not even homeschooling any right now!) – lunches to pack, laundry to fold, counters to wipe clean, etc. When I am returning home after Paul has been in charge for any period of time, I have to repeat to myself "be nice, be nice, be nice" – because invariably, they have all had a great time, but the house is NOT in the order that I would have it in myself. I love my life at home, and I wouldn't trade it for anything – but sometimes I think that the longer I am "a housewife," the more important it becomes to me that everything be JUST RIGHT.

    I sometimes remind myself of that wonderful quote from Deborah Gray's adoption book (and I found out that it was actually written about a dear friend of mine from the adoption world): "she was at home with her children, not with her house" – something like that . . . the house can often be more immediately gratifying, I guess! Nothing like a clean kitchen to give the illusion that all is right in the world!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 18, 2010

      Kate, I love the Deborah Gray quote as well as your words, "Nothing like a clean kitchen to give the illusion that all is right in the world!" Honestly, I am really struggling to keep up with my home with so many hours and days devoted to therapy. Every once in awhile I feel almost caught up with the every day chores, but most of the time I'm not keeping up very well. The biggest challenge is that I can't seem to get on top of the bigger projects like packing away summer clothes or organizing my garage. Those things affect me nearly every day, it seems, but they require large blocks of time that I just don't have right now. I don't know what the solution is, but I keep hoping that some amazingly organized person, with plenty of extra time in her hands, will call and say, "Can I help you with anything?" I also was just thinking this morning that I may need to hire somebody to come give my house a good cleaning so I can get a fresh start. I no longer strive for my home to be perfect, I'm just hoping for reasonably clean and tidy.

      Reply
  2. Paula
    October 18, 2010

    Lisa, the pictures of your house always look so inviting, you must be doing something right! Love the centerpieces your girls made. Love the journals too. I saw them when you had them on one of your posts a short while back, and I ordered one of the journal books for my 16 year old daughter to use as a sketchbook. She loves it! So thanks for sharing about that, too.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 18, 2010

      Paula, I'm glad your daughter likes the sketch book! We are enjoying them so much. (You can find them in the Amazon widget in my sidebar.) As for my house, it is so funny that you say that. Just this morning I was standing at my bedroom door surveying the still-packed suitcase, the laundry yet to to put away, two large bags of hand-me-downs from my sister, and piles of mail on Russ' desk, thinking, "I should take a picture of this for my blog and show how messy my house really is." Then I thought better of it 🙂 I do hope my home is welcoming…even if it isn't as tidy as I would like.

      Reply
  3. Lisa H.
    October 18, 2010

    You're so wise to guard your words when you come home and see the house…I don't do so well there, so thank you for the reminder!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 18, 2010

      Honestly, I've fallen to this temptation too many times and I still struggle with it. I think I'm reminding myself.

      Reply
  4. Jen
    October 19, 2010

    Lisa,

    One of the best things we did this past year was to spring for a housecleaner to come every other Friday to do some deep cleaning (mostly bathrooms and floors) because I felt like I just couldn't count on the time being there for me to stay on top of it. I have to say that it has been worth it . . . on the crazy weeks when I'm just doing the therapeutic parenting ALL DAY EVERY DAY and then I look at the bathroom. . . I just think: "well, it will be deep cleaned on Friday!" LOL!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 19, 2010

      Jen, I would love this, it's just hard to figure out where to squeeze it out of our budget. However, I think it would be a good use of our resources at this stage of our lives. I'm so glad you've been able to life one stress off your shoulders.

      Reply
      1. Kate in NY
        October 19, 2010

        We are incredibly fortunate to have someone to help with the big clean every other week. I joke that they are the two best days of the month! It never fails, though – a few days after the housecleaner comes, I start to feel guilty about the money – it is literally the last part of our already tight budget that I could squeeze, and I think about how much I'd love to have that extra cash (I will not even TELL you what housecleaners in suburban NYC charge an hour).
        But I know that I am a much nicer mom when I am not worrying about how I am going to get the big stuff done, and that one day it will mean more that I wasn't all stressed out and witchy about it with my family (or even more stressed and witchier! :)) The main problem (other than the $) is that I feel my kids have become all too used to this "perk" – as in "I don't have to clean my room, Mom, because it will get cleaned next Friday." Grrrrr.

        Reply
        1. One Thankful Mom
          October 19, 2010

          Kate, I imagine that the cost is much higher in NYC than in Idaho! I'm glad you are able to have the help. We have a college girl in our community who cleaned for me before the wedding and I'm thinking about sending her an email.

          Reply
          1. Amber
            October 20, 2010

            I agree, just being home with our two children from Ethiopia. I cannot keep up with the homeschooling our bio~3 and attachment issues with the 'new two' household chores and a hubby that works alot! When do I even do the grocery shopping???!!!

            I just called the neighbor girl yesterday. She will be coming once a week or every other week to pick up the things that I drop unintentionally. (Mainly floors!) I can't wait!

            I think if you are to find a young single girl, they will be happy to do this and not for a large expense on our end. But when you consider in your sanity, can you really put a price on that?!

            Amber

          2. One Thankful Mom
            October 20, 2010

            I just emailed a young lady today and asked if she could come for a few hours this week — bathrooms and floors are on the top of my list. I'm glad you are doing this for yourself and your family!

  5. coffeemom
    October 19, 2010

    I have the exact same response pattern and often fail in biting my tongue or slowing to see before I start rushing to DO and restore. It's a tough balance…happily enough we get endless redo's on this one!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 19, 2010

      Russ and I were talking about this and he made the comment that he never comes home from work and criticizes me for all of the things I've left undone. That is completely true! I don't know why I expect more of him and my children than I do from myself. This is definitely an area of sin in my life…maybe all of those "do overs" are a good thing — but I sure don't like it.

      Reply
  6. Giann
    October 19, 2010

    I love the nature journals and the centerpiece!!

    In your last post you talked about carving pumpkins…..could I get a glimpse of the finished work?? 🙂

    And yes, I have to agree with you about looking past the small things, at least their done, right?

    Blessings!

    Reply
  7. Joelle
    October 19, 2010

    Unfortunately my husband is the one who has to come home and bite his tongue all the time because I am not a tidy housekeeper–never have been, probably never will be, although I aspire to keep growing in that area. I tend to feel guilty because I'm not a perfectionist about my standards as if being a perfectionist at heart would somehow make up for not being tidier in practice.

    Reply
  8. Sara
    October 19, 2010

    Lisa,
    We finally hired cleaners about a year ago. Like everyone else I can say that it is 100% worth it. I will take from every other budget to give us this break. We only have them come every 2 weeks and limit the cleaning area to save $ but I still see a huge benefit to our quality of life. I'm sure my husband and boys are happy not to hear me complain about cleaning their "funky" bathroom anymore! Maybe you could hire someone to come when you make your trips to Seattle? Just a thought 🙂

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 20, 2010

      Sara, thanks for the encouragement. I hadn't thought about hiring somebody just for the travel weeks — it might help me catch up on life more quickly and reduce stress for all of us. Hmmm…I'll give this some thought.

      Reply

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