Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Life lessons or just another day in paradise my dear....

When my Shelley was young, I made the mistake, as lots of Mom's do, and told myself it was easier to do things myself than it was to have Shelley do it. Like dusting or cleaning or picking up. And because of that, Saturdays were the worst day of the week because of chores. Really as I look back on it, it was because, I wanted it done "right" which is adult code for my way. If I could have do overs it would be in that regard.

I wasted alot of time being right. I wasted alot of time thinking it was going to cost me something (ego wise) if I didn't have things just so. I wasted alot of time trying to be in control. Yeah like kids are controllable. NOT. They just let you think they are compliant. Actually they are like the Borg, resistance is futile. But we adults go about our merry way thinking that we are the teachers, disciplinarians, mentors, leaders, in control.

Now this is a lesson learned by this old broad with my grands. Saturdays are glorious. It's like eating dessert first, what's it gonna hurt, right? Shelley has to get to work by 6:30 am and the kids wake up and join me in doing nothing for awhile. We talk and tease and enjoy the "us" time. Well at least I enjoy them entertaining me. Then about mid morning we have breakfast, watch some cartoons and about's time for chores. I told Shelley before they moved here from SC that I was gonna have the kids help with housework and she almost choked with laughter at the idea that her son could help and her daughter would willingly help. Laughs are on her. I do have to equate it to pulling teeth sometimes but hey, they do their chores very well.

Ry is so funny about his chores. He is so happy to do the recycling and help with the vacuuming. We were told he was afraid of the vacuum. Yeah right. He is getting pretty good at catching all the dog hair and thinks of it as fun. He is super proud on garbage day when he takes his "stash" of recycle stuff to the curb. That's my chore, says he. Gerea helps with the picking up......with some encouragement and praise, which is appropriate for the royalty she is. But is very willing and good at dusting. When all chores are finished we all feel like we did something special because we did it together. So by the time Shelley gets home at 3, we're outside playing in the yard or crafting our brains out.

Now I am not telling you that the dusting and other jobs are done, "like I would" but then so what. It's not like I'm expecting the Governor to drop by for cerveza and nachos anytime soon. It's clean enough to be a good learning pool for kiddos who are gaining self respect and a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. They don't feel pressured to do anything except their part of the family jobs. Too much fun.

I anyone should as for my advise to any parent, it would be to chill. When they are gone out of the house is soon enough to have everything the way you want it. Sweet man and I had that for awhile and it was pleasant and soothing and boring and old and we're happier with not quite so tidy, happy and relaxed.


  1. Isn't it amazing how wise we become with age.
    My Grampa was my soul mate and I aked him once what he wished he had more of in life. His answer was
    hindsight.I understand that now.

  2. This is a wonderful post, Linda, and SO true. You have learned a valuable lesson over time and now you are enjoying life with your grands because of it. I wonder what it is in us that makes us think everything has to be "perfect". It makes life hard. I was brought up that way (Mom is a perfectionist) and it rubbed off on me. I am MUCH better about it now ~ a good number of years ago, I came to realize how unimportant some areas of perfection are, and I am a much happier person now. I actually see that some of my perfectionism has rubbed off on my son. I see it and want to scream, but he will have to learn on his own that it's ok if the papers on his desk are crooked. LOL
    I think you are doing a great job with your grands, Linda ~ teaching them and loving them and enjoying them.
    ♥ audrey

  3. ROFL, my mum wasn't daft, I had to hoover and dust every week, and clear the table after breakfast each day, and set it for dinner, and put all my clothes away in exchange for my pocket money. She obviously wasn't that house proud lol

    To be fair, we were an 'equal opportunities' house, dad had to wash all the dishes (by hand, no dishwasher), and cooked breakfast at the weekends, and did things in the garden. Mum made weekday breakfast, lunch and dinner, and did the washing and ironing. As both my parents worked, it was the easiest way to get everything done I suppose

  4. Good advice, definitely. I wish I had had my kids do more chores regularly. It was kinda hit or miss. I think it also teaches self-reliance. Your Saturdays sound superb!

  5. This just made me smile. And maybe not the governor, but one day I'd like to stop by for Cerveza and nachos. Don't bother cleaning up, cuz we'll probably just make a mess of it again. xox

  6. I always have a mixed reaction when a grandma gives me advice about "chilling out" or "enjoy them when they're young" or any of that happy mcflappy crap because I know they've learned those lessons from not being "chill" or "always enjoying them when they were young". I try to, I really do, but I'm just not that mommy that is chilled out and enjoying every moment of it. I also plan on being the wickedly cool grandma who takes the kids to movies at 9pm and lets them eat cotton candy for breakfast. Then I will pack their shit up and send them home. Payback for all the crap my little crumb snatcher gives me.

    Love you Oma : )

  7. you are so right on that one!'s the time spent together accomplishing something that kids learn from....i used to complain about dog hair until it was i don't mind dog hair one bit!

  8. I have been transformed myself in my 6 decades...I live for the time spent together with my grand children and know eventually time will escape my bubble and they will grow into adults way too soon. There is more to life than cleaning...and you sound as if you have discovered the simple pleasures of sharing time. Blessings, Mary Helen

  9. Love the post, I so agree with the wisdom you wonderful woman! We had visitors out of the blue last weekend (well we knew they were coming but appeared early)... mum dad twin boys (1 & a half years old) & the delightful Darcy their almost 3 year old big sister... We pulled out pots & pans from the cupboard as toys, my girls raced & got pencils paper & craft stuff & spread it over the dining table for Darcy (can't remember last time we ate there (?) we popped a bubbly & opened a beer or 2, Trinity (my 14 year old & I were halfway in the sushi preparation when we heard them arrive, so we popped a bag of chips & the parents sat & chatted in the mess, the 'tidying up' never happened, all the cooking stuff was thrown in the sink (for later)... it was relaxed, chilled & so much fun it couldn't have been better even had we got the housework... and you know, I think if the governor needs a tidy house to visit, well he can drive on by ;)

  10. Yes, yes, yes, I so agree. I remember so wanting to help as a child but was sent out to "play" instead. Doing dishes was my big, burning, thwarted desire.
    Wish now I had been given cleaning and cooking chores. I might be a better housekeeper.
    You are a good Grandma.

  11. Great post Linda! You are a wise young lady ;o) I have to admit, I am so picky about doing things! It's hard to let my mom help me! LOL! Especially with the gardening, but I am getting loser in my old age! LOL! I will take your advice ;o) Actually, my mom keeps telling me to relax too! LOL! Big Hugs!

  12. What a beautiful post, Linda. I did the same thing with my kids until the youngest hit high school and suddenly I realized that they both would be gone soon. Of course they were rarely home during those teenage years after they got their driver's license. I didn't want what time we had left being with me worrying over a "perfectly" clean house. It made me really define the difference between "house" and "home". Funny what the prospect of "empty nest" does to a mom.

    Now cerveza and nachos? That's what I'm talking about sister. ;-)

  13. About time you realized all this...My Great Grandfather always put dessert first...Relax...Life's too short to take it too to enjoy it...


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