Ok, so that was longer than two weeks.
Having a blog break was refreshing. I have made some significant changes in my life in the last few weeks, which means that my family is much happier.
I actually have been nearly hyperventilating at the thought of coming back, because unfortunately my blog life was back when I began these changes, and even though I love blogging I never want to go back to before.
Why? Well, that's simple. My life was a mess. My house was a mess. We were the perfect candidate for one of those house decluttering shows. You see, when I get very panicked, stressed, and anxious, I get depressed. I feel paralyzed. My house suffers dreadfully, and my kids suffer from no routine, no set mealtimes, no clean underwear. My husband suffers from having a depressed wife who is in panic mode all the time, and has no idea where his socks are. I was so overwhelmed, and didn't know what to do anymore. Things were starting to get better when I wrote my last couple of posts. Little did I know that that was the beginning to some beautiful changes that have brought a lot of peace to our home.
I'm going to bare my soul here, and I hope that you'll be understanding and not judge me too harshly.
Those of you who don't struggle with holding on to too much stuff, having clutter around, dealing with anxiety, feeling like everything's falling on top of you at once won't get this. They'll think "Well, just wash the darn dishes already!" But with anything that's rooted in fear of change and in your emotions, the outside is just reflecting on what's inside. My tumultous house was just a reflection of my inner self. So what happened?
I had been reading my scriptures faithfully. I had started praying more fervently. I began to feel supported by the Lord because I was reaching out to Him. That Saturday, at the very beginning of February, I decided that even though the entire house was a wreck and was overwhelming, I would clean up the kitchen. Not perfectly, but enough that the table was clear, dishes were all done, and I could cook easily without doing a balancing act. So I did. It took me the better part of two days, but it was clean. That was the one room that I could walk into without beginning to have a panic attack and running to bury my head in the computer before I was pulled under. I vowed that if nothing else, I would keep the kitchen reasonably clean. It didn't have to be perfect, but reasonably clean (OUT, dang perfectionism!). So I did. Even though I got sick again that week, I held onto that kitchen for dear life!
By the next weekend, it had become a habit. I'm going to share something else with you that only some of you will understand. If you're a person who struggles with change, any change is going to be stressful. We had done "Big Cleanups" before, but the house was back to chaos within a week. Even though I loved it clean, underneath it made me uncomfortable because that wasn't what I was used to. Sound crazy, but 'tis true.
So, the next weekend I tackled Princess' room. She was pretty upset that her room was such a wreck that she couldn't play in it. I worked and worked in it, and it's almost clean. We decluttered a lot (You can't keep clutter organized!) to make it easier for her to keep clean. I have a small box of stuff to go through, and about 20 minutes will fix her closet. The remainder of that week I kept the kitchen reasonably clean and helped her to keep her room clean. Most nights now she does it without much fuss, because she knows where everything goes. I've learned if a child has too many choices they don't play with much of anything because it's overwhelming. They're better off with fewer choices. I also learned that I shouldn't keep something because I think it's cute or that she should play with it, if she didn't like it, out it went.
You can probably guess what's happened from there. Each weekend I do something different, and add it to my list of rooms to keep reasonably clean. I've watched countless episodes of Clean House and visited Flylady.com almost daily for inspiration and motivation. I've been teaching the kids to pitch in, and it's helping with their confidence and self-esteem. They're happier because I cook them breakfast every morning (except for Cereal Saturday Mornings!) They love knowing that schooltime is from after breakfast to lunchtime. They love knowing they have snacktime. They enjoy that I'm baking often and making tasty meals. (Well, most of them. Lion doth protest much at many things.) If there's a day that I'm feeling really sick, that's ok. I tell myself that it's not the end of the world and I can pick back up on it the next day.
Right now I'm looking at a living room that needs picking up and clean clothes to be put away, but that's ok. I'm not wading in paper, toys, and dirty clothes. I'm not stepping on tortilla chip bags that the kids have thrown on the carpet. I'll do what I can. I've been getting contractions much earlier with this baby than the others, especially when I'm tired or have been doing a lot. That means I should rest, and I'm doing my best to do that. I'm settled in knowing that I'm decluttering and cleaning my house in layers, and that's ok. By making these changes slowly they will stick. Lion used to tell me we needed someone to come help us clean the house (from watching Clean House) and now he says that we don't need them, we can do it ourselves. That right there is worth it all, folks.
This past week I've found myself longing for my bloggy friends. I miss you. I miss your humor, your warmth, your genuineness, your love. That's why I'm back. I have other things to tell you, including a couple of humorous things, but those can wait until later--if I remember them!
The bit of news I will leave you with now is that I'm having a sonogram on March 9th, a week from tomorrow. We will be finding out what the baby is if possible. I met my new doctor, and I really like her. I'm excited about the months ahead. I knew that I couldn't bring a new baby into the situation we had, and now that our family is pulling together and establishing new routines, we'll be able to enjoy our little one by the end of July.
I'm heading off to begin catching up on what I've missed. I know that I won't be able to catch up on all the posts I haven't read, so if anything very significant has happened that you want to let me know about, email me! If nothing else, send me the link to that particular post.
See you all soon!