Quote of the Day: “Mom, stop being Mrs. Slumpy Shoulders. That is not you.” I had never heard that phrase before, but apparently I embodied it.
I had been shuffling around upstairs around bedtime, putting away laundry, mumbling under my breath, with my body all scowly; “… people keep wearing the clothes and getting them dirty again. I wash the clothes and fold them and put them away and then people make them dirty again. And I wash the dishes and people take them out and put food on them and then they are dirty again…”
Such is the challenge of full-time parenthood — knowing in your heart that it is a privilege to do what you do, but feeling the monotony of mundane chores that are quickly undone. If you are not careful, it can give you a big-time case of Slumpy Shoulders. This was the hardest thing for me to accept when I gave up a career outside the home, for one inside its walls. Re-doing stuff I just did. Often I was re-doing things I had not even finished doing the first time. In 2001, there was no space in the Franklin Planner for that. It drove me bonkers for years.
I now strive for a state of zen-like calmness through just doing each task and being present in the moment. Each task is a gift, to myself or to others I love. Some gifts I would like to give back, but no matter. As you can see, I’m doing much better through the miracle of modern chemistry.
One concept that I keep in mind is that of C.H.A.O.S. — as in, Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. I stumbled upon this idea one day during the Toddler Years, when surfing the net to try to find my sanity. Mostly I found a great deal of retail therapy, but there was also FlyLady. While much of the FlyLady website is a little too homespun for me (not that there’s anything wrong with that), the concept of living in chaos where nothing was ever done — that struck a chord. There are some true nuggets of wisdom there, about creating peaceful surroundings, getting rid of the clutter and simplifying life, that apply whether I live in a mansion or a van down by the river, or a pretty nice middle America suburb.
Now, if I can just maintain enough order in our little castle that I am not mortified when our neighbor stops by (her house is SPOTLESS, which isn’t an acronym, there simply is no dirt there), I’m happy. It may just mean I promote a state of P.A.T.H.O.S. (Pathetic Attempt To Hide Oafishness Syndrome). But that is not a good attitude for a Friday, now is it?
I’ll square up my shoulders and call it Can Have Everyone, Everyday, Regardless! Syndrome. Cheers!