Is It Ever Your Fault?

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There is nothing worse than someone wandering around playing the victim role. All week long I wash tons of loads of clothes. I asked both of my kids several times to go into the laundry room and put away their clothes. By the time the weekend rolled around, my husband got sick of them not listening and took their clothes upstairs to put away. I woke up to my daughter coming in and out of my room complaining that she couldn’t find any of her clothes. Do I feel bad? Maybe for myself because I had to wake up earlier than I needed to but I am thinking next time they don’t listen, I should bag the clothes up and hide them someplace. The bottom line is if she would have taken her own clothes upstairs and put them away like she was asked, we wouldn’t be having this problem but instead we are the bad guys, and she is inconvenienced.

 Don’t be a victim. Take care of your own responsibilities and don’t blame everyone else for your irresponsibility. It only makes you look bad. And when someone is trying to be helpful, try some gratitude. It goes a longer way than resentment and blame. Sometimes being a parent is a thankless endeavor. It seems to me that the people who do the least and rely on everyone to do more play the victim best.

Lessons From The Laundry

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“How am I supposed to get to them underneath all of this?”

That was my sons response when I called him downstairs at almost 10:00 at night to get his freshly washed sheets from underneath 4 loads of wash that still needed to be folded so he could put them back on his bed and go to sleep.

As he said those words, the truth became inescapably clear. How in the world could I get to anything I needed to get done when so many things kept piling up on top of the list I couldn’t even find anymore? No wonder I’ve been feeling so unmotivated!

Why do I let that happen? Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I just ignore it all. I avoid those mundane, unappreciated, everyday, annoying tasks that act as a super efficient time suck. One small load of laundry turns into a mountain high pile of clothes that becomes so intimidating I don’t even know where to start. I shut the door and walk away.  Everyday I feel smaller as I am crushed underneath everything until there is not enough air in the room to even breathe. I got several texts today. “Mom, I’m out of cereal and I need shampoo.” “Mom can you pick up sharpies so I can finish my blackout poem? Oh and colored duck tape for my science project and some chili cheese tator tots when you pick me up after school?”

As hard as it is to admit, I’m not twenty years old anymore. My energy supply is limited and when my tank is empty there’s nothing more I can do. I have found peace with going to bed with a list of things that didn’t get done. It doesn’t matter how much I do today, tomorrow there will always be more and that’s something I have to learn to live with.

Lessons From A Drama Mom With A Teenage Daughter Queen!

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So, snow day today. Woohoo, yeah , awesome, high five! Now that we got that over with the real story is about to begin. Last night I had a long sit down with my 15 year old daughter. She is missing quite a bit of work in school and her chores have really been falling behind. See a pattern here? I do and as mom I DO NOT LIKE IT. Although it has become the norm for school policies to let these kids hand their work in with no consequence whenever is it convenient, and coaches seem to let kids skip practice or skip laps at their own convenience, it is creating a HUgE inconvenience at home. I know society has the very best intentions but the result is these kids do not do anything in a timely fashion. Before they know it, they have fallen so far behind and they are surrounded with a cloud of hopelessness they never seem to find a way to pull their head out of. Well, lucky for me I am a “stay on top of it” kind of gal so I don’t suffer from this epidemic of DGAD (don’t get anything done!)

Anyway, back to the story. I happened to wander into the laundry room this morning, and there, sitting on the washer was an overflowing basket of smelly teenage laundry. I patiently walked into the living room where my teen was on her 4th episode of Dance Moms and with my sweetest voice possible told my daughter the dreaded truth. “Kayleigh, the washer does not have magical powers.” She sat there a moment staring blankly at me and asked, “what do you mean?” So I continued to tell her that the clothes do not magically find themselves inside the washer and someone actually has to put them in. Her response, “well, I,thought if I brought them downstairs YOU do them.”

Aha, at last the problem had become obvious. I was successful in teaching her if her clothes sat in her closet they wouldn’t get washed, but she misinterpreted my next piece of information as bring them downstairs, they get washed. Seriously, I am telling this story because it is a vERY important one. I noticed that even dealing with teachers and adults, sometimes we think we are being very clear in what it is we are trying to convey, but the real meaning gets lost somewhere inside the interpretation. I am learning slowly, that sometimes we have to be specific to a ridiculous degree.
If we expect someone to do something, we have to make sure they understand what it is we are asking them to do.

I will leave you with this example. One day my husband decided to meet me at Starbucks on his way to work. He penciled me into his schedule and I was grateful. We left the house at the same time but I was sitting there for several minutes wondering where he could be. Finally the phone rang and I asked, “where are you?” His response, “sitting in Starbucks”. So there we were, sitting in two different Starbucks on two different sides of town. You think I could say lesson learned then but I am still making the same mistake today. By golly, I think I may have finally got it! Yay me!

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