Spring Cleaning Our Mindset

You know how sometimes clutter bugs you at first, but it soon becomes part of the landscape of the home so that you don’t notice it anymore?  To show from the outset of this blog that I am not a perfect housewife, I present to you the hutch in our main living area, in all its messy glory:

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You see, when we moved out to SoCal, we had to downsize quite a bit.  Gone was my whole wall full of cabinets where I kept spare linens, art supplies, and cookbooks, so I picked up this hutch as a sort of replacement.  Over the past two years, though, I’ve found myself sticking all sorts of random things there because there was nowhere else to put them.  At first, it bugged me, and then it slowly just became so familiar that I don’t even know what belongs on there or what doesn’t anymore.  The hutch’s actual function has become muddled.

I know the solution, of course.  It’s to give it a good spring cleaning–step back and take everything off of it and only put back the things that belong.

Our view of ourselves as full-time mothers might need the same spring cleaning regimen.  Maybe we start off with an ideal picture of motherhood and homemaking.  But slowly the vision gets muddled as time passes and we’re in the trenches of changing diapers and wiping runny noses.  We might wonder if this chaos was what we signed up for when we decided to stay at home.  (“Do kids really have this much energy every single day?!”)  Maybe we start to get nudged by the messages of the world.  (“You can have it all, so why are you settling for just being a mom?”  “You have to have two incomes to maintain an acceptable standard of living!”  “Caring for children is not a worthwhile vocation.”)  Maybe we’ve been on a sleep deficit for so long that we don’t even notice the haze anymore.  (I have an eight week old, so I’m speaking from experience.)

I think we periodically need to do a spring cleaning of our mindset.  Let’s clear off all the distractions and get back to the fundamental reasons we became mothers and homemakers.  Then we can slowly take on the supplemental tasks, both functional (laundry, cooking, cleaning) and decorative (making matching Christmas stockings, DIY home projects, gardening).

Girls, we have a noble and vital calling.  We are forming the minds of the next generation, and our work is precious in God’s sight.  Each day of feeding and clothing little people is an investment in the future.  Let’s remind each other of the value of being everything to someone.  And I’m looking forward to discussing the other stuff, too!

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5 Responses to Spring Cleaning Our Mindset

  1. Rachel Parks says:

    Nice post. Good reminder. Look forward to reading what comes next. 🙂

  2. Sara (Kosik) S says:

    Thank you so much for starting this blog! I wanted to share a podcast I stumbled upon by Frederica Mathews-Green (a favorite author of mine). If you do have a spare moment, I think it’s worth a listen – she, like Elisabeth Elliot, lived through the feminist movement. One caller put it so beautifully (I’m paraphrasing) when she said that it is a tragedy that the world tells women that they *must* take their children to Disney World every year or they won’t have a fulfilled childhood…being a ‘household-engineer’ requires cut-backs and perhaps frugality, but the rewards are incalculable! Another caller (the one from Sweden) is rather tetchy with Federica (and maybe you can address this in a post..?) as she assumes (wrongly) that a choice to stay home is a choice against being educated, and therefore ‘uneducated’ stay-at-home moms will raise ‘uneducated’ children. I’m ashamed to say I used to believe this…but God allowed me to meet to many beautiful women and mothers at Hillsdale (yourself included) that I’ve had a complete mantania of heart. Another thing that is important to remember (another topic, maybe?) is how our men are affected in the aftermath of ‘Women’s Liberalization”. We are created in His image and likeness (a “mirror”) COMPLETELY equal and yet TOTALLY different…to expect that we could ever assume their roles, and they ours, is a lie!
    http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/aftoday/the_feminist_movement_its_consequences_for_women_men_and_our_culture

  3. Ann Louise says:

    This makes me think of just slowing down. With fostering, you have to be ready for the case workers to just give you little notice that they are coming by, or that you need to go to court, etc. Also with fostering, there are so many behaviors because the kids have so much hard stuff to deal with, that you never quite know what they can handle. For ex, I can’t make a date to meet a friend at a park because I never quite know if my child will be too overstimulated to handle that. So I go through days really slowly. I watch other mom’s pick their kids up from pre school and rush off to what is next, while we play in the school yard until he is ready to transition. And I need to set aside time for a 45 min hug/snuggle while a child sobs. So instead of rushing to try and fit in everything the world says I should fit in, our day to day looks really different. Your post reminds me that its OK to clean out others expectations for how our life should look!

  4. Janell S. says:

    I just wanted to thank you for writing this post. This is one that almost single-handedly cemented in my mind the decision to home school. It is not something to apologize for, something to be looked down upon as a “less than” option, etc. I’ve finally stopped apologizing and embraced my decision and your post just helped me realize how big of a role and an investment I am making and that it does indeed matter. So thank you.

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