I have a confession to make. Although I’ve never had an official diagnosis, I’m pretty sure I’m a bit OCD. You know – obsessive compulsive. Before Chip and I were married, he would come and visit during the summer and would sneak into my bedroom while I showered (sorry, nothing kinky there – the shower was downstairs). While I showered, he would walk around my bedroom and move things. Open drawers just slightly, pull cd’s halfway out in their holder, move items around my bedroom like an umbrella that would stand in a certain corner, he would basically redecorate my room.
And THEN! He would sit on my bed and watch me walk into the room (it was a HUGE room). I would be talking (or he would be) and he would simply watch. He would watch as I completely absent-mindedly walked around and put everything back exactly where it “belonged.” I’m glad that he’s so easily amused.
But the really amusing part for him wasn’t that he was messing up my stuff and making me put it back, it was the fact that I didn’t even know I was doing it!!! How crazy is that?
Then we got married and had kids. When I had a room to myself, it was easy to control everything because I knew it was going to stay there until I decided it deserved a new home (or Chip came to visit). Now however, I would rather do things like clean out my dresser drawers or my closet space. I would rather clean out my purse. Because at least that was something I could control.
Because OH THE MESS that four kids can make! I used to freak out about it. I used to go in and clean their rooms so that it was done “correctly”. I used to fold all of the laundry and put it away in their drawers. I used to stack the dishes just so (I still do this to some extent) and make sure that the house was clean all the time. I used to be miserable!
I’m learning to relax a bit. It’s still hard for me, but not like it used to be. It’s hard for me to find that balance between clean and obsessive. It’s still hard for me to teach my kids how to do something to the best of their ability instead of making sure they do it my way (because my way isn’t necessarily the ONLY way). But I’m learning – and so are they.
So, today, I’m tackling letting them tackle it! I’m letting them do their chores (picking up toys, doing the dishes, taking care of the animals, etc..). It’s hard to not step in and just take over to make sure it’s done my way. But I realize that won’t make them able to do these things when they are older. And there will be plenty for me to do once they get the general picking up done for the day.
And while they do that, I’m going to tackle the mess that everyone seems to pile on the dining room table every day. Right now it’s covered with various items (paperwork, schoolbooks, laundry waiting to be folded, etc…) It seems we rarely use it during ball season, so it can pile up for DAYS before someone gets to it. And I think it’s been since Saturday since I saw the entire top of the table. I might have my work cut out for me.