Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thriving in Chaos?

Here's another post that's rooted in a tweet/Facebook status update, and I'll let you know know that the comment I received in return put me immediately on the defensive.

My tweet/status:
Aaaand....  My momAgenda has started to get crowded enough that color-coding is in order.  I resisted as long as possible : /

Comment on my status:
Being a mom is messy, scattered and often disorganized.  Let it go and enjoy the chaos!

My gut reaction was, "Isn't it obvious that, if I have a calendar going, that I don't like disorganization?"  (Never mind what my house looks like, ok?)  I felt criticized for trying to keep my life in order!  I mean, if I'm not organized, who's going to do it?  It's my job to keep it all together - that's why I'm a SAHM!

After taking a few moments to step back and take a few deep breaths (and pound some chicken with the bottom of a cast iron skillet - for grilling), I tried to take the "not as harsh as you think it was" perspective.

Of course being a mom can be messy, scattered, and disorganized.  It can certainly be chaotic.  And sometimes, that fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants attitude can be fun (mainly - for me - in the summer time).  I also wonder if this attitude is related to the age and gender of your children.  My commenter has two teenage boys involved in sports.  I have elementary-aged children, a boy and a girl, who do not participate in the same activities as each other.

However, if I allow chaos to be our version of normal, I'm not doing anyone any favors.  And I'm not doing my job effectively.  My kids don't know what's coming next, which invites bad attitudes.  And things like clean clothes and dinner and bedtimes won't happen in a timely fashion.  And we won't make plans to do things like see the grandparents or go camping with friends because, well, you can't plan in the midst of chaos.

I'm not trying to be the perfect mother and wife, I'm just trying to be sure that everyone is where they need to be, when they need to be there, with the things they need to bring along with them.  Which, for me, means making note of things like swimming, library, market, and other special event days at school, scout/scout leader meetings, and my husband's on-call schedule.  And I'm trying to be sure that we do have special things (trips/activities/visits) planned beyond our day-to-day routines.  All of that fills up a calendar pretty quickly, even for a family with relatively few activities outside of work and school. 

What are your thoughts on enjoying the chaos?  Are you a planner?  Do your kids respond well to "go with the flow"?

1 comment:

Heather said...

Ohh RL, I would have had the same reaction! You KNOW me...I am a planner, organizer, rarely flexible kinda gal. I've had to address the non-flexible issue as it can really hinder some things. What a hard balance to strike between living in the moment and being organized in order to live. I read a post on this blog the other day that made me think:
Scroll down to the perfectionist post a couple of days ago...although I know you'll stop at her recent posts too. Convicting! Sometimes I wonder if caring about all the little things that don't matter hinders my relationship with God and those around me??? Can you tell I've been thinking about this lately? :) Thanks for your honesty.