If You Don’t, Who Will?

Marla Pampering with CoffeeDear Friends,

It’s time for my morning musing today. I woke up with this essay burning in my brain.

If you will look closely at every thing that I have ever written; you will find that I have never said that in order to be FLYing you have to clean all day long! In fact the opposite is true.

Our perfectionism is part of the problem! Once we get a little area looking nice we want to see all of it clean right now: Even if it means depleting our energy levels. Our energy has a direct correlation to our patience levels. If you have none left then your patience is in short supply. Let’s talk about the energy for a minute.

Each night I ask you to go to bed at a decent hour. Just how many of you are really doing this. After all you are a big girl now and you don’t need anyone telling you it is time for bed. Well evidently some of you still do. I am finding out that many of you are staying up too late because it is the only time you can get some quality conversation with an adult. It doesn’t matter if it is on the phone, in person or the computer: Staying up too late makes for a bad start to the next day: You know exactly what I am talking about. Just let your little ones miss their nap. They become grouchy and nothing can please them. Does that sound familiar? When you don’t get your proper rest you are even worse. Your creativity goes out the window along with your patience level all because you felt that it was important to have quality time with adults. I am here to tell you that this is just another whiny excuse to stay up too late.

I am not saying that adult time is not important, but we have to put things in prospective. You are more important! Your rest is the key to keeping you healthy and happy! Researchers are finding the sleep deprivation may be a key to some chronic illinesses. Our bodies need rest, in order to heal! So if you need adult conversation; join a play group. Hire a sitter to come in one day a week so you can go out with friends. Put the children down for a scheduled nap in the middle of the day. There is no excuse for staying on the computer till the wee hours of the morning. I mean this. If you are doing this then you may have an addiction that needs to be addressed. All addicts have great excuses, but the result of their addiction is that their body suffers and so does everyone around them.

Now let’s look at our perfectionism again. We all love magazines: especially the pictures of the lovely children playing happily in their clean rooms. I feel that when we live in this imaginary world of Madison Avenue, maids, set designers and perfect lighting that we fooling ourselves. No one really lives like this; when we look at these pictures and strive for this picture perfect atmosphere then we are the ones that get hurt. We set ourselves up for failure. I want this to stop. We are not Donna Reid, The Beaver’s mom, the Brady Bunch mom or our own mom! We are flesh and blood with only a few hours in a day. So if you are striving for this picture perfect world then you are never going to be happy.

FLYing has to do with a state of mind. When you love yourself, you will not allow unrealistic attitudes to invade your peaceful life. You will recognize when you have those thoughts and dismiss them immediately. Your routines set you on this path of finding yourself. Your children need you, not a cleaning lady. You know what we always say. If Momma ain’t happy then nobody’s happy.

If you think your children are the problem then I want you to look harder at yourself. Remember no whining allowed. It is time to quit blaming others and look at the root of the problem. I know this is hard to accept but it is time. Children want your attention, they need their mommy. After all you brought those babies into the world and it is your responsibility to set the example for them. Cleaning all day, staying up all night and no patience; is this what you want your babies to remember about their mom. Wouldn’t a better memory be of mom teaching them that they don’t have to be a slave to their homes, that we have time for our babies and the patience that goes along with getting enough sleep! It is up to us to set the example and guide our children. If they mess up; let them help clean it up. Set a timer and make a game of it. Children love games. No wonder no one wants to help; when you act as if it is a burden to do anything. Remember Tom Sawyer and the white washed fence. He had fun and everyone wanted to help.

When we engage our little demolition army they will become a helpful crew. If they are picking up then they are not messing up. It is time to get rid of the clutter that tends to get thrown all over the floor. Hey if it is on the floor it may need to go in a trash bag and put in the garage for the summer. A few times of doing this and being consistent with your discipline will make believers out of them. This only works if you have the rest and the patience to be consistent!

I cannot say this enough. If you don’t take care of yourself first you cannot take care of others. Get your rest. Put the children down for naps and put your feet up and enjoy some quiet time. You are the program director it is up to you to set their schedules and follow through.

FLYing can be fun if you will get rid of the perfectionist and martyred attitude along with unrealistic expectations that you see in the magazines and catalogs.

Are you ready to FLY?

FlyLady

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