I've always been quite comfortable with my easygoing outlook toward routines, schedules and lists. In fact, I've probably been a little smugly happy over the fact that I wasn't an "uptight" mom.
And then Oldest Daughter left for college. And Oldest Son leaves in 6 months. And Middle Son is only a few short years behind.
And suddenly I find myself re-evaluating the way I want my household to run . . . and especially the home I want my kids to come home to.
It was one thing when it was the 7 of us living in a whirl of craziness. I made sure every dish was done at least once a day. But sometimes the time that happened was 7:00 a.m. I could live with the kitchen in all its post-dinner upheaval waiting patiently through the night for me to attend to it.
But when Oldest Daughter arrives home at 1:00 a.m. after a 12-hour shift on her feet at Old Navy, cranky customers and the endless folding and refolding of stacks of sweaters and jeans, a kitchen of upheaval is not what I want to await her.
It was one thing when the 7 of us were basically within the same 4 walls, all making messes together, working to clean up together, and occasionally closing our eyes to it and sneaking off together for a bike ride around Furman Lake.
But more and more my older kids are not home. They are out in a world that has a discord and tumult all its own . . . emotionally, physically, spiritually. And if we aren't all together living our quirky chaos together, then I choose for home to be a contrast to the chaos outside the four walls of the house.
I now find myself wanting peace and order and simplicity and calm to be what my children come home to. Because chaos away from home and chaos at home is just a little too much turmoil to deal with.
To that end, I find myself back reading Flylady's book, Sink Reflections, trying to be a little more open minded about routines, and cutting back on some volunteering.
Can I do it? Wow . . . that remains to be seen. There is, of course, the whole matter of old dogs and their tricks!!