Friday, September 14, 2012

A Special Day with Family

I promised to start writing more about being a flybaby;  however, I'm not home to do that at the moment.  Instead, I am doing something all grandparents need to take time for.  I am visiting my daughter, her husband, and my grandchildren.  My husband had to go to their part of the country to sing and play his trombone in a concert, so it was the perfect opportunity to drop in for an overnight visit.

Not long ago, there was about a year and  a half I could not travel to visit my family. I somtimes felt very guilty about that.  But I was able to talk to them on the telephone and email them.  Also, they came to visit, and that was lovely. But when they came to visit, I had to deal with  tremendous post exertional fatigue.  However, it was worth it to me to have spent time with my family.  I wanted to know my grandchildren, and they wanted to know me.

Do you find ways to manage spending special 
times with your family?

I know that some people reading my blog posts are dealing with chronic illness and have young children or teenagers  at home.  I empathize with you.  It must be horribly difficult to deal with serious illnesses and care for your family. 

The daughter, we are visiting now has 7 children, 3 of them are special needs children.   I am impressed by the way my daughter organizes their household.  Routines are a very important part of keeping their home from being mass chaos.  Also, they are careful not to be ruled by things or as one grandaughter would say, "Stuff!"    I think a certain amount of simplicity in the home breeds a peaceful atmosphere, and the children have ways to contribute to the household.  They are each assigned daily short tasks that help to make their house a pleasant place to live.  They each have to make their beds, with the older children helping the younger children.  One child  sweeps the kitchen floor. The oldest boy vacuums the few areas that are carpeted.  Another child empties the wastebaskets.  My daughter does a load of laundry every day, and the children fold the clothes and put their own clothes away if they are old enough.  I thought it was sweet when my daughter gave us towels last night and she apologetically said, "They aren't folded perfectly because the girls folded them, but they were folded with love."

My response to that was that it didn't bother me:  I don't expect them to be perfect.  The children are not frustrated by a mindset that everything has to be done just like an adult would do it.  Instead, they are enjoying the fruit of accomplishing tasks that benefit their home and family.

We could apply this idea to our own lives as well.  I used to try to do everything perfectly, and if it did not turn out to fit my idea of perfection, I would apologize.  For example, I would actually refold the towels if they were not folded a certain way, so they would line up perfectly in my linen closet.  I know that sounds obsessive, but that is how I was taught to fold towels.  In fact, I remember while I grew up, there was an emphasis on doing things a certain way -- while I wondered why it mattered if I got the same results.   I think I carried this perfectionism into my everyday life.  And I still catch myself trying to do certain things perfectly, whether it matters or not.

Since I have been ill, I have had to give myself a break. But I also,  I have had to actively remind myself when I began to fall into perfectionistic behavior.  FlyLady has a saying I love:  Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family.  Simply put, I think that means to do what you can, but then be happy with it.  Sometimes, perfectionists avoid what  they know needs doing;  and then, when the pressure of having to get a task done builds up, they exhaust themselves by trying to get the job done in a short amount of time.  And of course, they work on doing it perfectly, even if it takes all night.  I'm the expert on that method.  LOL!

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It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah