can i please learn to be kind when cleaning?

Nov 15, 2012

I shouldn’t post when I am in this kind of mood. I will regret it. At least I think I will. But maybe I won’t. Maybe I will look back in twenty years and laugh that something like cleaning with my children made me this frustrated.

I need to be in bed. I needed to be in bed an hour ago. But I’m not. I am cleaning my house that has been neglected the past nine months since my injury because in a few short days it will be full of Thanksgiving guests and they all need a clean place to sleep and sit and eat. I have kept a pretty good handle on the kitchen and dining room and family room, but boy, howdy, these bedrooms and bathrooms and sewing room have really fallen apart while I have been living in survival mode. And now all those rooms are needed for my family members who are coming to visit.

Meanwhile, my water heater is broken. It has been leaking and giving us very, very little water for months. I have been showering or bathing about once a week for the past many, many weeks and leaving what little water there is for Richard and Blythe who need to shower pretty much everyday. Whenever I take a bath, everyone else in the house gets one as well. It has been interesting. Washing dishes and laundry is a whole different ball game when there is no hot water and pitiful water pressure.

Our new water heater is here and Richard has been working all week long to get it put in…which means we went from very little hot water to no hot water when the old one was removed. Last night he was up till after midnight and it looks like tonight will be a long night as well, but he is determined to get it in and working so he can shower in the morning. He really can’t go another day without a thorough soaking. Blythe was so desperate earlier today that she boiled water in our big popcorn pot and took a sponge bath, then plunged her whole head into the pan. I am pretty comfortable going for days on end without showering and my hair never gets greasy so it isn’t a big deal, but I have to admit that I have missed hot water. Today I was scrubbing down the showers and baths with freezing cold water and I think I will have to wrap them up in a rice pack to get them back up to a normal body temperature. Cleaning filth is so much better when the water is warm!

Anyway, my lack of sleep, high stress at how I am going to get everything done before my family gets here, unmotivated-to-clean children, cold water, and massive frustration at my ability to keep an organized home put me over the edge today. I was not a mother any child would want to be around. I was grumpy and a taskmaster and I think I made every one of my precious children cry. All four of them.

Tonight we had prayer and song and scripture.

And apologies.

And I asked them to forgive me.

And I encouraged us all to wake up new people in the morning, ready to be kind and helpful and supportive.

May it be so.

I don’t think I can stand to be with myself if I behave like this again.

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