A week under the bell curve

Well…..I am not sure how much I lowered my standards over the week… I think I yelled less, but have noticed myself yelling more at my kids in the last few days. Maybe not more, maybe just on par with the usual amount of yelling. Of course they are responding “Mom, you said you weren’t gonna tell us to do anything.” (not sure I said “anything.”) Lowering my standards was supposed to result in decreased yelling theoretically because I am supposed to be caring less. It is difficult to care less, however. Thus, I am still under the bell of the trusty bell-curve. Here are some highlights of the week:

  • I allowed cereal dust that my husband spilled all over the counter when he finished a box of cereal to remain there for several days. I even called it to his attention once. His very selective attention. After about 3 days I cleaned it up.
  • I came downstairs early one morning before anyone else and saw something suspiciously dark on the family room floor. Quickly scanning through my brain-file of what this could possibly be, I decided it was likely an ant-covered morsel of food. Bingo! An ant-covered tortilla chip. Apparently we have Mexican ants in Iowa, and they were having a fiesta in the family room. They even called their distant relatives, as evidenced by a trail of ants leading from some nether-region under our house. I am sure you readers are grossed out, but guess what? Bugs live under your house, too. Squatters they are.
  • I am pleased to report no poop sightings where poop should not be.
  • My husband asked if he had to do his laundry again. Lucky guy, I did it this week. And all the other weeks of our almost 16-year marriage. Darn traditional gender roles…..
  • Today I saw someone open a cereal bar and drop crumbs on the kitchen floor. Now this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I was to lower my standards about. I failed, and pointed out said crumbs, which prompted a kick of the crumbs under the stove. I would like to point out that this was done by one of 2 adolescents in the house. You guess which one. mmmm-hmmmm.

So, as you see, I am still in the process of lowering my standards. I realize I probably should have done some data collection on myself to get a baseline standard and go down from there in incremental percentages. There’s always next week…..

Lowering standards….

Welcome to my the blog lamenting the need to lower my standards of how I parent and keep the house. I anticipate this to be a giant struggle for me…as I do not really know how to do this. I find standards and expectations such as “wipe your butt correctly” and “put your laundry in the laundry basket” to be reasonable. This is why it will be difficult for me. These seem like common sense to me. I have trouble when common sense doesn’t prevail. Just now I told my 12-year old “I am struggling with you throwing a carrot around the living room.” See? This is gonna be rough….. hoping for a silver lining to emerge  somewhere…   oh, by the way, the blog posts go from newest to oldest, so if you want to read from the start(ish), scroll down.

Lamentations of a Lady Lowering Her Standards Post 2: “The Fun Begins….”

I am fully into Day 1 of the new world. I have tried to let some things go. To know what I need to let go, you should know what I struggle with. I have issues with people eating in the family room, leaving dishes all over the house, leaving fruit cores under beds, under couches, in places where bugs and rodents think an all-you-can-eat buffet has been set up just for them; people not putting food away correctly (who likes hard, crusty cheese??); clothes strewn about as if we live in a fitting room at TJ Maxx…oh, I could go on, but you get it. Normal, first-world exasperations. I do draw the line at poop, though. Poop where it doesn’t belong is gonna bring some wrath, folks. The homeys know this, too. There are likely some other lines…oh—big brother beating up on and putting down little brother….that will bring about a kittywampus for sure! (thank you Stephanie for introducing me to that word.) Today, I noticed—-but did not respond—to a plate and cup on the floor of the family room…actually, I saw it last night and did not move it. Not my job, not my plate. I am backing off! Woo hoo! A small success. I calmly asked the likely suspect to remove the dishes and with his one attempt at “in a minute, Mom”, I second-attempted and got results without losing my mind nor vocal cords. Outstanding! I also told my husband that his laundry was ready to do and the washer was open. Lo and behold I came home from church…he had started his laundry and gotten mine OUT OF THE DRYER AND FOLDED IT!! To where had I returned? Was I in the wrong house?? Wow! Change is good!

Day One of a New World

I am a person who needs my space to be somewhat orderly. Notice I did not say “OCD orderly.” I can live with some clutter. There is clutter in every room of our house…some of which I personally created. (and have had great intentions of cleaning up since at least 2011.) I have been told by my family I yell too much, back off, live with the mess, who cares, do you want to be right or do you want peace (can I have both please??)….. blah blah blah. I care. I try to create a reasonably nice and orderly home for my family. I try to teach my children HOW to keep things neat and to clean up after themselves. You would think I am teaching algorithms for the nuclear codes to blind mole rats. Every day….EVERY DAY I must tell a child to pick the clothes up from the bathroom floor. I have said this probably every day for .. hmmm.. the child is 10…..at least 6 years. That is 6×365 times of repeating myself. (I won’t do the math; I am math-averse.) So this blog is my attempt to journal so I don’t blow my top and to voice my frustrations and successes. Come along with me for the journey…I’m quite social and love company!