Balancing, Spinning, Taking Deep Breaths

1776 1776_ () 1776 1776 Weekly column — also, is it just me or do I have this as an ongoing theme in my life?

A few years ago, my mom came over with a gift for my boys – two plastic plates and two long dowels. She had found the plates and sticks at an online magic shop where they were components of a plate-spinning kit (one she hoped she and the boys could master before that year’s family Christmas Eve Talent Show).

Sure enough, after a few days of practice, my boys were pros. They would pop the plate on the top of the stick, give it a few spins and walk around spinning that plate like it was every bit as natural as breathing air or pummeling a brother.

The thing about these plates, though, was that they were designed to spin – the concave shape made perfect-spinning nearly fool proof. That didn’t make the sight any less impressive – a boy wandering around casually balancing a spinning plate is something to see, magic trick or not.

Lately I feel like a plate spinner myself, only instead of those nice, inwardly-bent plates I am trying to finagle my fine wedding china. And instead of just one plate/dowel combo, I am juggling three (or four).

The last few weeks have been nice in that I’m feeling so much better, pregnancy-wise. I have gotten through those initial challenging weeks and it is always a joy to return to good health just when you began to doubt you ever would.

In our home, we’ve gotten back so much of that peace and order that I crave. I know these standards vary from home to home, and I’m happy that I have the energy to get things back up to what works for us around here.

I’ve also had the energy to crack the whip on our chore lists again, and there is something so wonderful (and necessary) about everyone pitching in to help. I have the unfortunate tendency of thinking, when children are slow to pitch in, that I’m better off just doing it myself anyway. Recently someone who loves me very much reminded me this is no way to live.

So feeling better combined with a new and energized chore chart has given me a fresh, joyous outlook on life. Things around here have been feeling peaceful and just all-around great. This despite having sick children home for most of last week, which slowed our pace and even that I saw as a very good thing.

Things were all well and good, that is, until Monday morning. After a relaxing, very fine weekend, we had five minutes until it was time to leave for school. Everyone was back to good health and going back to school, and I was looking forward to a walk with Henry and a much-needed trip to the grocery store.

And then, I went to load someone’s lunch and discovered two days worth of make-up work, forgotten over the weekend. And then another boy remembered it was the day he needed a costume for a school project. And someone else needed something signed, at the last minute, that really warranted further discussion.

I looked up from the newly-formed pile on the dining room table and suddenly my spotless, organized home didn’t shine quite as bright.

“Big deal you got everything in order,” I told myself, “because you really have nothing in order at all!”

Just like that, it all felt like a big, fat illusion. All the things I was working so hard to perfect were nothing in the face of this chaos.

I pushed those thoughts aside, mostly because the sound of my own voice taking people to task made it hard to think. This was not good, not good at all, and it was time to put one foot in front of the other, to form a solution (quick!) and start moving forward.

We made it through that morning and then another similar morning, and the bump in the road gave me a renewed sense of purpose. In this season, certain tasks are going to require more effort than before and, like my revamped chore chart and freshly organized home, it will be worth the blood, sweat and tears. 1776″ ,



  1. Oh, you are not alone!!! Sometimes it's hard to stay motivated, but you sound like you're on the right track – you go, girl! 🙂 I'm having trouble staying motivated myself right now – the piles get so big of things to do, and I feel like I'm just keeping up with the two little tornadoes, I mean, darling boys, as they leave their mark around the house. Just the other day, ds#2 thought it would be fun to fill his jacket with leaves from the yard and bring them into the house to play with. He was told to clean most of them up, but I keep finding them. The time of quiet and order around here will come, but somehow I don't think it's right now. So I have to enjoy them while they're here. It will be eerily quiet when they're grown. 🙂

  2. I'm with you. I'm a neat freak and I've had to relax a bit, but I'm also really trying to raise good men – and their little sister – to know how to keep house in all ways. Everyone needs to help because we're a family is my mantra. I always think, as I teach the boys, that I want to raise good husbands!

  3. laurahiblclark says

    The first thing I thought of, was that if you hadn't been organized in the first place, you wouldn't have had the time or energy to handle these bumps in the road. So yes, it WAS a VERY good think that you got everything in order. Good for you! Now, pray I can do the same.

  4. laurahiblclark says

    Oops, a good thing, not a good think!

  5. Christine C. says

    Not sure how long you've had the new picture up, but I love it. It's more "you-ish". Plus it showcases your great "I'm a fun mom/chic" side.