We're pretty strict around here about chores. There aren't a lot, but the ones you have, you do and you do well. After they're complete, then you can ask for whatever favor you need. It sounds a bit staunch, but it works for us. Want to hang out with a friend? Clean your room! Want to watch a movie? Pick up those Legos. Want to live? Make those chip bags under your bed disappear! The kids sometimes get frustrated at their parents, wishing that every once in awhile they could maybe just catch a break...
If you've followed the blog, you know how much time I spend in my craft room. It's where I get all of my sewing and most of my other projects done. I usually start a project, make an unbelievable mess, THEN I try to put everything back.
I had a few new orders I needed to fill and you know I LOVE that room, but it has been an odd weather week in March where I live. The usually junky cold weather has decided to cooperate fully with sun-loving people and to top that, there has been 60+ degree weather to boot.
I started the week by bringing my sewing machine upstairs and setting it up in the back of the living room. I thought, "Oh, I'll only sew a few things so I can look out the window, get some sun and then I'll bring the machine back downstairs to finish everything else."
Only the days kept being gorgeous! I needed to catch up on some laundry and a few TV shows that we DVRd this week. "Perhaps I'll just bring up a few other things and multi-task." I tried to reason with myself. "I'll finish up here and then bring it down there.." Yes, I did sound like the Grinch. I just didn't want to be in the basement!
But by last night, the living room looked like this:
"I promise Mr. Man, I will have this all picked up soon. I realize that everyone shouldn't have to walk on the carpet and dodge needles like it's a minefield. I will probably take down that ironing board sometime tomorrow morning.."
All of a sudden, "tomorrow morning" became today. It was beautiful yet again, but I knew I had a job to do. The kids were at school, the man was at work and I had a pretty good chunk of time to clean up the disaster otherwise known as Craft Room, Level II. Ah. Suck it up Michele, and get it done.
As I began to dig into the mess, my phone across the room started buzzing. Scissors, fabric and an iron in hand, I contemplated checking it before taking my first trip downstairs. I worried that it might be my daughter, so I picked up the phone and checked the text.
"Hey Loser, Can you get coffee?" It was a sentimental invitation from a very good friend. I looked at the mess in my living room, then at the mess that was me; I hadn't even gotten cleaned up yet. I also thought of all of the rest of the "chores" I needed to do today and texted back, "Yes!"
I know I've got a lot of explaining to do. I should have cleaned up that mess before having any fun. But I had a needed blast with a friend who didn't care that I had holes in my jeans or mascara smudged under my eyes from crying after I stepped on a blasted pin..
The mess is still there. It will have to wait until tomorrow. The kids never mentioned it. The man texted me while I was out after I didn't answer the home phone and said, "I hope you're out having fun!" I knew he meant it. He realizes that by spilling my guts to and laughing with a girlfriend, I will be renewed. Plus I won't have to talk at him about all the minute things that get on my nerves during the day. Win-win.
I realized chores CAN sometimes wait in the name of an unexpected cafe drive-thru, a trip to Target and a good friend.
I will be sure to remember this when I step on the inevitable LEGO later or trip on a backpack or two. The older two kids asked to hang out with their friends tonight. (There isn't any school tomorrow.) Before asking if their chores were done, I paused for a sec, then told them to go and have fun. We all need a break every once in a while.
Have a restful night, friends. Tomorrow is Friday!