I reached a breaking point yesterday.
AND I AM DONE.
No, it wasn’t with my kids.
It wasn’t with my husband.
It was with the level of chaos and disorganization and clutter and mess I often allow in my house.
I will no longer tolerate it.
Let me tell you why.
I have to rewind a little bit, first.
I have a goal to bring back the Sunday night dinner.
It’s not anything I ever did as a kid. And we haven’t ever done that here as a family, really.
The kids all sit down at the dining room table to eat on most nights. Sometimes I eat with them, although I am often cleaning up in the kitchen while they eat.
Other times my husband is eating with them.
Occasionally — okay, rarely — we are all seated at the table at the same time.
But with crazy schedules and sports and my husband often getting home not until well after dinner time, all of us sitting down together is a rarity.
I’d like to change that.
At least a couple Sundays a month.
Swim meets on the weekends often interfere with our schedules, so it’s not something that I can expect to do on a weekly basis.
It’s also not something that I think should be stressful.
We had such a nice Thanksgiving with all seven kids home, and that’s when I really came up with the idea.
My vision of a Sunday night dinner is a home cooked meal that’s been prepared with love and intention. Where maybe the older two are home or my parents come over. Nothing fancy.
We eat early, everyone has a full belly, everyone pitches in to clean up, we are all showered and in our pajamas by 6 pm, and then we hang out and relax as a family and maybe watch a movie, wind down, get into bed early, and ease ourselves calmly into the next week.
Doesn’t that sound awesome?
You might think I forgot about my original point here.
That I reached the breaking point.
I’m getting to it.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving we decorate our Christmas tree, and Number 1 was going to come home to do that with the little guys, but then he was having car trouble, so he couldn’t make it.
And so I suggested he come home for a family dinner on the following Sunday. Yesterday. Early. Like 4:30.
At the time I made the suggestion, I totally forgot we had a swim meet in the morning and we had to leave the house at 6 a.m. We got home around 1 pm, and I hadn’t confirmed that Number 1 was coming home. Then my husband left for the gym, and I had to get the kids lunch.
The kitchen was a mess, there were about eight Rubbermaid containers in the front hallway because I started putting all the Christmas decorations up earlier in the week but I never actually finished.
There was a laundry situation going on in the mudroom, my office was a mess, and I hadn’t really figured out what we were going to have for dinner.
I was also unusually tired.
So I gave myself permission to take a nap.
I would take care of the mess later.
I slept for about a half hour. Then I got up and started tackling the kitchen.
Then my husband came home from the gym.
And told me Number 1 was on his way to the house.
WITH HIS NEW GIRLFRIEND.
I was not prepared for this.
I was in sweats, I hadn’t showered yet, the house was a mess which would have been fine if it was just Number 1 coming to eat BUT TOTALLY NOT OKAY WHEN HIS NEW GIRLFRIEND WAS ALSO COMING.
It was bad enough that I looked terrible, but the house was embarrassing.
And I’m not really like that. I’m not overly concerned about what people think when they come over.
I certainly don’t care about the condition of other peoples’ homes when I visit.
I get it.
But it just really stressed me out.
IT STRESSED ME OUT A LOT.
And when Number 1 and his super adorable girlfriend walked in the front door to a slew of containers strewn across the front entryway, I was really disappointed in myself.
Rather than be able to relax and hang out and get to know the girlfriend, I spent the next hour freaking out.
And I still hadn’t made dinner yet either.
I was just totally unprepared across the board, and I found myself in another situation where I was scrambling and stressed which made me bitchy and short on patience, and it was nobody else’s fault other than mine.
And that was the breaking point.
THE REAL, FINAL BREAKING POINT.
I am no longer willing to live in chaos or clutter or disorganization.
It’s nowhere near what it used to be, and there are some areas of the house that have remained pretty good, but it’s still at a point where it’s affecting multiple areas of my life, and I’m just not willing to tolerate it anymore.
It really takes away from not only the quality my life, but of my whole family.
Because even if the mess doesn’t appear to bother them (but it does and I know it also affects their behavior) it makes me a much worse mother and human being in general. And that absolutely affects them.
So the remaining 28 days of December will be spent getting on top of every area of my home.
I’m not waiting for a new year.
I will be starting 2019 with a literal clean (and organized) slate.
And it will remain that way.
I will never be embarrassed if someone unexpectedly shows up at the house again.
I will never hide when I hear a knock on the door because I’m embarrassed by the condition of my home.
(I may hide for other reasons, but not for that one).
I WILL NEVER AGAIN UTTER THE WORDS, “EXCUSE THE MESS.”
I am never doing this to myself again.
And the next Sunday night dinner will be exactly how I envisioned it.
In a clean, neat, calm, and cozy house.