A Kitchen Declaration

Making Choices: Choosing to Control My Attitude

I am a Gen-Xer. The first generation of women so extremely affected by feminism. There are less of us because we were aborted. We struggle to hold our families together because of skyrocketing divorce rates, manufacturing jobs have been sold to China to enrich politicians, wage stagnation, inflation, all lead to me having no choice but to work outside the home. “Free love” has led to many of us not being able to even get married or have families. It is not a good time to be a traditional wife. It is perhaps harder than it has ever been because of outside forces. But, inside forces are the leanest they have ever been. We live in a society that has an unprecedented standard of high living. Even our poorest have access to basic sanitation, food, and emergency medical care.

Some very wise people have often reminded me that we cannot control outside forces or a lot of the things that happen to us, but we can control how we react to them. Do we cower and cry, give up and stand aside, or do we stand up straight, start building again, go on with life and continue to love and care for our families and ourselves? I know which team I want to be on.

There is so much to worry about, so many bad things in our culture, stuff that we have no control over, but as women, we have control of our homes. We can make choices as to how we will mother and care for our families. Choices that might be hard, or tiring. When these choices seem like too much of a burden, we can learn to ask for help, to find a better way. This is what I did and through these essays I will share with you my story, intertwined with my kitchen, they go together!

The main thing is: I choose to dance. Put on music, make some fun, be happy, and watch things change for the better! Let’s go!

Finally Loving Myself: My Testimony

When I was a very young mother, I found a lovely book called “Sink Reflections” by Marla Cilley at my local Le Leche League meeting. They had a lovely lending library and I used it quite a bit. I never thought this simple book could help me so much. Marla teaches you how to care for your home, but she also tells you how to take care of you. I’m not talking about bubble baths and manicures either. She has you start with babysteps and all of them help you cancel out all the negative thoughts in your head and do what you do for you! She helped me stop being a martyr and to stop feeling sorry for myself. She taught me that cleaning my house could happen in 15 minutes a day, or sometimes, just 2 minutes!

Here’s a sample of Flying or “Finally Loving Yourself”
-Use a calendar to keep rack of meal planning, and appointments, teach your family to use it
-Anything you do, do it for you
-Morning and evening routines bring peace to your household
-Everybody helps run the ship, teach, don’t torture, your children
-Make it fun! Nobody wants a gripey mom gripin’ about chores
-It only takes 2 minutes to do each of the most basic cleaning chores to keep your house looking good
-Plan and play for fun!
-Re-do your “stinkin’ thinkin!”
-Even housework done incorrectly blesses your family! (One of my favorites!)
-Perfectionism is the enemy! Stop being a perfectionist about everything!

I love all her talk about defeating perfectionism. This is something I struggle with, as well as negative thoughts that tell me I’m not good enough, my house is disgusting, I am lazy, etc. None of these are true of course, but I let them play in my head for so long and they robbed me of all my joy. If I cleaned the bathroom I couldn’t be happy about it because some other room was dirty. If I did the dishes I would be super angry if someone left a dirty plate on the counter and “ruined” all my hard work. (You can see some martyrdom there too! YIKES!)

Now I know better. I can take a quick mental look at my work, pat myself on the back and know it will be messy again soon, but I also know that with my routines it won’t ever be so bad as it used to be. It does not have to ever be perfect- just passable! Lol!

Go see what it’s all about!

Marla’s Website Flylady.net

Marla’s YouTube FlyLady

Marla’s screen name is Fly Lady and she tells us all to start with our kitchen sinks! About a year after doing Flylady (what Marla calls her system) and not giving up even when I fell off the wagon repeatedly, I started to really change my mind about my home. I started to enjoy it! I found that I liked keeping it clean and that it was relatively easy to do! My house started to run itself! Also, I was able to ask for help when I needed it because I no longer said, “would you clean the house?” (My poor bewildered family- what did I want them to do?) Now I am specific. “Can you vacuum the downstairs? Can you get all the bathroom trash?” etc.

I also started to really focus on my main workspace, the kitchen, and in making it better. We were going to be getting a vintage range and remodeling part of our kitchen, how did I want my main workspace to be? That is when I started researching. My next post will be all about choosing my kitchen layout and historic kitchens! Stay tuned!

FLYing from Kansas Street,

-Jaime

Like a boss. 🙂

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