I blogged earlier this year about how we’d ended up moving house. In case you were wondering, I am still delighted with my new study and most of the leaks have now be sealed up. My children are welcome in my study, providing they respect its contents and keep away from my laptop. I was kidding myself in other areas, though.
For some crazy reason I thought that we would be able to keep things tidier in this house. Miraculously, all of the toys would stay in the conservatory, and when I needed a screwdriver, it would appear where I last saw it in the garage before my very eyes.
Aha! I hear you laughing. You fool! You cannot run away from all of this! The people who hide your things are moving with you!
It will all be okay!
I had an eye-opening moment a couple of months ago. Now and again, I find myself behaving like John Cleese in the film Clockwise. (I hope I am not alone…) I was cleaning out the guinea pig hutch. I went to find the scrubbing brush – it wasn’t there. Right, right, I’ll use this other manky one that I’ve found – it will be okay.
No, it wasn’t okay. There was now mud all over the bottom of the hutch. Right – I’ll just get the hose and swish it out. It will be fine. But no, the hose wasn’t connected. Grrr. And on it went, little trial after little trial, making the short job take a lot longer than it should have done because each piece in the puzzle was not where I was anticipating it to be. (“Are you alright, darling?” my husband enquired, when he heard me wailing like a banshee/growling like a bear.)
Actually, had I looked a little harder in the first place, I might have seen that someone had kicked the original scrubbing brush under the shelves. More haste, less speed, do I hear you thinking?
Running from conflict
I read an article by author Steve Biddulph. He suggests that if we run away from a long-term relationship because it is not working, we will only encounter the same problems again with a new person when we get to that stage because we haven’t gone through the process of working them out.
We might run from conflict at work by finding another job, but if we had tried to resolve them by communicating with others, the happiness we were seeking may have been where we were in the first place. This may not have been the case – we may have ended up moved jobs anyway, but we may also have felt empowered by the process we have been through: that we tried every avenue and gave it our all.
In my case, I think I may have been hiding from the fact that I need to encourage my children to tidy up and to put things back in their place. I can make all of the excuses I want: due to a medical condition, my daughter suffers from fatigue, and we have to do physio each night before she goes to bed, so it is easier if I don’t force them to tidy up at the end of the day.
But where does this leave me? At times I feel like the domestic slave (and I know I am not alone in this), underappreciated and failing in getting my work done and keeping the house in a fit enough state to welcome others in.
Finding a good place for me
I can’t say I have any great answers to the mystical problem of keeping things where they need to be. The first place I now look for the missing things is in my son’s “magpie drawers”, where he keeps things like Allen keys and essential parts of the food processor. Sadly, my hole punch was not to be found there.
I am, however, working on a reward system with my children to encourage supportive behaviour so that it is not all my responsibility. It works – to some degree! But perhaps this is enough to help me not to feel resentful of my wonderful family.
Have you ever found yourself running away? Can you make a change in your life to help you resolve areas of conflict?
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