Now, I am not one of those moms who gripes that the kids are home all day. I actually like the kids being home all day--once we get our expectations aligned.
Someone once told me that the reason that we get frustrated in daily life is because our expectations do not match the reality. This was a lightbulb moment for me. I started to notice that if the grocery store frustrated me it was because I had this expectation--I go in, find exactly what I need, get out with little to no fuss--and I met this different reality--they are out of bread flour and every line is horridly long, and the person in front of me has 50 things in the 12 items or fewer line! It actually made it easier to deal with the mundane frustrations because when I head into the store, I know to leave my (sometimes unrealistic) expectations at the door. I know that if I am frustrated with the kids, that it probably means I have an expectation of them that they may not even be aware of.
And so, we head into summer, where the children expect fun and pool time, and laziness, and sleeping in. And where I expect to be able to get all my normal stuff done (running 9 miles a week, de-cluttering every day, keeping the house tidy) and expect them to help out.
We have already had some issues. The first day of summer vacation the high temperature was an unseasonably cool 58 F, so obviously (to me) the pool was out. But to my kids, this was an insult--how DARE the weather not cooperate. How DARE mom make these arbitrary rules (I told them I was not taking them to the pool unless it was at least 70). The first day of summer vacation, I told them that I had a new expectation for them in regards to chores--they would now be responsible for putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, instead of the sink. This has been met with great resistance. In addition, errands are no longer quick in and out things they were. We have to spend 15 minutes getting ready (in case we see someone--ah tweens), or deciding who will actually go. We have to make grand bargains (as in if we do these three errands we might be able to hit the pool later but seriously we need propane/food/swimming suits). And of course in dealing with all of this, the de-cluttering has fallen by the wayside.
I will get back to it, I have to. For one thing the sewing room is still a mess. For another, I had a de-cluttering nightmare, in which I could not bear to part with any of my 4 pairs of slippers (I don't actually have 4 pairs of slippers). Today I made a start to get back to it, I finally threw out the ice cream I bought back in December that no one wanted to eat.