I’ve posted several times about very serious things I’ve been learning recently. But the truth is I don’t sit around thinking deep thoughts all the time. In fact, they’re kind of the exception. So I thought, in the interest of keeping it real, I’d write down some of my best wisdom on less-weighty topics. Don’t bother to sit down; it’s not a long list, and most of it is secondhand or so obvious you’ll feel sorry for me that I haven’t known that all along.
Before I begin, I’ll offer this disclaimer: I’m not even thirty years old yet. My child is two. Most days, I do not know what in the world I’m doing.
I never believe those young-mom bloggers who advise with such confidence about education, discipline, productivity, and homemaking. It seems like reading a cookbook by a chef whose first cake hasn’t come out of the oven yet. Yes, these techniques may be working for you today…I want to say. But what about when your kids become tweens or adolescents? How do you know that this advice will work on kids of every temperament? What if all of these great flags you’re waving just don’t seem to matter 10 years from now?
So far be it from me to suggest to you, even for a minute, that I have it all figured out. Cross-stitch any of this advice onto a pillow at your own risk.
If you don’t cut up the strawberries on the day you bring them home from the store, they’ll be moldy by the time you get around to them.
Get the clothes out of the dryer as soon as they’re finished, give them a big shake, and lay them flat until they go onto a hanger. If any item still needs ironing, give it to Goodwill and never buy something like that again.
Only clean what bothers you. This great advice from Small Notebook has revolutionized my cleaning life. If there are crumbs on the floor under Abby’s table, I get out the dustpan and sweep under Abby’s table. I don’t wait until I can sweep the whole house and I don’t wait for Sweeping Day. Is the bathroom coutner dirty? I wipe it down, but don’t bother cleaning the whole room. Cleaning this way is completely managable, and because I have a low tolerance for dirt, the house stays pretty darn presentable.
If there was one foolproof way to raise children, the experts would all agree and everyone would make the same decisions. Since that is obviously not the case, do whatever the heck you need to to make it through the day (consult your principles and long-term goals, too, of course).
Ditto for dieting. Just because no one has made a fortune from the Dr. Pepper diet yet doesn’t mean they won’t, so I’m faithfully keeping up with my daily dosage just in case.
Whatever your kid listens to all day will inevitably be imprinted on her memory and yours, so occasionally turn on something that will edify you both. “G.T. and the Halo Express” is no Coldplay, but it’s nice to have Bible-verse-songs stuck in your head.
Sweep the floor in the daylight. If you sweep after the baby’s in bed, you’ll miss so much debris on the floor you’ll have to do it again in the morning. And there is nothing that feels like a kick in the pants like doing the same chore two times in a row (and you know you have to do that enough as it is).
When your kid wants to make a fort, pull the cushions off of the couch and dustbust while he plays. This saves you the embarassment of having a guest fish last season’s graham crackers out from between your cushions when her phone drops into the crack.
Fix your little girl’s hair in the parking lot of your destination. You know she’s going to pull those bows out while you’re driving anyway, and the car seat keeps her still while you try to wrangle those tiny rubberbands.
Do the dishes right away…
…Unless something requires more than two scrubs with the rough side of the sponge. Then, leave that dirty dish soaking in water and go read a magazine.
And, I’m out. What’s the most brilliant advice you have to pass along?