When I was young, there were 10 of us living in one house.Â But, it was always clean and neat.Â There was clean laundry and enough food to eat.Â I remember shopping with my mother at the A&P, and she would buy bags and bags of bread and milk.
That all changed once my parents divorced.Â Our house became chaotic, and a haven for weekend parties for teenagers and adults alike.Â Our home turned into a house – a messy, chaotic house where we often either didn’t have electricity, a phone (this was pre-cell phone days), or food.
This left a lasting impression on me – one that resulted in me constantly seeking order and organization in my life.Â I obsess about having a clean house, bills paid ahead of time, and a place for everything and everything in its place.
Time and having 5 (now 6) kids, has resulted in me becoming a little more relaxed about things.Â I still strive for cleanliness and tidiness, but I don’t make this a touch point with my kids.
Don’t get me wrong – I want them to be neat and tidy.Â I want them to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher.Â I want them to hang up their clean clothes and put their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.Â I want them to make their beds.
But, I refuse to fight with them about it.Â There are enough things to fight about with teenagers so making every little thing an issue just doesn’t work for me.Â Probably because I don’t want our home to be a place of conflict like mine was growing up.
So, my kids will make cursory attempts at making their beds when I get particularly pissy about it, but generally, I find them unmade after they rush off to school in the mornings.
So, several times a week, I will go through their rooms and hang up their clothes and make their beds.Â It’s not for them.Â It’s for me.Â It’s really my issue – not theirs.Â I like to walk through our home and see order – it’s comforting to me.
Last week, I found this in one of the kid’s rooms.
Ugly Doll carefully wrapped in baby blanket and propped up against the pillows.
This spoke to me.Â This bed was made good enough for me.
They may be 18, but they also seek a safe place to call home.Â They find comfort in old, familiar things (like their baby blankets) and new things (Ugly Doll), too.Â And, hopefully, they also find comfort in the arms and hearts of adults who love them and care for them.
Note to kids:Â Yes, I really do want you to make your own beds every day.