Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lowered expectations

I have been avoiding posting, I think.  I didn’t really consciously think of it that way, but it’s probably true. Because really…how do I catch up with all I’ve missed in life lately?

Don’t worry!  Nothing’s going wrong. There’s not any new horrible news.  We’re chugging right along, just really busy. 

It’s just that the girls are at the stages where there’s a lot going on. I’d like to discuss so many things that they are experiencing, that I am experiencing with them, and there are many questions I’d love to ask of all the wisdom that is (or used to be?) out there in my lovely readers. I kind of fear that everyone’s moved on, and really, I don’t blame ya!

So I hope to have the time and motivation soon to dig back into the past few months and talk about some things that have been happening around our house.  In the meantime, there are a few little things that I can think of now… gotta love a bullet list, right?  I always like ‘em, anyway, when YOU guys do ‘em!

  • The work re-entry is going ok.  There are pros and cons.  For the most part, I really like the actual job, working with the members, interacting and building relationships.  I’m finding it hard to be “just” an employee versus being the employer/boss as I’m used to in the recent employment past.  (Just ask my supervisors… it’s a challenge for all of us.)  But I’m learning… and people seem to like me.  That’s always nice.
  • Kinlee is celebrating 8 days of being a toilet-user full time.  She’s been a part-time user (mostly due to my lack of consistency) for many months, but last Monday, I offered her the option of panties mid morning, on a whim, and she went for it. She had an accident that day, but has been golden ever since.  As of the last few days, all prompts have been withheld, and she’s doing great telling us when she needs to go.  Even outside playing and splashing in the pool.  I’m VERY glad, and so proud of her!!
  • Today I spent almost 5.5 hours cleaning house. Like solid time, manual labor. Not on-and-off piddling around.  3 hours were this morning at another house… a little side job picked up with a personal connection.  Then when I got home and got the girls to nap, I got the bug to tackle the kitchen at my own house.  It’s way more stressful for me to do my own house, because I have tons of stuff that has no home.  I don’t think I have ever adjusted to having a house so much smaller than what I had before.  And I need to get some of my organizational skills back. Badly.  BUT—I got in the groove, thanks to the “worker gene” that my husband says I got from my mother, and I worked for a solid 2.5 hours on the kitchen, top to bottom, sorting, storing, digging through the piles on the table.  In the end, I have a kitchen that is clean. M was pleased to find out he didn’t “need to wear socks” in the kitchen.  Ouch.  Harsh much?  I suppose the random crunched toasty oats or leaves aren’t a pleasant texture to his soft and sweet feet.  I will feel it in the morning, no doubt, the bending, scrubbing, reaching. But it was really nice to get so much done and have the kitchen…if just for an evening…in presentable shape.*
  • Braska’s having a strange new phase…defiance, stubbornness, and other less than ideal little quirks.  This is one of those things I’d love to bounce off of some of you… but another time.  On the good news side, she will have the same teacher this coming year as last school year.  And that is VERY good! We’re really hoping and praying for more repeat cast members on her team!
  • *Presentable shape… this is where the “lowered expectations” come in.  My tendency toward dysfunctional perfectionism shows up in my choosing NOT to do something that I feel will not live up to my high standards in the end result.  I don’t like to do things half-way.  So if I can’t do something the way I really want to do it, I generally just don’t.  I didn’t say I was proud, but this is part of how I seem to be wired.  That translates into my kitchen.  When I have a pile of this and that, stuff that I just plain don’t know what to do with but that does actually need to be kept, I tend to just give up on the kitchen.  I know that I can’t make it the “clean” that I want it to be, no matter what, so I opt not to try.  My counselor has really encouraged me to try to accept a new standard—though it can be temporary, to match this temporary chaotic season of life—that will allow me to celebrate victories where I would normally lament  half-completed failures.  We decided that if I can get a couple of particular spans of countertop cleared and clean, then I can count it as a “clean” kitchen.  When I have room to work, on the long section, about 3.5 feet of clear space, I feel like I’ve accomplished a good thing.  There’s still a pile of who knows what at the end by the fridge, and the corner opposite still houses more things on the countertop than I’d like.  But they are things I need regularly and there’s nowhere else to store them.  So that’s the “lowered expectations” element… it’s not all bad. I’ve found it to be really helpful. I’m focusing on the fact that right now my job is my girls primarily, and it’s very time consuming at this stage.  There will be times soon when I have more time to organize and clean a kitchen.  For now, this will do.  The dirt is minimal, the clutter is mostly manageable.  Tonight, the addition of truly clean floors, clear table, and much less clutter makes it that much sweeter.

That’s more than enough for now. It’s very late and tomorrow is another day. I’d love to  hear your thoughts, what’s happening, that you’re there!


  1. It's good to know you are still in the landing. Way to go Kinlee, and Braska, well, that's a stage that's just part of parenthood...enjoy it

  2. Great to see you post again! I miss keeping in touch!!!

  3. yay, a post from you! Definitely still reading along and love to hear what's going on.

  4. Wooohoo! A post! I have missed your wisdom! Great job Keeks! And, yeah for the same teacher! :)

  5. Congrats on the potty training!

    You sound a lot like my husband - Either the kitchen is magazine-photo-shoot clean or the neighbors are about to call social services. (we'll just ignore my culpability in the process). Nice to hear explained from his point of view.

  6. Hi RK,

    It is me, Naomi.

    I just read your blog about lowered expectations.

    I have much to share, but want you to know that this summer, I am dealing with exactly what you are, for cleaning and organizing. A friend who sometimes goes out as a paid organizer has come to my house twice to help me. The thing is the decisions are mine, but she asks good questions which helps me to redefine what I think is important.

    I don’t know if you want to hear more, but honestly, I had my second session with her on Monday, July 25! It is happening now for me. It is hard. It os emotional. I cry every time, but there are some good connections between past, present, future and even areas of my teaching life.

    Please write if you want to hear more!


  7. We're still here! Glad everything is going well. Great job Kinlee! Braska's behavior sounds familiar ;) I spend a lot of time repeating myself and physically redirecting Goldie. I just keep telling myself it will get better.

  8. I read along when I can--but always do--just usually a few days late.

    Want to hear your questions. Chances are, you're not the only one with them.

    Also? JEALOUS of one PTed kid. Rainer is not having ANY of it. Neither is his sister. :( Boys? So I hear...but I don't love it. Siiiigh.


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