It’s that time of year again. Spring… or at least you thought it was. The temperature jumps back and forth between 35 and 76, and feels like 35 but says 56. One day the trees are budding and the tulips are popping, the next, everyone is throwing blankets over plants so they aren’t ruined by a nightly frost. It’s enough to make you feel like one of those baseball player bobble heads.
I know, I know, it all makes us appreciate actual spring a little more but it’s so confusing in the Midwest. Spring break was the week of March 14, the “official” first day of spring was March 20, Easter was March 27, and to top it all off, the ground hog didn’t see his shadow (and we all know that’s a firm weather prediction) I think after all that though, here we are, April 22, and I can count the spring-like-days on one hand. But, you say, it’s the beauty of the seasons and blah blah blah… I’m not complaining (well, yes I am) but just get on with it already! I can’t decide if I should put away the winter coats and wash them, or bring out the shorts. One day my kids beg for the pool and pop cycles, the next, they won’t go outside because their “fingers will freeze off.”
Spring means lot’s of things at the Schmitz house, but the biggest event for us all, the mother of all things happening here, the center, the nucleus of our attention, goes to…………….. CHANGING OUT CLOTHES. Okay, so it’s not that celestial, but the reality is that it does consume a lot of time and energy on the mama’s part. A good problem to have… clothes, but always a lengthy process nonetheless. Now, before you give me a lesson on how I should be grateful my children have something to wear, please understand that I am abundantly grateful. I do realize that being able to afford clothes is a luxury and that it can also be a true struggle for too many families. I gladly donate almost all of the clothes my kids go through and, if you are able, I encourage you to find a worthy cause and do the same.
Back to why this is such an event for us. Let’s start with the fact that I am married to a very NEAT man and I’m not just talking about his personality. I’m not lying when I tell you we were cut from a different cloth. Dishes on the counter over night, toys that didn’t get put away, shoes right inside the door… these things cause very little trauma to my psyche and they certainly don’t bring on anxiety. (Please still like me… I realize I’m the man in the stereotypical man-women-relationship.) For my main squeeze, on the other hand, The Great Clothes transition has always caused minor heart palpitations. “Stuff” stresses him out, so clothes stacked and piled in every room for a week, bring him close to cardiac arrest. In all seriousness, he has come a long way. Each kid has been like mess therapy for him. Is there a name for people who are afraid of messes…. like messaphobic? If not, I’m creating it right now.
Where does this leave the the two opposites attracted? Well, because I love him, not because he puts pressure on me, (he knows better) his stress is my stress. Therefore, I feel pressure to get this all done in a quick and orderly fashion. Being the very smart and awesome husband that he is, he has learned over the years when to help, and when to sit back. He is a master at “what not to say to your wife when the house has been a mess for a week,” and (eat you heart out ladies) he has done all the laundry washing since our 3rd child was born. He will probably write a book some day. Buy it and stick it under your hubby’s pillow. (Just kidding, that’s not good relationship advice.)
You might be saying to yourself, does it really take a week? Well, I started on Monday and I’m finally on the last kiddo’s clothes today. What? Maybe she has too many clothes you say… Perhaps, but it takes some serious finagling to get 5 kids clothes into two bedrooms with small closets and two drawers each. I like to think of myself as some kind of clothes organizing expert, although, if you look in their drawers any time after the first day I put their new clothes in, you may not agree.
In all seriousness, it is fun to see the kids in something other than the same ten t-shirts and five, now holy, jeans they wore all winter, but I dread the mess and brain power this requires. Brain power? Yes! LOTS…the switch, the clothes that are in the laundry that need to be put in totes, the new clothes mixed in that I hastily pulled out on that random warm day, clothes to donate, clothes to throw, the clothes that say 2t but really fit like 4t (seriously…can’t we make this universal people), the clothes that hang, the ones that don’t, and then, my own personal cherry on top, a 1-year-old, crawling around pulling everything out while I’m putting it in.
Regardless of how much I dislike this job, it’s gotta get done, so here’s were we spin it back to a positive mamas. In honor of Mother’s Day, fast approaching, I’m going to share something with you that my inspiring mom told me a long time ago, “If there is ever anything I really don’t want to do, I just pray for the person I’m doing it for while I do it.” Simple, but obviously it stuck. This has helped me get through so many loads of laundry, piles of dishes, messy diapers, 12 am pukes in the bed, and yes, clothes transitions, with a better attitude. Thanks mom for always being there to lend a shoulder or answer the phone. You are the All Time Best Listener, so when you do give advice, I always listen and I’m a better mom for it. I love you.
So… 5 kids, 5 totes, 2 closets, 12 drawers and one VERY messy living room later, my kids are getting lots-o-prayers this week. Lucky kids. Oh…and bonus…I feel pretty good too.
Are you doing the clothes transition too? Let me know what it’s REALLY like for you.
#frfboototheswitcheroo #praywhileyouworkallday #forrealfridaymom
4 thoughts on “Something You Really Don’t Want to Do”
I love your pray-for-the-person-you-are-cleaning-up-after idea! Maybe that will help stop me from huffing & puffing & building up grrrr-ness all the day long. I can’t commiserate too much on the seasonally clothing thing though. I usually can get it done in a day…but I only have 3 kids. I think you are some sort of Tetris genius though for how you fit 5 kids clothes into 2 closets & 5 dressers! Maybe you should offer space maximizing workshops! 😀
Tetris genius. LOL. Yes. I think I will make myself a plaque 😉
I don’t deserve that much credit for the wonderful wife and mother you have become or your great writing ability! I love your phone calls and will listen and give advice ……..but God is ALWAYS listening so keep those prayers going out!
I love you mom. Thanks for being such an awesome hero!