True confessions time. At our house there are two standards for clean. First there is "everyday while we are trying do homeschool" clean and then there is "company clean".
Tonight the house has to be company clean since we are celebrating 3 birthdays (Gavin, 12th; Sirena, 10th and Sarah, 4th), which means that 25 or so family members will be crowding into my home. Unfortunately our starting point for company clean didn't even meet everyday clean. We are still trying to catch up all those little chores that get left behind when 1)a stomach bug hits 2)the taxes need filed and 3)your toddler's favorite activity is imitating a hurricane. Those 3 events pretty well summarize the month of October for us.
So I have been the ogre-mother today. Standing over my children with my verbal whip, "encouraging" them to greater speed at their chores. We have made good progress, even with hurricane Mason at category 3. It is really necessary to devote one person to his care. Mara is really the only child in the family stong-willed enough to tackle the job. He is just far more stubborn that the next 3 down the line, and he is outright dangerous to Sadie.
*rabbit trail* Lest you think that we don't discipline often enough or consistently enough, let me assure you that we try. Mara was a handful and, being our first, got away with far too much. We just didn't know what to do. The next four children were much easier and, in my arrogance, I thought it had something to do with our parenting methods and increased experience. I actually made comments like, "If Mara had been born now, it would be completely different since we know what to do now." HA! We do know what to do, but that hasn't made our strong willed child any easier to tame.
Back to ogre-mother. The kids keep looking around and saying, "Wow! The house looks great!" Of course, I see all the things left yet undone. At heart, I am a "glass is half empty" person and I have mostly "glass is half full" kids. You know what? It's good for me. I need to look around and appreciate the progress, not just on the house but in life. I know that perfection is unattainable but that I should most definitely aspire to progress. So parenting stretches me, developing my character alongside my organizational skills. I learn to be more disciplined and more gentle. Add in bright smiles and bedtime kisses and who could ask for anything more?