February 03, 2007

And I Didn't Even Cook Dinner ...

Today, I was in my kitchen at 8:30 cleaning up after dinner, silently complaining about being tired and the darn housework. What I really wanted to do was plop my behind on the couch next to hubby instead of clean the kitchen or think about the laundry in the dryer waiting to be folded (this is a daily saga). I knew if I didn't do the dishes, hubby probably would have but really it was "my turn" and we both hate waking up to a dirty kitchen.

Anyhow, I got to thinking I am always complaining (either to myself, friends, or hubby) about housework and being tired. Then I started to think about my mom and how I never, heard her complain. She never asked my dad to help with laundry, cook, clean, make lunches, etc. She just did it. She never complained about wanting to just sleep in, take a nap, and "life before kids." Even now, when she comes to visit to help me with my children (and she has been 1000% awesome about doing that) she does not complain. And believe, my mom works all day with me, cooking, laundry, morning walks, dishes, etc. and she never complains about being tired. So I really started to appreciate my mom for all that she does for me as a mother of three, and all that she did for me as one of her two children. I developed a new found respect for her. So as I stood there, thinking about my mom, I went on cleaning up the plates, and putting away the Chinese food containers and decided I would complain less and embrace motherhood and wifehood a lot more. I mean really, who am I to complain??? I really am grateful for all that I have. So I cheered up, grabbed one of the fortune cookie and here is what it said,"Your efforts have not gone unnoticed."


Justice Fergie said...

That fortune was great! I hope you taped it to your bedroom mirror :)

You are very right. I never heard my mom complain either and she raised my sister and I without almost no help for the better part of our childhood.

However...Hubby and I have had this discussion many times when I am complaining about something and he says "My grandmother raised 12 children and never once did we hear her complaining!" To which I reply, she may not have complained to you but she may very well have complained to your grandfather. And maybe she was stressed and miserable and on Prozac - you just didn't know it.

Not to say that your mom was/is stressed or miserable Jones (I'm sure she isn't now anyway) But just because she doesn't complain to you doesn't mean she hasn't to your dad over the years. You don't complain to your kids (i'm pretty sure) but your hubby probably knows exactly how you feel when you are overwhelmed.

That aside, you are right in that we shouldn't get consumed with the negative. We are all very blessed and really don't have much to complain about. Lots of laundry? Some moms wish that was their biggest problem. We have healthy, happy kids, good husbands, decent paying jobs and roofs over our heads.

But, as fortunate as we are, venting every now and then is good for the soul :)

How about this? For every complaint that we have, let's try to come up with a silver lining or a constructive solution. I'll make it a challenge!

Justice Ny said...

I absolutely agree wiht you both and I'm on board with Fergie's challenge. It's hard not to complain but we should make a conscious effort not to.

My mom was a single mom of two and I NEVER once heard her complain. That is not to say that she never did, but just that I never heard her.

I am afraid that my complaining will become so second-nature that I will make the mistake of complaining in front of DD. So, I will take Fergie up on her challenge and do my best to lessen my complaints....and should I decide to voice a concern I will make sure that I recognize a blessing in return.

Beth said...

I just thought I would tell you that I read this post yesterday afternoon and it stuck with me all day. With every piece of laundry I washed and folded, all the dishes and wiping down countertops. Even at the grocery store. Life seemed a little easier just after reading your post! THANK YOU FOR THE PERSPECTIVE!

Justice Jones said...

J- Fergie. Yes, when I'm on a complaining "tirade" I often get the, "think about the moms who work 3 jobs, have no car, ...." comments from hubby. So I feel you on that. My response is something along the lines of I feel a lot of sympathy and respect for those women.

I have to admit that sometimes I do complain in front of the kids and even to Oldest but not at Oldest. I never saw my mom complain to Dad even though I'm sure she was tired. For the most part I complain to myself (or hubby) which results in nagging or just being cranky. And I have no reason to be. So, I accept your challenge and from now on, I'll focus on the positive of it all. And when I can't seem to find the positive, I'll focus my energy on something positive like venting, praying or taking on whatever it is that has caused me to complain in the first place (like the 3 loads of laundry waiting to be folded)!

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