I am terrible at habits. I don’t form them or keep them well, and I actually kind of secretly despise them. Maybe that’s not entirely true; things that truly have become habit for me don’t bother me, but the process of habit-forming is absolutely excruciating.
That makes mornings (and, let’s be honest, the entire day) rather difficult around our house. I have friends who eat the exact same food for breakfast every. single. day. and have a streamlined process for preparing it. I have other friends who automatically pick up things and wipe down things and generally tidy things as they go along. And those systems and habits work wonders for the managements of their homes. One of them recently (and repeatedly) has told me that my house would be cleaner…not if I cleaned more, but if I simply trained them to make messes less. She told me that they’re sabotaging me.
Enter the leashes. You see, none of my children have good habits either. Clothes are pulled off and thrown on the floor, even though the hamper is right next to the dresser. Toys are stuffed into the bin of shoes or under a bed, even though the actual bin for the toy is sitting nearby. I’m not sure exactly what the deal is, but we have a stuff problem. And I spend all my time babysitting the stuff, either picking it up myself or haranguing people about picking up the stuff. Miserable for everyone.
And it’s completely and totally consuming my days. We are left with basically no time to do the things that I actually WANT to do. Like reading. Puzzles. Games. Art. Something’s gotta give.
It dawned on me that if I figured out some way to constantly be aware of what each one is doing, I might have the chance to direct them to deposit removed clothing directly into drawer or hamper before it ended up elsewhere. I could make sure they put one toy away before getting out another because I’d notice when they began acting ready to move on. I could be aware of when an orange is grabbed for a snack and make sure the peels aren’t left lying about. I’m terrible about follow-up. Terrible at remembering what I, much less they, are supposed to be doing at any given moment. But…if we were all TIED to one another…
I’ll let you know how it goes.
:: UPDATE ::
Just today a friend of mine shared this Charlotte Mason quote with a group of us:
“We have lost sight of the fact that habit is to life what rails are to transport cars. It follows that lines of habit must be laid down towards given ends and after careful survey, or the joltings and delays of life become unsupportable. More, habit is inevitable. If we fail to ease life by laying down habits of right thinking and right acting, habits of wrong thinking and wrong acting fix themselves of their own accord.”
It made me feel claustrophobic. Just thought you’d like to know exactly how deeply this fear of the mundane goes. I probably need therapy.
Also, I’m thinking about talking about it on Facebook Live. Yes? No? I need opinions.
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