The following was inspired by the items you see in the picture. Two seemingly harmless things that have inspired a revolution in my heart.
Also contributing is the boot on my foot. A wonky bone that didn’t want to go the right way was set straight by a surgeon and I am now hobbling around the house, unable to get things done at my usual pace.
You see, I have many jobs. I wear a LOT of hats.
I have an actual job. It’s not one that pays much (if you dream of going into retail, do it for the love, and not the cash – you won’t find great financial rewards in this business!). But it DOES take up a lot of my time.
And then there’s the job of cleaner of the house. I am thankful that I have a husband who participates in this, but the majority of laundry, dusting, toilet scrubbing, etc falls on my plate. It’s my least favorite job, but apparently the house isn’t going to clean itself any time soon.
I am a soccer/baseball/basketball/dance mom too. This job entails driving my children around, making sure they have all the necessary equipment, snacks, and activities packed for down times. It often involves delegating and scheduling (i.e. “My children’s activities overlap – can you drive so and so home from practice today?”). It requires many hours of sitting, watching, and cheering for the small people in my life.
I am a homework overseer, answering questions and making sure things are done in a timely fashion and done well. Part of these duties include emptying out the many random things that seem to fill my children’s backpacks. Like rocks (seriously?!), pants (when did you take your pants off at school?!), buttons, crumpled papers, and other objects that have caught their fancy.
Additionally, I’m the cook. I do the majority of grocery shopping in the house, and then I magically turn all those groceries into meals, three times a day, nearly every day of the week.
I’m sure there are a few other jobs that I’m forgetting to include on the list… but I want to get to the important one. The job I’m quitting. Taking off the hat. I’m putting in my notice, and I’m not giving the customary two weeks.
You see, I am also the Putter Away of the Things. All the things. Everyone’s things. When somebody finds something and doesn’t know what to do with it, they stick it in my locker, or in my closet, or on my desk, or wherever. So that I can put it away. I put away MY things. And then I put away THEIR things.
And how did the objects in the picture inspire me to quit this despised job? You see, my oldest likes to borrow my things. I don’t mind when she borrows them – she’s great about asking permission, and it’s fun to share! So when she borrowed my headband the other day, I was fine with it. And then I spotted it in the family room.
“Avery,” I said. “Can you please put the headband back where it belongs?” “Oh sure,” she said.
Guess where I found the headband? IN MY PAJAMA DRAWER. Which means she put it somewhere random, and my husband spotted it, didn’t know where it went, and stuck it somewhere random that was at least out of sight. Cuz it definitely does not belong in the pajama drawer. Then, to top it off, as Ed is leaving for work, he picks up Avery’s emory board (left on the stairs of all places), and puts it on my bathroom counter. “That’s Avery’s,” I told him to his retreating back. No response.
I know how we got to this point. It is simply easier if I just put all the things away. The kids leave their stuff strewn all over the house, and I stare at it while they’re at school, getting itchier with each passing moment. Beyond that, they are fabulous at putting things in sneaky hiding spots instead of where they actually belong, which means that if I do it, it’s going to get done the right way.
But I’m down one foot, and today was the proverbial straw and camel story. The end of my mental rope. Guess what family? The role of Putter Away of The Things is now being played by ALL of you. You’ll thank me later, when you become responsible adults who are able to pick up after yourself. At least that’s the story I’m sticking to.
Do you have a job around the house that you should be quitting? Speaking as someone who usually takes on too much, let me give you the freedom to do so. You will be better for knowing your limits. Give yourself a little love and take off that hated hat. You’ve only got one head – choose your hats wisely.
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