Friday, October 13, 2006

Cleaning house

I know- I know...I have to cut back- but---

Today I got MAD. My daughters room was a disaster. No- REALLY a disaster.
She's almost 11 and is a worse pack rat than I am. Not good.

I almost cried when I looked under her bed. The papers, toys, clothes, one shoe- socks- uggghhh! Every square inch was covered with stuff. I tore it all out.
I took one large trash bag and 2 boxes and cleared everything away. I threw out alot of stuff.

I was furious- and then I remembered being 11, and my room being similar.
But my mom never cleaned my room...she Yelled- she Fussed- she hid my stuff- she spanked me- she put me on restriction- she punished me...but never, not ever, did she help clean up my mess. "Sigh"

My "mess" was overwheming to me- then, and now. However, my daughters mess, even though it was bad, was managable. I could handle it. I could fix it. She would have to sort through the 7 baskets of stuff and keep only one basket full of favorite things- which was going to be hard for her, but I could help her have a fresh start.
I could show her- even though I was angry because she had been irresponsible- that I was here to help her- not condem her. She does have a consequence, one I won't share here- but she also knows she has someone who loves her enough to face the trash. Someone who can look at a big mess and say, "Ok- we can fix this."

I thought I cleaned up her room for her, but in reality, I cleaned it for the 11 year old inside of me- who was stunned by the mess she made and dearly wanted someone to help make sense of things. I cleaned it up for the frightned 16 year old in me, who had a terrible choice to make, and no one to help her make it.

And no matter daughter will know that I am here to help and guide her.
I can handle a mess, and even if I'm mad...I love her more than all the world.

At the end of the afternoon- she came to me, with tears in her eyes- and she said,
"Thank you Mom...I'm sorry my room was such a mess. I love you. I will do a better job of keeping it clean. It's so wonderful now."

Now, I need to clean out MY closet!


/t. said...

are just
some places
i never, ever, go

my oldest daughters room... there are things living in there (besides her, i mean) and i am afraid to face them without backup... and a level 3 biohazard containment suit... a bit like my home office, actually... heh heh... well, she comes by it honestly

cora, really enjoyed this post -- you are a super mom!


Mayden's Voyage said...

/t- thank you...and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree here either :) She most definitely takes after me!

Lady Lux said...

hee!..hee!...oh' should see the bedroom of my sons!...eeeeeee!!!

Lady Lux said...

yeeebah!..i was kinda' afraid my comment wouldn't post!..I'm thinking of switching to beta too....just wondering if it would be a hassle..I'll have to figure it out first....hey...nice talkin' to you..hope to catch you someday soon!

X. Dell said...

Let he amongst us who is without guilt push the first broom.

Interesting analysis of your motivation to clean your daughter's room. Do you think that might have something to do with your anger? That is, do you think that your daughter's mess made you more mad at her, or more mad at you, and how you were at that age?

Mayden's Voyage said...

Lux- love your new blog- and I already changed your link :)

X~ Always insightful :) Actually- when I discovered the disaster I said outloud "My mom would have throttled me for this!" I realized then that I was about to repeat a cycle that I thought was unhealthy- and that my being angry wouldn't help her...or me.

I was reminded of where the Scripture says that God trusts us with little things before He trusts us with larger ones- and I see the same is true here.
If I freak out over a dirty room- that she felt overwhelmed by, what could she expect from me when faced with the all the messes that come with being a teenager?

schaumi said...

at eleven my mother would be after me all day long to clean the mess up in my room. i would slide around on my derriere all day long and procrastinate by reading a book which I would slide under the bed whenever I heard her approaching.

I get onto my sons every once in a while about the stuff under the beds, but I do also remember how I was. do I help them?.....depends on the mood I'm in.

Anonymous said...

/bark bark bark

mayden im on the run tonight...but i had to stop by... i wondered if you wanted to come over and take a look at my pen! grrherha! happy saturday night grrl.


Mayden's Voyage said...

Schaumi- Wow- I did alot of that too...reading instead of cleaning- it was my greatest joy as a kid, and as an adult!

And- I usually don't help with the room clean up- but this time it was way out of control :)
And to be fair- both of my kids do their own laundry (Wed and Sat), and a bunch of other chores- and both are on the AB honor roll.

My getting mad was wrong- (human, but wrong)- but then something good happened :) I love it when it works out that way :)

Mayden's Voyage said...

Pup- Beloved dog...I woke up with you on my mind early this morning- I was trying to write a story.

It started with,

"once upon a time there was an enchanted world- where men were as noble as dogs (in the best possible sense!), and 30 something women could be Maidens.

This is the tail- I mean, tale- of the meeting of 2 such unlikely creatures- and the whirlwind romance of words (with absolutely NO touching) and poetry they shared."

I think it's a good opening page for the scrapbook...I want it to read like a fairy tale. (Fairy Tail? LOL...yes! That's it!)
Hugs to you- I'll be right over.
Have you switched to beta too?

Rach said...

I have the same thing with my youngest daughter's room, the eldest one can manage to keep hers tidy. It's demoralising to see it in such a bad way.

X. Dell said...

Well, I'll have to get used to the new template, but it does look nice.

kate said...

i had a similar reaction to the boys bathroom last night when they wanted to have a sleep over guest... I think the claws really did come out of my hands! I was livid!

glad to see a post! Hey and I finally figured out the linking thing... beta made it easy and I did link ya~!

/t. said...


i'm with X,
need to get used
to the new look, but off the top -- very nice -- cool green


Malinda777 said...

Such a well written piece, and brings back memories. You're a great mom, and a lesson is learned with patience and love.

I've been thinking about trying Beta... I'm scared as I have the blog running smoothly now, the change scares me :)

I will keep up here to see how you like it before I take the big leap...

Bird said...

oh my! this brings back memories.

when my kids were little, i helped them clean their rooms every week. as they grew up, they became resposnible for cleaning their rooms without my or their father's assistance. but as they got older, it also got tougher - the teen years were hell on the clean room routine.

my son did ok, but my daughter - oh! she ws tough. but as long as her room wasn't a health or safety hazard, i zipped my lip and ignored the room.