Hello from Deploymentland, where we are all hanging in!
The secret to my sanity this last week was the creation of a new euphemism for our perpetually-messy house. I decided to call it, “A Working Home.” (Do not confuse this with a home populated by “working girls.”)
My new “Working Home” designation embraces the idea that this is a home where work is happening. The work of being kids, the work of maintaining a household, the work of being a writer (when time allows). There is no time for “clean” in this house! Clean is for show homes, not for “The Working Home.”
That laundry lined up along the counter and in piles on the floor? Working home! The bags of clothes upstairs waiting to be sorted for the Goodwill? Working home (and altruistic)! The unsorted recycling in the garage? Working home (and environmentally conscious)! (Also a little lazy!)
The “Working Home” idea also dovetails nicely with two of my more successful catchphrases from this deployment. I have two of them — “Family Team!” and, “It’s Not Convenient!”
The first — “Family Team!” — has proven quite handy. It’s short and sweet enough for instant recognition, and it sums up what we are about. It’s best in situations where immediate and lasting sucking-it-up is required, as in — Children get tired waiting in airport security line. “Family Team!” barks I. And suddenly they sharpen right up (ideally), reminded of our cohesion and our shared goal of making it to our destination.
The other catchphrase of this deployment is mine alone and functions, in my mind, as a sort of stamp that I put on anything that comes my way. The phrase: “It’s not convenient!” I use it for all judgment calls and it even has an accompanying physical action to solidify my resolve. Example: The kids bring home pamphlets for 5 separate fund-raisers and after-school activities — I make a fist with my right hand, pop it into the palm of the left and say, “It’s not convenient!” Bam, done, into the recycling! I’m approached by a sweetly wheedling mom at school about volunteering for the chili cook-off — bam, “It’s not convenient!” (Slightly raised eyebrows at my weird hand gesture, but whatever, a woman’s gotta stay strong.)
Hope your week will be full of family cohesion, good hard work (and play), and all things fun and convenient.