Unrealistic Expectations are still things I struggle to let go of.

My mother has five siblings.
My mother has five siblings. The family portrait was taken in 1983.

At 18 I moved in with my mother’s parents. I was offered a place to live, rent free, while I attended college.

This is the home my grandparents built after I moved out in 2006. But, the furnishings are the same...
This is the home my grandparents built after I moved out in 2006. But, the furnishings are the same…so, you get an idea of what my expectations had become.

When I moved in I didn’t have much skill (or rather, interest) in the way of cooking, house keeping or any other skill beyond the ability to learn. I was good at learning.

I dusted everything once a week...so I know it takes careful work.
I dusted everything once a week…so I know it takes careful work.

I was one of 8 children, so I was quite skilled at disappearing when work needed to be done…until I moved in with the Grandparents, my life was suddenly under the microscope.

My mom reading in my Gramma's bedroom.
My mom reading in my Gramma’s bedroom.

You can’t hide when you are the only child!

This is where Gramma paints.
This is where Gramma paints.

In the years I lived with them, I learned to appreciate good food, a clean (not just a picked up home – a clean) home, and the quiet.

Gramma just celebrated her 87th birthday!! In her PJ's, because she can.
Gramma just celebrated her 87th birthday!! In her PJ’s, because she can.

I also left their home with unrealistic expectations of how I wanted my house to be…with children.

Holding my baby boy.
Holding my baby boy.

I think 98% of the arguments I’ve ever gotten into with my husband have been over tidiness. Sad and true story.

Gramma took up serious painting long after six children left home.
Gramma took up serious painting long after six children left home.

Now, I still wish for a clean home but, I will admit that my marriage has improved since I let go of some of the house work! I still try to pick up the house after the babies go to bed, but now I let the house go all day being messy without asking my husband to stop studying to help me pick up…because I know the floor will be a mess again in 20 minutes.

Grampa
Grampa

I like to remind myself that Grampa bought a boat instead of furniture for the front room when his kids were growing up. Gramma’s house didn’t look like this when her kids were growing up either.

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