Changing Our Perspective

advice/correction boundary setting lens shift Aug 07, 2022

Some of you might remember, I mentioned moving into a new house a few weeks ago.

It’s one of THE most amazing blessings for me الحمدللہ because I can’t tell you how much and how long I wanted a bigger place!

We bought our old house when we had no kids and didn’t know if we ever would. We’d already been married and trying for kids for five years. We didn’t think we’d ever need even the two extra rooms in that house (tiny as they were).

سبحان ا للّٰہ

We were blessed with four children within four years and that house became super small all of a sudden. So much so that no matter what I tried, I couldn’t contain all our STUFF and there was always clutter everywhere!

I even “Marie-Condo’d” the crap out of it and still- it was just TOO MUCH STUFF. I love organizing so I had a “home” for everything but still- when homes are on top of each other- they tend to collapse and the kids didn’t understand my complicated system 🤪

Anyway, I just began to hate that house. Like really hate it! I couldn’t wait to move out and finally just put my foot down one day and told my husband I don’t know where we’re going to find a bigger house in our budget but I don’t care if it’s a village- we’re moving there! There’s no way we can survive a pandemic and homeschooling living in this tiny shoebox. 🥵

So you can imagine my joy when we found our new house which is at least 4-5 times the size of the older house. I’m not kidding... every day I stop randomly as I’m walking around and thank Allah! (And am convinced that the duas I get from this group made it happen).

Khair, the point of this story is.... All of a sudden we had so much space that I got lost in visions of an impeccably decorated and spotless house! I forgot that I still have the same four kids who are coming with me in the new house 😬

So we made some COLLABORATIVE rules about how to keep the new house tidy, how to contain the toys etc. and at least 1/4 children still remembers those rules. The rest... let the picture do the talking!

So I realized that every time I’d come down and see clutter... I’d get super mad and start screaming at the kids for not remembering the rules and not respecting our new house and whatnot! Yup- not my finest moments y’all.

Then I heard three things that made me stop dead in my tracks and take stock of my feelings:

1- This lady in a video said we need to stop feeling like “martyrs” for having to clean up messes. We know... everyone knows that kids are messy.. you just get their help and everyone cleans up together and it’s ok! But to feel like a poor martyr is not helpful and makes zero sense from the kids perspective and I was like

OMG I DO FEEL LIKE A MARTYR! I need to stop!

2- In my meditation training, Tara Brach said, “When we see ourselves as victims, we become abusers of ourselves.” OMG. Mind blown again.

3- I realized that my kids actually love cleaning with me and helping me but when I act like a monster, they run away and no one wants to help me. So obviously, if I’m getting all mad and upset while cleaning, why would they wanna be around me, let alone help me? So I HAD to work on my emotional regulation in those moments.

And I’m proud to report that I’ve been doing better. And I’ve let go of that image of the magazine-cover worthy house until my kids are all teens or at least preteens. Eisa, at least, does keep his room flawlessly cleaned at all times masha’Allah so there’s hope!

And when I said I let go of that image- I literally had a “goodbye” ceremony in my head in which I bade farewell to my visions and embraced a messy house that’s filled with my kids’ laughter and play and is, nevertheless, SO glorious! الحمدللہ 🎊