Pattern recognition isn’t my strong suit, but I finally realized that I lose my temper with my children every Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. And in a burst of insight at 9:32 a.m. last Thursday, I figured out why.
It’s because we’re home on Thursdays.
I love being at home–I’m kinda a homebody–but since it’s the one day in the week where we have nowhere to be, I try and catch up on chores and do an extra load of laundry. On Thursday morning, I take a good hard look at my house to see what needs cleaning and tidying, and it overwhelms me.
My house isn’t a disaster (usually) but with 4 kids in a smallish space, there’s often a good bit of stuff lying about. I can feel the tension start to rise at I start swiffering the papers and small toys out from under the sofas, but when I move on to the bedroom my two young daughters share and see (with my Thursday morning let’s-get-this-mess-under-control eyes) the tiny pieces and scraps of paper and shreds of fabric and hair accessories on every surface, and the kids are not exactly cooperating with the clean-up routine, I lose it.
Apparently, clutter is one of my “trigger points,” one of those things that throws me off balance and upsets me beyond reason. Have you seen this?
Fatigue, hunger, and apparently messy spaces are major trigger points for me. When I’m tired, or hungry, or my living space is a wreck, I get unreasonably upset about little things (bickering kids, spilled milk) that wouldn’t be a big deal if I was on balance.
I thought it was pretty lame to realize that swiffering on a Thursday morning puts me over the edge, I’m glad to have that bit of awareness about myself so I can do something about it.
And this is a good time of year for self-awareness, because the holidays are a pretty intense time of year for me. There’s lots to get done, not quite enough time to do it in, and high expectations for all of it. So I’m shoring up my resolve to go to bed on time, and actually eat breakfast, so I’m better equipped to handle the bumps in the road with grace this season.
And I’m ditching the Thursday morning cleaning routine, at least till January. I’ve instituted a nightly tidying up time, and my husband’s going to do the swiffering—on Wednesdays.
Can you relate? What are your personal trigger points? What are your tips for avoiding them?