Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Restorative Home

In our one parent working household, there's a lot of pressure on each parent to do our individual tasks well.

For me, the pressure is on the household: taking care of the piccolini, keeping up with the chores, and protecting Fritz's work time from the volatile nature of life with piccolini.

For Fritz, the pressure is on keeping his job and bringing home mula.

The other day, I read, the measure of a home is how well it restores you at the end of the day. If I'm in charge of the household, is that saying my measuring stick for success? I hope not! Because I'm pretty sure the endless number of chores, the lists of things to do, and the constant state of chaos that is our home is in no way restorative. At least, not for me. I felt slightly ill when I read that. And I didn't read it in a 1950s Good Housekeeping. I read it in the signature file of somebody's email! Am I overly sensitive? (Yes, always.) How do you interpret that text?

I wonder if I would feel less offended if I worked outside of the home? Maybe there's some sort of built-in-excuse the more responsibilities you have. Maybe working out of the home would relieve some of the pressure. Or, as I was pointing out to Fritz yesterday, maybe there would simply be a lot less mess if the boys were in daycare and not at home. Maybe THEN home would seem restorative?

Hey. I'm writing this in the middle of the day because both the piccolini are taking a nap AT THE SAME TIME EVER IN THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. (Normally, Noah doesn't nap.) How cool is that?!? Oh my gosh, I could totally get used to this. How do I make this happen every day? More naps might help make my home restorative.


clueless but hopeful mama said...


The first thing I thought when I read that quote in your post is "Jeezus. NO PRESSURE." Unfortunately, I'm often so busy throughout the day, I only have time to keep food in the fridge and dishes and laundry moving through the chutes. Creating a restorative sanctuary would have to happen in the evening, which is when I mostly want to collapse on the couch with my husband.

Yes. I have to imagine that we create a lot more mess in our home because we are here in it ALL DAY.

Meredith said...

Naps are great. And it sounds like your home is becoming restorative to you as you make it more your own. Your island probably makes you happy when you admire it, right? And your deck?
We bought a fixer-upper, and even it's cluttered, it still makes us happy and proud of our accomplishments.

Ann Wyse said...

It is true that what we've done - so far - to the house makes me happy - but I still see projects everywhere. I think it difficult for me to just let it go and enjoy, because projects around the house are the closest I get to architecture these days. I love the process of doing a project; yet I am endlessly frustrated by process of doing a project WITH KIDS.

I think my house might be "restorative" when I'm 60 years old and kids are moved out.

Kendra said...

Your writing is great and this post speaks to me--you articulate my frustrations "keeping house" with 2 perpetual tornadoes!
How should I spend my time and energy during the day--try to clean and leave them to their own devices? try to incorporate them in cleaning (not very speedy or effective)? play with them and let the mess be damned? And when they are sleeping (like now, praise be) do I take the time for myself or use it to tackle the worst areas of the house?
I guess my approach changes every day. ...Then I wonder if the lack of structure is detrimental to the girls' development. Jeez, it seems impossible, even for 1 day, to have a neat house, clean, well-fed, and happy kids, and an un-frazzled mama.
But I like knowing that I'm not alone in the striving and the reckoning!