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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life in futility . . .

Being a stay at home mom is very rewarding. I wouldn't change anything about my choice, however, after five and a half years of this profession, I have realized that it is basically an exercise in futility - at least for me. In case you are not familiar with the definition of futile, I've looked it up.

Main Entry: fu·tile Function: adjectiveEtymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin futilis brittle, pointless, probably from fu- (akin tofundere to pour) — more atfoundDate: circa 1555

1 : serving no useful purpose : completely ineffective 2 : occupied with trifles :frivolous

synonyms futile, vain, fruitless mean producing no result. futile may connote completeness of failure or unwisdom of undertakingfutile that surrender was the only choice left>. vain usually implies failure to achieve a desired result vainattempt to get the car started>.fruitless comes close to vain but often suggests long and arduous effort or severe disappointment <fruitlessefforts to obtain a lasting peace>.

Today is one of those days that everywhere I look, I see projects that need completed, basic chores that need done, and I really feel no inclination to do any of it. All I see is long and arduous effort ending in severe disappointment!
Let's just start with the kitchen. I won't even go into the dishes that need cleaned up and put into the dishwasher. Today I'll just talk about the futility of sweeping the floor. Erik was in charge of supper last night because I went to Bible Study and he kept the kids busy playing outside in leaves until late. Erik never says anything when I want to go do something for myself, so I really shouldn't complain that he doesn't clean up to my specifications, but sometimes, because of the futility of cleaning, I do get a little frustrated when he leaves messes for me to take care of - like this. He didn't sweep the floor under the island after the kids ate.
Crumbs and a hunk of cheese are still lying there. I really can't fault him, because I really do understand how futile it is to sweep. There will just be another mess there in another 2 hours
when it is snack time.

On a positive note, this just reconfirms my gladness at putting in the hardwood instead of a different surface. This flooring is so forgiving, hides most messes, and unless there is a glob of mud on the floor, hides my dirty floors well. It's a little gross, but what can I say, farm life makes cleaning futile. I no sooner get the floor clean than someone walks through with their boots on. I do believe that some of this futility will be alleviated when Christmas comes. I have dropped several not so subtle hints that I want the Shark Pocket Steam Mop. I hope Santa remembers that I want it so desperately!

On to the laundry. This is my laundry/mud room.
When we remodeled the house, it was a large pantry. At the time I thought, "Whatever would I need with such a large pantry?" So we gutted it, moved the door around and the pantry became the much needed laundry and mud room. At the time, with just Erik and me, I thought the room was so big. Five years later it is waaaayyy too small for our family of five. There isn't enough room for our muddy boots, dirty clothes, coveralls and coats, etc. I hate going into that room and not just because of the mounds of laundry that are there waiting for me on an hourly
basis. It is a constant reminder of how futile cleanliness on a farm is.
This is a picture of my dream laundry room. I dream of a laundry where I have TONS of room. My idea is that the laundry room will be the main closet for the entire house. When our kids get older, instead of me folding clothes and putting them away for them, they will be instructed to come to the laundry room to get their clothes - if they do not - oh well - the clothes will be hanging from the racks or be folded into neatly designated drawers for each person of the house. Can't find your shirt - check the laundry room.

Isn't this laundry room just lovely? This room is courtesy of Hampton Design and I have provided a link to the website here. Great job! It is just beautiful. And if anyone would like to offer to help me achieve this laundry room by building an addition onto my house, I will happily accept. : )
How beautiful is the white farmhouse sink? I don't even have a plastic washtub in my laundry room right now. I know I shouldn't complain because I could have a room this large if I chose to move my laundry to the root cellar (basement) where it is dark,dank, and drippy! I know it is a luxury to have my laundry off the kitchen where I have easy access to it all the time, but I would love to just have a little more space! I can't even imagine what things are going to get like once the kids get older and their clothes are bigger!
Can you imagine having three whatever those are??? I'd settle for a dryer that dries faster!

Let's not even get into the futility of folding clothes, putting them away and the daily struggle that is!

Our next area of futility for me is toys. I don't know how we have accumulated so much, how it seems to multiply in the toy bins, or why my children can clean up any other place they are, but at home. I guess it could be worse - they could actually NOT play with any of their toys. But they do - all the time. They just don't put anything away in the right place, which leads to bigger and bigger messes. I have tried countless times to sort though the toys, arranged them in the appropriate bins, took pictures of the toys that belong in those bins and attached them so the kids could easily identify what goes where but they still just throw stuff into bins at random when I say clean up. Thus causing them to not know where particular items are which leads them to dump EVERY bin in the area out until they find what they were looking for.

I guess if I try to look at things in a positive light, I could interpret the scattered toys as an inexpensive home security system. This batch of toys was dumped out right on the mat at the front door. Not that anyone uses our front door -we don't have any steps or a porch leading up to our front door, so it is basically a door to nowhere. But in case someone did try to come in our front door, there is this nice mound of toys for them to have to get past.

Fortunately, this mound of toys is also smack dab at the bottom of the stairs too - so it is a double whammy of deterring burglars and damaging Momma's bare feet. Nothing like a plastic farm animal to wake you up in the morning!

Well, I suppose my rant on the futility of chores around this place has been futile. In the time it took to post this, I probably could have had all of it cleaned up. I just needed to vent a bit.

And as my dear neighbor, Donna, tells me, the children will be grown up before I know it and I will miss the days of seeing these toys, mounds of laundry and crumbs on the floor.

I'm sure I will, but right now dreaming of the future is just futile.