routine maintenance

It’s that time of year again for me. I want to throw open the windows and let Spring come in – let the fresh air blow and linger in every little corner.

I want to clean, organize, discard, imagine, create, make over.

I want to find every little piece of Tootsie hair, dust ball and spider web hidden in every forgotten corner.

I want to shine!

In parenting, we often go through stages where that’s exactly how we feel about our families.

We’re going to get this family into shape – make some changes around here – big ones. We set up new rules, schedules, commitments, have-to-dos, behavior charts, consequences.

We’re going all out – tackling everything.

We want to shine!

But – what we’re really creating in either one of these scenarios is, most likely, a set-up for failure – or disappointment at best.

The other day I noticed my husband walking down the driveway to converse with a city crew doing something with the street sewer. He came back, stuck his head in the kitchen door and reported, “routine maintenance”

Exactly – the real answer to this urgency I feel.

Routine maintenance is preventative. It is an essential part of the care, heart and soul of a home – or a family.

We’ve heard it before of course, but reminders are always good. I recognize how taking just five minutes a day to efficiently straighten up a different part of your house each day will maintain a sense of order in your whole home.

And, parenting experts tell us that at least five minutes of very focused connection with a child or other family member every day can restore connection and strengthen relationships.

So – maybe we need to start small. Maybe we need to take five – on our homes, our children, whatever change we want to see happen.

I bet we’ll shine!

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