You know those “In this house, we” signs? The ones that list all the beautiful and perfect interactions your loving and blessed family has with each other? I’m staring at one hanging in our living room right now. I picked it up at good ol’ Target a few months ago. I remember the Man saying something about how he loved that I decorated our home in lies. I laughed then, and I am still chuckling now at the thought of what a real list of family rules for our home would look like. Perhaps it would read…
In this house, we . . .
aren’t always dressed
are lucky to be showered
have tantrums (adults too)
believe in bribery
drink beer, wine, and the hard stuff
laugh to keep from crying
tell little, white lies
tell big, fat lies
hide from the kids (sometimes)
pray often (mostly for patience)
screen phone calls
yell and then yell some more
always forget something
never remember anything
sleep on the couch (only one of us)
break the parenting rules
break our own rules
even break the five-second rule
microwave dinner sometimes
skip eating breakfast other times
watch television often times
and always love each other
even when it seems like we don’t!
Now THAT is the sign of a good home. Don’t you think? I’m not saying that a canvas covered in the opposite of truth about your family isn’t great to have. I do have one after all! It gives you a way of life to aspire to! It’s a color-coordinated, condescending reminder of how you should be showing more compassion instead of locking yourself in the bathroom to avoid explaining for the one thousandth time why you cannot take them out to play with chalk in the rain. When the mortgage is due, and Wells Fargo wants your cash, you can tell them that in your house you pay in hugs and kisses. When the kids are still fighting over the Thomas train (that you actually do have two of), you can point to the big, round, friendly letters that spell “share” and know that they clearly understand that since it’s hanging on the wall, it must be serious business.
Or you can stop pretending. Amidst the greatness, life is also very messy and dirty and unfair and just how it is supposed to be. In your house, my house, the neighbor’s house, even celebrities’ houses. If you think for one second that all those kids Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have don’t drive them crazy from time to time, then you’re lying to yourself. Why do you think he grew that ridiculous beard? He was hiding FROM THE KIDS. Truth.
So leave your Target sign up, or get someone on Etsy* to make you the one I concocted above. Either way, just know that as soon as you put in writing what you do in your house, it’s going to change. You know that by now, right? Roll with it! Feel free to get upset about it, but don’t let it end you. Enjoy it when you can, and don’t keep your standards at an unreachable level. If you can do all that, well then, dear reader, that’s the real sign that you’re headed in the right direction.
*Speaking of Etsy…someone DID make the sign I concocted above, and it’s for sale! That’s right, TheLadyOhThisAgain is now an Etsy shop with a few signs and sayings from our home to yours! Just in time for the holidays. Plus, one dollar from every single sale goes to a specific charity. Come check it out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLadyOhThisAgain!