All my cookbooks show splendid photographs of the culinary creations that their
recipes lead to. These cookbooks would be more honest if they showed
photographs of what your kitchen looked like after you had finished each recipe.
When our older boys became old enough to babysit their younger siblings it was
both a joy and a trial. We came home from the first few outings and stared at
our family room and kitchen in despair. It looked like a tornado had been
through our home. At first we reacted much like the mother in this story.
Freaking out. The whole family ended up feeling miserable. My husband and I
decided to change this outcome. When we come home, we sit in the parked car for
a few minutes, take a deep breath, and say, "ok, we are not going to freak
out." We walk in with big smiles and greet everyone. We visit for a few
minutes. Then we say, "ok, everyone pick up 25 things." Of course
there isn't enough mess to require us all to pick up 25 things, but we all
pitch in and things are presentable very quickly and we all feel good. Thanks
for the reminder to be aware of our childrens' self esteem.