“I know what to do, I’m just not doing it.” I told my husband as he wandered through the kitchen looking through the mountain of dishes for a drinking cup. I assumed he was judging me because I felt a hot flash of shame come over. Luckily for me, he isn’t the judge-y type. I was the one judging myself.
The truth is, I haven’t been giving it my best. I haven’t been doing much about my messy home because I’ve been so focused on other things. There are moments where I feel like I have it together and then all of the sudden I’m back to drowning in messes again.
I’ve thought about hiring a cleaning lady again. But the thing is, I had one for almost two years. Sure, my house looked clean for a day or two and it gave me free time when the kids were really little. I’m super blessed to have had that privilege but I know that’s no longer what I want. I want to be able to live simply and know how to keep a tidy home in the first place. Hiring help isn’t going to get me there. If anything, it’ll make me feel like I don’t have a problem to fix.
This has been an ongoing problem way before I became a mom. My parents have always been able to pay a cleaning lady/nanny . The only time we didn’t have someones’ help was during the first three years as newly arrived immigrants. So, I never really learned how to clean up after myself. I could always count on someone else to do it for me. As I got older I was able to get by with being messy and unorganized. But now that I’m at home with the kids it’s not working out so well.
For the past 2 years I’ve been on this mission to become clean. One of my close friends even came over to help me sort, purge, and organize my kitchen when I called crying. She walked me through the whole process and didn’t leave until we were absolutely finished. I love her so much for doing that.
Here I am 2 years later and I think the situation might be worse.
But why I am even sharing this? I mean, it has nothing to do with nutrition or fitness right?
I’m sharing it because it’s something I’m feeling ashamed about. Interestingly enough, a lot of my clients have come to me carrying a similar shame but with a different problem. It’s very common to see sad emoji’s attached to pictures of donuts, cookies, or cupcakes sent to me. I often tell them how proud I am that they are facing their own “messy situation” with such courage. I know when they sign up for the 7-day Nutrition Challenge they are ready to make a change in their lives for good.
What I’m learning about myself, and perhaps about others, is that the more I keep it a “secret” the more the shame seems to grow. We live in a world where all the IG highlight reels numb us to of the fact that we are all humans who struggle.
I’ve got the food thing down, but this my current struggle.
So, my goal is to become a minimalist.
I have all the right excuses for not doing what I want to do just like you do.
But as I’m typing this I also know that continuing to live this way is preventing me from being the parent I want to be.
Like, I won’t let Emma help me in kitchen (as often as I would like) because I’m afraid she’ll find something that’s misplaced and dangerous. I want her to fall in love with the art of cooking at home. Currently this is NOT happening.
I want to be able to know where things are when I need them. I don’t want to spend 10 minutes looking for something before heading out the door. This is such a waste of time. Every time I find myself in this situation I get so angry at myself “Like, REALLY DeeDee. Get it together”. I’m 100% sure my kids see the frustration on my face and the anxiety I feel when I need to be somewhere on time. I don’t want them to think this is OK because, to me, it’s not.
I want to be able to look forward to working when the kids go down. Currently, I don’t want to sit at my desk most of the time. It gives me anxiety seeing the pile of papers burying my ideas. If I knew where things were I could be producing/creating much more efficiently.
I complained about all this to my husband and told him that no matter how many LEGIT reasons I had to finally make the change that I was frustrated that I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
“Maybe you don’t yet believe in WHAT YOU KNOW?” Maybe, you’re not taking action because you don’t yet believe that it’s worth it. Taking action would require you to believe in what you know. Taking consistent action is more than just about knowing. You have to believe that the pain of doing nothing ( aka staying the same) is more painful than actually DOING the thing you should be doing.”
I stood there in shock. Mainly because he used the word “you” instead of “we”. hahaha j/k. But could it really be that simple though?
Could I just suddenly create belief?
Turns out I can.
With the mindset coaching I teach my clients, I whipped up belief out of thin air. Lo and behold, I’m finally taking action again and this time with a plan because as you know, knowing isn’t enough. Believing isn’t enough. I still have to do the work. But at least I believe the work is worth it this time so that I can tackle it one habit at a time without giving up.
I still need to learn how to throw things into the trash instead of leaving them on the counter. Replacing that habit alone might take a while. And you know what? That’s ok. It doesn’t serve me to beat myself up for not becoming cleaner faster. I find that the self-pity doesn’t go away if I give up. If anything it gets amplified. But this time it’ll be different and I wanted to share that with all of you.
Btw, it’s also helping a lot to celebrate the process of becoming clean together as a family. I even tell my 4 year old “Hey baby, mommy will give you a helpful sticker if you catch me not being clean. I am working on becoming a better example for you. Can you help me?”
This way, I can model good behavior and therefore expect my daughter to do the same while not feeling like a hypocrite. I find that this conversation is so helpful because kids are such willing helpers if we let them in. Her face glows with pride when she knows that we’re becoming clean together. It is SO cool!
And that my friends is how I got out of that weird ” I know what to do, I’m just not doing it” mindset funk. I teach you how to do this in my Enjoy Food Again 4-week Nutrition Course because wouldn’t it be super fun to eat a cupcake without feeling guilty about it? I hope you say yes to that kind of #foodfreedom <3