Something that helps

Nine years into this whole motherhood thing, I have discovered something that really helps.  And that.  Is.  Shutting doors.

Better yet, LOCKING doors.

Between four kids and homeschooling and a 2-year-old boy we fondly call Captain Destructo, I’ve found it very helpful lately (yes, it took me a long time to figure this out) to just shut the doors on some rooms and limit or prohibit the kids’ activity there.  The bathroom door, for instance, should ALWAYS be closed.  There is absolutely no reason for Captain Destructo to be allowed free entry (unless, of course, you’re the type who doesn’t mind a little ingested toothpaste, or a little conditioner on the floor, or a whole lot of toilet paper unrolled into and around the toilet).

The point is, these little people we share our life with, the ones who haven’t yet developed their self control, don’t need to be into everything.  It was a real ah-ha moment for me when I realized I could claim some spaces as off-limits to them.  It’s good for me because things stay neater, and it’s good for them because they are reminded they don’t call all the shots around here.

Another room I’ve discovered I love to lock?  My bedroom.  Not because I’m one of these I-have-it-all-together-and-my-bedroom-is-a-sanctuary-for-me-and-my-husband types.  Nope, I’m more along the lines of my-bedroom-is-where-I-hide-anything-I-don’t-want-visitors-to-see-PLUS-anything-I-don’t-want-my-kids-to-get-into.

So Beau put two locks on our bedroom door:  we can be inside and lock the kids out, or we can be outside and lock the kids out.  Whichever side I’m on, I have a little peace of mind knowing that, as long as I can keep that door locked, whatever’s behind it is safe from my kids.

Last week when we were all suffering on the bitter dregs of various winter sicknesses, I finally had HAD IT and so declared one evening that We Were Going To Do Something To Help Mama Feel Better.  And what, without fail, always makes me feel better?  Why, rearranging furniture, of course!

So the kids and Beau all pitched in and we finally moved my desk and all its piles of paperwork from the piano room into OUR BEDROOM.  You know, we moved it behind closed doors.  (So long as the door remains locked) no longer can the little hands reach up and conduct an orchestra with the chaos on my desk OR perform an internet search for Spirit Riding Free while I am detained in the other room stirring spaghetti.

I had been daydreaming about doing it for a long time.  And my desk is safe now… along with an ever-increasing volume of our belongings.  I just keep looking around the house and coming up with more and more stuff that… wow… really would be easier to manage if it was out of the kids’ reach.  Ha!

Old houses like this one we live in often have strange rooms that don’t have an obvious use.  The room where Beau and I sleep used to be, when I was growing up, just an extra living room or sitting room on the south side of the house.  Originally it was a sun porch, and it was finished out as a sitting room sometime before I was born, complete with an awkward six-foot-wide opening between it and the real living room.  When we Blakes moved back here to my childhood home three years ago, we knew we would have to use this “bonus room” as a bedroom to accommodate our family, and so had pocket doors installed which enable us to close the awkward opening… and the locks we recently installed enable us to KEEP it closed!

© Tami Blake

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