That was pretty much what I said to my kids about 8 years ago. The two that I had living at home were both teenagers and I had reached the end of my tether. I was exhausted doing shift work, arguing with God about starting up CSC, dealing with two kids who were just being normal teenagers and feeling like I was going to snap.
Well, I did!!
I actually wrote my 2 kids a letter that was basically along the lines of...I'm fed up with you guys never doing anything, never helping out, never thinking of anyone except yourselves, expecting me to do absolutely everything..pretty much totally cracking it at my kids!!
I didn't keep the letter and I'm so glad I didn't. If I had it would break my heart now.
I decided after writing the letter that I was going to do absolutely nothing for them. I was so exhausted that I couldn't see beyond myself...sounds like I was behaving just like everyone else in the house!!
I actually kept up with this behavior for 1 whole month!! I'm so ashamed to admit that, but I did.
Eventually, someone saw reason...but no it wasn't me. It was my 17 year old, and thank goodness she did. She taught me a massive lesson about relationships that still to this day I remember.
Now, discussions with my 17 year old were not quiet gentle conversations with kisses, cuddles and gentle words. They were hot, loud, passionate and because God blessed me with a loud voice I'm sure my neighbors heard me. Again not one of my shining moments.
But I can still remember the conversation, the impact it had on me and how much it changed my thinking and my actions.
In all the heat and passion that was exchanged that day she made me realise that relationships are so much more important than clean floors. Relationships are more important than getting the dishes done. Relationships are more important than getting the bed made or the washing up to date. This realisation actually hit me for the first time in over 20 years of being a parent - better late than never!
That day of our not so quiet conversation, I pulled my head out of you know what, and hugged and kissed my kids just coz they are my kids and I love them to bits. I loved them the entire time I was just so exhausted that I couldn't see reason.
Now on my part, this was not an overnight transformation, but over the next couple of weeks I learned to let the weight of having a clean house fall off me. We didn't start living in utter filth but I didn't care if the breakfast dishes were still in the sink when I got home from work at night. I didn't care if the floor didn't get moped every single week and if there was a bit of fluff or sand on the tiles...pfft. I didn't care if the washing was spilling over the basket and all over the floor. What I did care about was loving my kids, hugging my kids, telling them I love them, tell them I'm proud of them...with a dirty floor and messy lounge.
That lesson has stayed with me even until today. Matthew 6:19 - 21 says; do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do no break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Moths and rust cannot touch my relationship with my kids, and they will outlast any physical thing I could own on this earth.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that for me to get to heaven I have to have a clean house, and I'm so grateful to my beautiful daughter for bringing me to reason with all the passion and heat that we had that day.