I think this is my longest blogging break ever. I have SO missed my blog friends (and the outlet of writing about life) so I thought I'd say hello with a little post here.
A friend recently (okay so it was weeks ago, but hey, I'm trying!) emailed and asked me this question:
Did you ever, in all your years of being an at home mom, just get tired of the same thing day in and day out? If so, what did you do to overcome that feeling?In a word, YES.
There were The Dark Years.
Followed (quite quickly, I might add) by The Veteran Mom Years.
Right now I find myself somewhere between The Carpool Years and The Constantly
The child-rearing years are just a very busy time of life, especially when you are in the thick of the diapers and laundry and meals and playdoh and clutter, when it is easy to think there will never, ever be an end to them. (Yes, I still remember!). Obviously (looking at my pitiful blog), there is not always time or energy for doing things the way you "think" they should be done, or even for getting a good night's sleep, for that matter. The needs are incessant, and the cries for "Mommy" are relentless.
It's easy to find yourself going through the motions, streamlining constantly for efficiency of time, space, and even words. There have been days - weeks! months! - where I've felt like a machine ("No, go back out of the room. Come back when you can say that without whining," is the current repetitive phrase coming from my lips.).
It's easy to lose perspective.
There are a few things I do when I feel myself slipping into machine-gun-style parenting, rat-a-tat-tatting out orders and sensing that the kids God has given me have become more of a bother than a blessing, and that these years something to be gotten through rather than enjoyed:
1. Look at pictures and read journals. There is nothing that gets me to realize how fleeting childhood is than when I see pictures of my kids when they were little. I smile when I think of this moment in time, which seems like yesterday because it was around the time I first started blogging (tell me where almost four years went?): Write down your thoughts about this stage of life so you can remember and be thankful years down the road.
2. Do something unrelated to children and housekeeping. Gardening and updating our fixer-upper house are two outlets that give me satisfaction apart from having the dishes done and the laundry put away, since they never are, anyway. Here is what Ruthie-6 has to say about it:(Translation: My mom works in the garden. She works and works and works.)
But then the next page says this:
(Translation: My mom's flowers are pretty and blooming.)
Maybe your thing is scrapbooking (bless you) or coordinating the Ladies' Luncheon at church. Projects that have a beginning and an end give me something to look forward to, and make me appreciate a little monotony when things settle back down.
3. Talk to people farther down the path. Or even on another one. My observation is that most of us moms tend to find other moms with kids the same ages (usually the age of the oldest, anyway), and we never venture much out of this comfort zone. Why is this? Regardless of the life stage of our friends, some regular, social, adult interaction is important. Kids are watching our friendships - are we cultivating ours as we tell them to cultivate theirs?
Anyway, I digress. I will never forget a conversation I had with my mom once. I was an exhausted young mother, drowning in the incessance of the job, (is that a word, even?). Somewhere in the middle of my dronings about the difficulty I was facing, she got quiet and said, "When I think about the years with you kids at home [there were four of us], it's almost like it was all a dream."
Now that I am but two years away from my first child leaving home I am beginning to understand what she meant.
These years are frustrating, tiring, monotonous, tedious. I have never been so angry, so bewildered, so entirely consumed with discouragement, fear, or doubt.
And yet...they are filled with a kind of wonder and happiness and hope and the breathtaking exhilaration of looking up one day and realizing that that amorphous blip on the sonogram suddenly resembles a mature young man or woman (or, depending on where you are, maybe they are just getting, say, potty trained). And that the circle of life is about to come around and give you whiplash.
It all defies logic, of course. But then again I suppose logic never raised a baby or got me out of any rut.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.So now it's your turn: What do you do to get out of the "mom" rut?
1 Corinthians 2:4-5