Saturday, February 27, 2010

If I had my child to raise all over again I'd build self-esteem first and a house later. I'd finger paint more and point the finger less. I would do less correcting and more connecting. I'd take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes. I'd take more hikes and fly more kites. I'd stop playing serious and seriously play. I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars. I'd do more hugging and less tugging. Diane Loomans
This was posted on a friend's facebook status yesterday. And I have to admit, my first thought was, "Yeah, right." I find that quite often this advice from those who have passed through the young years of motherhood frustrates rather than encourages me. Here's why. Here in the midst of the trenches...the days and hours feel LONG despite being told a THOUSAND times by well meaning women that, "it flies by." I mean, I KNOW how quickly it is passing in reality. My baby is a teenager and I swear it feels like a blink. But back in the day when he was my only baby and I was walking the floor with him and crying because neither he nor I were getting any sleep, I did not need the, "Enjoy this, it flies by" speech. I needed the, "Can I come help you today?" speech. And when I read the poem above I find myself cynically saying I KNOW I should spend more time enjoying life but WHO will do the laundry, or school the kids, or clean the messes, or give baths, or run errands, or pay the I need to go on? I mean, I need to stop and smell the roses but the stench coming from the bathroom seems to pervade my senses instead!
I guess what I am saying falls into two categories. ONE: I DO need to heed this advice. I gave it some real thinking yesterday. Even though it chokes me to hear it now...I know that one day the house will be quiet and will stay clean. Some day I will go back to doing laundry once or twice a week. Some day there will be no handprints on the door and no toys scattered everywhere. And I WILL say, "I miss it, where did the days go?" Maybe that is what makes me the craziest. I know they are RIGHT! I will miss it. I will long to have little arms squeeze my neck. Or a little four year old who walks through the room on his way to somewhere else and says, "I love you mom" for no reason other than he does! I don't think I will miss the messes. I gotta be honest. I know the messes represent people and life...but I think I will miss the people...not the messes. And with so many children...I expect to have MANY messes from little grandchildren. SO after contemplating it at length yesterday I realized it would take a concerted effort for me to put down my work and enjoy life more. I would need to pass by a mess and a pile of laundry and say..."Not I am playing with my kids." You see, I am a worker. I enjoy a clean home. I NEED order. But, I need to enjoy my life. I need to laugh. I need to stay in my jammies all day. I need to run outside and play on the trampoline. I need to pack a picnic and take my kids out of here. Order is over rated and a tool satan uses to keep me miserable. SO, let me heed the advice.
But secondly, when I get this type of knowing advice from a seasoned mom what I really want to say is this...HELP ME! Don't tell me how I will miss it. Remember with me how hard it is. Remember with me how trying the days are. And though you may know more than me and maybe you are really doesn't minister much to me when I am in the trenches. I am hoping that when I have daughters in laws someday that I can say to them, "How can I help?" so that I can ease their days. Some day they WILL miss it but on that day...they just need a break.
But for today....with a house FULL of children and messes...I am going to PLAY! And LAUGH! And find my joy again! Because, some day...I will wish I did! And I do not like regret!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Some days you want to kick the cat...and today is one of them

Sometimes when you write a blog it is so terribly easy and tempting to make everything in your life seem so good, so wise, so godly. It happens quite innocently actually. You only feel like blogging when life is good. OR maybe you feel like blogging when life stinks royally but you refrain so as not to come off Which ain't all that bad of a thing...not wanting to be sinful and all. :) But then there are days where:

  • the stomach flu has visited your family for the second time in three weeks. And the second time it hit twice as hard and dirtied twice as many sheets.
  • and when said stomach flu came through the second time and your carelessly placed bottle of Clorox Clean-up...yeah, the stuff with the real bleach in it- gets picked up by your two year old. And that two year old takes it and sprays the entire bathroom vanity and mirror and his clothes with it in the process. And then takes it in his bedroom and sprays his dresser with it....which happens to have a drawer cracked open and he ruins at least 4 articles of clothing. And to add insult to injury....your seven year old WATCHED it all unfold.
  • your husband has been gone for five days and you barely slept at night thanks to the aforementioned stomach flu and the fact that you don't feel safe in your own home when he is gone.
  • homeschooling your children makes you crazy. Being responsible for yet one more aspect of their health and well being makes you want to curl up in the fetal position and cry.
  • you can hear all of your children sniffling, signaling a round of colds coming to the family.
  • you can barely afford to put gas in your van or buy the groceries you need after you pay the bills...let alone pay a sitter or go out on a date so that you can maintain some form of sanity and relationship with your husband.
  • the stomach flu made it so you can't go to your financial class so that you can have enough money to pay your bills AND buy groceries and gas.
  • you have been away with your husband overnight once in five years and that reality alone makes you want to run away.
  • you have lived in a place for five years and still are visiting churches. And now when you think of Sunday you get a giant knot in your stomach instead of that joy you used to have.
  • doing the same drudgery seems like it just might kill you.
  • you think, "this is NOT the life I signed up for."
  • you put your kids to bed and feel you F. You yelled, you pouted, you slammed acted...sinful.
  • you failed at your diet AGAIN.
  • and you wake up the next day...and there it all is...again.

SO, you see....some days...STINK. Some WEEKS stink. And I could end this blog with the up know, the one where spirituality shows up and reminds you how you will miss this someday (BLEH...I will NOT miss some of this) or how God is so good or how blessed you are to have such a great family. But, some want to kick the cat. And that's how today feels.