Strangely enough, the aspects of being a stay-at-home mom that drive me the most batty are not the "Mom" parts. It's the "home" parts that wear me out! More often than not, when I find myself the most frazzled or in the grumpiest funk it's not because the kids are coo-coo (although that has been know to happen), but it's because I'm filling my role as mom ...
and social planner
and bug exterminator
and game show host
and computer programmer
and ... and ... and ...
you get the point.
If I could just be Mom, that would be awesome!
I could ...
... read a book with my kids - as sloooooowly as they wanted to. Looking at each and every little doodle on every page.
... sit at the table and eat lunch with my littlest - as she breaks each and every pretzel into twelve pieces and nibbles on each one with a sip of milk in between.
... perch on the front step with my girls and blow bubbles. Hundreds and thousands of bubbles until I run out of air.
... stretch out on the floor for a cut-throat game of UNO. And the winner would be the best of five games ... or maybe seven.
... snuggle on the couch amongst the pile of arms and legs to giggle through an episode (or two, or three ...) of Phineas and Ferb. Listen to my kids laugh and sing and mimic their favorite lines.
... flop on the futon with my boy and listen to his detailed recount of the most recent Lego Star Wars battle (complete with sound-effects and slow-motion instant replay). And actually follow along with what he's saying.
... impress my girls with my incredible ability to stay in the lines while coloring. We have a wide variety of coloring books to choose from: Disney Princess, Strawberry Shortcake, Zhu-Zhu Pets and more!
... relax with letting my kids be my first priority and not cringe at the thought of not crossing anything off my To-Do list. Productivity is not to be confused with purpose!
... just be.
I know veteran moms are telling me the truth when they say that these years with my young children are fleeting. I know in my heart that the laundry and dishes and weeds will still be there after I take time to play with my kids. I know for a fact that my kids can tell the difference between when I'm distracted and focused, absent and present, disinterested and interested. I know that God has called me to be a mom to my kids. I know that I love being a mom.
But what do I do with the other demands of my time?
I would love to have a pat answer here, but I'm not sure that there is perfect equation for making all these roles balance out. And what about the evil tyranny of the urgent? Often the "have to's" crowd out the "want to's". I guess it comes down to simply making a choice.
A choice to be intentional.
I will make a choice to take the time to organize my life ... and make sure to schedule play time.
I will make a choice to say "no" to projects and engagements that just keep us busy ... and invest our time in the activities that truly matter.
I will make a choice to say "yes" to my kids when they invite me to join them ... and truly be present in their presence.
I will make a choice to not fill up any available moments with pointless busy-ness ... which leads me to my next choice.
I will make a choice to limit the aspects of my life that are time-drainers ... nothing sucks up time like dinking around the computer.
I will make a choice to ask God each day, "What do YOU have on my to-do list?" ... and then stick to His plan.
I will make a choice to embrace God's plan for my day ... and ask Him to show me the sacredness of each task, no matter how mundane.
I will make a choice to slow down ... breathe deeply ... stop moving.
I will make a choice to come back to this list and remind myself of the need to make a conscience choice. Tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.
What do you think? How do you balance the many hats that you wear?
What simple choices can you make to find more peace in the role God has given you?