Monday, March 11, 2013

"babies don't keep..."

"My wants and needs are so outnumbered it's laughable!" 

i had to repost this, just had too. years ago i stumbled across this tiny blog from a friend of a friend of a sister of a cousin or something like that and i just couldn't stop reading. it is probably creepy that i am even a subscriber because i am pretty sure the blog exists for her family or hopefully for just "putting it out there", if so, then message received.

she has four kids like me and there are a lot of times that i will yell "yes!" while reading through one of her posts. she gets it, she totally gets me. so, her latest post was too good not to share with you because these exact thoughts have really (really!) plagued my heart and mind lately. i have been letting my messy house, lack of blogging motivation, and list of crafts i want to do effect my emotional and spiritual state of being and i am totally ashamed of that. the clutter is making my mind feel cluttered and my kids suffer for it - i am working on finding the balance, this mom of four thing is a work in progress. parenting in general is.

the title alone sparked so much change of focus in my priorities. robin is my last baby and he won't be my baby for long.

"babies don't keep...

i miss feeling on top of things enough that I can take the time to sit down and write a blog. It is so late right now, but I don't want my quiet time to end. It takes so long to get a quiet moment these days...

I am understanding more than ever what a sacrifice it is to be a mother. I'm in it pretty deep with four. Game on. There's no coffee break (or in my case, a Dr. Pepper break). There's rarely even a lunch break! I don't get to clock out. My wants and needs are so outnumbered it's laughable! Sometimes I wonder if I even have wants and needs outside of my role as Mom. I'm in a phase where much of the person I used to be has been put on a shelf. And it's okay--that person will be there someday when I'm not so needed by my kids. I like to think she'll be fun to dust off and re-discover when I have a whole new perspective and set of skills and experiences under my belt. Maybe my husband will find her kind of interesting and fun too. I'm not bitter at the children for needing. After all, they just innocently arrived in this world--totally vulnerable. And at the end of the day I never regret serving them, whereas I usually regret being selfish. It's an experience I am ultimately grateful for. I know it's making me's just super challenging. (Duh. Challenges make us grow.) It's just hard to figure out my balance with each new phase of learning/growing. 

Recently I have had some great insights as a mother that I can only attribute to inspiration and answers to my motherly prayers. Actual specific changes that I have made to how I parent are making a difference. My child that used to throw horrific tantrums every day sits and snuggles me on the stairs every morning while he waits for his ride to school. He finds me when he comes home from practice and gives me a hug. This is a miracle to me. I feel a better connection with all of my children and somehow I even feel more patient. My eyes have been opened as to what they need from me right now. They need my love and attention. It sounds so simple, but how often have I become frustrated with a child because they are keeping me from cleaning or doing laundry? How often have I felt like my children are keeping me from doing my job? And then I laugh at myself because THEY ARE MY JOB. The other stuff is extra. In the old object lesson, they are the big rocks--the main priorities in my life--and everything else can fall into place around them. It doesn't all fit unless they come first. I don't ever want my kids to see me choosing to look at a computer screen or a TV or a phone when I could be looking at them. How soon the tables will turn, and if I never chose them, why would they choose me? But as far as housekeeping goes I am drowning, plain and simple. I can't get on top of it, let alone stay on top of it. And it's hard to find the motivation to work on details when the obvious things are so out of control. (The clutter, my GOSH THE CLUTTER!) I mean, it's impossible, right? But knowing that doesn't cure things. In fact, knowing the battle is futile kind of leaves me a little less motivated to even try to conquer the mess most days. As long as there are Legos and itty bitty Play Mobile parts and Polly Pockets and teeny TINY "Littlest Pet Shop" pieces in my home...It feels a little impossible to beat the clutter.

This messy house thing has been on my mind a lot. I've been so ashamed and embarrassed. I used to be so clean. So neat. So tidy. I took such pride in being a neat-freak. It's hard to let it go. People told me I would have to let go a little with each kid. And I have. But I want to fight letting it go. I want to be the exception--the one who can, in fact, do it all. I want to be the mom who has figured out how to get the children to work like little obedient soldiers with their chore charts and their humble, grateful, willing attitudes. I want the well-oiled family machine that doesn't really exist. (Don't we all?) I want to feel like a good parent and live in a clean house. A clean house doesn't seem like an extravagant wish...

And yet, I keep feeling so strongly that my kids matter more than all that. Why can't both matter? Why can't I do it all? I wish I could. I've been trying so hard. Having a clean and tidy home will never NOT matter to me. That is why I'm not giving up. That is why I will continue to strive for that one or two magical days a week where I might consider inviting someone inside...but I won't cry tears over it. Not over the house. I've decided to put that part of me up on that shelf for a while too. Right now I'm busy with other things..."

source: idle prattle


melissa rohr said...

Love this post. Exactly how I feel.

Carly said...

Wow... said the things I didn't want to admit! So so true.. especially the part on getting upset with my children when I just want to clean.. CLEAN! rather than play? What is wrong with me? Thanks for sharing. .needed to read this.

melissa rohr said...

This post was lovely. I, too, am impatient about getting things done, and am constantly giving myself a talking to, although not as eloquently as this one. I need to breathe it all in, slow it down and try to enjoy hanging out on the floor with drool-covered toys.