Not Just Getting Through the Day

2

September 23, 2012 by Julia

As a stay-at-home mom, it’s hard to feel that I have anything to show for my day. There are few actual accomplishments – just the prevention of disaster, filth, and starvation. If the house and children are in basically the same shape that we began in, it counts as a successful day…I suppose.

But thinking about life in those terms is not exactly inspiring. Especially when you have to get up the next morning and do the same exact things: toast bagel, unload dishwasher, make coffee, change diaper, and on, and on, and on. Sometimes as I wash the highchair tray at night for the millionth time, I think my soul is going to shrivel up into an angry, dehydrated ball. Usually after an hour of time to myself, when the kids are in bed, I feel healed, like I can breathe again. But that is just at the end of my day.

Yes, we all need that alone time, the time to be selfish. And some days, all you can do is survive until you are allowed to crash on the couch with a glass of wine and an episode of The Bachelor or Parenthood on the DVR.

But I don’t want to spend the whole day looking forward to those moments after the kids’ bedtime, because that is only a small part of my life. I want to find a way to be present for the tough everyday activities, the hours of preparing food and cleaning it up, the hard work of building character with the word ‘no,’ the constant watchfulness and lack of personal space and affection and yelling and putting off of my own needs.

Instead of trying to escape the hard parts, I need to dive deeper into the parts that I most dread or fear. If I look at that stuff with openness, I often discover that it is not so terrible. It may not produce joy, but at least there is a release of tension that leaves me open to joy.

Each troublesome moment of my life is an opportunity, a challenge meant for me. And rising to meet that challenge is way better than just muddling through it. It’s a chance to use my natural interest in the way people work, to use my brain and my heart to figure out if my love is somehow lacking – for myself, or the people around me. Or it might mean I just need to use good old problem-solving skills.

Either way, there is more to this stay-at-home mom business than just keeping the house clean and the kids fed – and that business is interesting. I have to use every inner resource I own, at times. That IS inspiring, not to mention fulfilling. My brain is not wasting away here. And when I take the time to look at the beauty in all this work, my heart is full.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Not Just Getting Through the Day

  1. I read about a book recently called “Why have Kids” by Jessica Valenti. I have not read it, but I really admire her work and I bet the book is pretty good. Just the stuff I read from the “look inside” thingie on Amazon looked cool. It is about “how the ideal of american parenting does not match the reality of our lives, and how that incompatiability is hurting parents and children.” Basically, it is about her experience as a new mom, and how new moms are told “OMG having a baby will totally complete you” and then when it doesnt, a new mom feels bad about herself. Anyway sounds like you might enjoy it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Julia

Mama-isms...and so much more!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 496 other followers

Archives

Radical Discipleship

A Joint Project of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries and Word & World

Read Diverse Books

Let's Read The World

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Angela Barnett

Writer. Wig Wearer. Shame Buster.

Things We Like

a project by jessica gross

LaMonte M. Fowler

an indie author writing to stay sane

Kelsey L. Munger

writer. storyteller.

thecolorlilac.wordpress.com/

Social Justice | Pop Culture | Black Girl Magic

One Awkward Year

wow, this is awkward . . .

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Joy, Lovely Joy

Writing through mothering

Fucking Awesome Bulimics I Know

Kicking that pimp called Shame in the shins.

Fit and Feminist

Because it takes strong women to smash the patriarchy.

An Honest Mom

From the hip on mindfulness, parenting, feminism and homesteading.

PRONOIA BLOG

small shares from Pronoia Coaching

James Gillingham - Long Arm Films

Thinking thoughts and making films

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

tressiemc

some of us are brave

Music for Deckchairs

"In shadowy, silent distance grew the iceberg too": universities, technology, work and life

my name is elizabeth

stories about race, culture, and identity

Priss & Vinegar

Lawyer by trade. Writer at heart. Housewife by accident.

Angela Tucker

Blogger / Speaker / Educator

Candice Czubernat

A leading voice in the LGBTQ and Christian dialogue

Song of the Lark

Music, melodies, mutterings

Adventures of a Teacher Nerdfighter

Building a fifth grade classroom community around enthusiasm, creativity, and awesome.

%d bloggers like this: