Sunday, October 5, 2008

Permission.

Parenting magazine recently published an article called "Moms' Dirty Little Secrets." It basically blows wide open some of the darkest secrets of motherhood: that it's possible to have a favorite child, that a mother might be disappointed with the way her child is turning out, and that raising kids gets physically easier but more mentally exhausting as they get older.

But here's the one I could really identify with:

Taking care of kids actually isn't that hard.
But it can make everything else in life nearly impossible.
Can I manage the tasks that they bring to me every single moment of every blessed day? Sure. Who can't tie shoes and wipe noses and pack diaper bags and read bedtime stories?
Certainly, I can.
But can I also stay on top of the coupons, manage the checkbook, water the plants, fold the laundry, update the scrapbooks, write the thank you notes, and then find time to do a single thing that I want to do??
Not usually.
And then I got to this paragraph, from a mom who "blogs in her spare time," of all things:
"I used to get frustrated. Then I realized I absolutely had to
compartmentalize my time. So if your kid is napping, or mesmerized by a DVD,
seize the moment agressively. Whenever you can, don't waste valuable solo time
on chores or errands. In my house, naps and the post-bedtime hours are
chore-free zones: I write, read, or just catch up on emails."
Well, thank you very much, you anonymous mother with deep insight into my soul. This paragraph may as well have been God-breathed. A heavenly chorus played in my head, and an angelic beam of light shone upon the page.
By all means, I will do just that. The kids are sleeping or otherwise engaged? Then this moment could be mine. All mine. I can choose to do the ironing or make my grocery list, or I could do those later. I could claim their naptimes for ME, for crying out loud. (I have already done this on occasion, but I'm usually distracted by the many should-do's rather than the want-to's.)
And after all, this comes from Parenting magazine. Can I ask for a greater source on all things parenting and time management? I think not.

3 comments:

Kerri W. said...

Tricia,

I had a similar insight this week, which was actually quite humbling. Driving home and considering the chaotic state of the environment that I would find there, I felt the old familiar sense of failure creeping over me. I'm attributing the subsequent thought to the Holy Spirit, which was, in essence: "Suppose you went home and finished everything on your to-do list, put bread in the oven, cooked the world's best dinner and cleaned out the refrigerator? Would that really make you any less in need of My grace?"
Well, gee, when you put it that way....
Now I realize that there is a level of sheer functionality that comes with doing one's chores, but as far as its connection with my self-worth? Huh. Not so much, anymore. Permission, indeed. Blessings to you on doing the things that fill you up as well as those that are necessarily draining.

Kerri

Tricia said...

Wow, Kerri. Just what I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing your great insights... in response, I am eating cupcakes and watching Survivor, while my laundry goes unfolded.

Sweet freedom.

Tricia said...

Wow, Kerri. Just what I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing your great insights... in response, I am eating cupcakes and watching Survivor, while my laundry goes unfolded.

Sweet freedom.