Some days it can be very hard to get going when you are a Stay-at-home-Mum. There is no work to get to, or clock to watch. There's no cash incentive, or a boss to give you praise or criticism. You can do a great job or a dodgy job, and at times it feels like no-one cares either way.
On days like today, when I've ignored the dishes the night before, when the dirty clothes basket is overflowing and the kids are sick.... it would be easier to just escape and pretend it all doesn't exist.
But I am working on being present.
This morning, I was encouraged. I felt like I was doing the right thing. Pleasing God. And it helped.
Instead of switching the TV on and plonking the kids in front of it while I put myself into autopilot and did what absolutely had to be done... I was Mum. And I managed to be Mum while I did my chores. I let a little girl 'help' me with the dishes. I made the bed and played peek-a-boo with Charlie and the sheets. We hung out washing and played outside.
I wasn't just surviving.
It was hard. It required strength and discipline. But it was good. Maybe you don't understand what I am talking about. Maybe you are a great, engaged parent who manages to look after your children and clean at the same time with ease. But I am am coming out of a fog that as been consuming me for a while.
Today the fog lifted.
I think it's easy to think about 'important God stuff' only as it applies to the big issues in life. Big moral dilemmas. But how we act, what we do all of the time... it matters so much too. I think I worship and honor God, when I enjoy my life.... when I don't complain..... when I work on reducing my stress levels. The way we behave with the little dictates how we will respond when the big comes.
At the moment, mothering and housework- they are my job.
God gave me these children to care for and to love. They need me to be their Mum. And right now, in our family, Shane goes to work and earns our income. It's up to me to take care of our children and our house. I know many people say 'Oh, just ignore the housework.' I understand that, and at times I do. Housework will always be there. But, ignoring the bad stuff is only a coping mechanism. It won't make it go away. Eventually someone is going to have to deal with it. And that someone is me.
Sure, Shane can help me out around the house,and sometimes he is wonderful and he does. But he already works, and this is my job. My children, and my husband... they deserve to live in a lovely clean house. I value my family and myself enough that I want us to live in a nice environment. Now we all have different versions of clean. My clean is not my mother's clean, and someone else's version of clean would not be mine. But for me, having a clean house is important. It helps me to function well.
The older my children get, the more I see that they are tiny sponges. They take in everything they see me do, they soak it all in..... and then my behaviour is reflected in theirs. I want my children to take care of themselves. I want them to learn how to be disciplined, to do things they don't want to do simply because those things need doing.
And it starts with me.