Thursday, November 22, 2012

Small is okay

As I was busy tidying the house yesterday, getting exasperated at the fact that I would clean an area, only to come back two minutes later to find that tiny people had made yet another mess...  I thought about how small my life is.

My world is quite insulated at the moment. The bigger picture is kind of hazy. I find I am pouring all my time, and my energy, into so many things that feel very, very unimportant in the grand scheme of things. And it feels like so much of what I do just doesn't last. Cooking, cleaning, cuddling, washing, disciplining, entertaining, teaching... then go to bed and re-do it all again tomorrow.

My life is very small. Very insulated.

I get why that can be a bad thing. I don't think it's a good idea to get too caught up in housework, or other unimportant things. I sometimes question what exactly it is I do. Am I just wife and a mother? And why is that a problem... why the just? I think it's so easy to judge myself by society's standards. And so I continue to expect more from myself. If I am a stay at home Mum, I can't possibly just look after my family and my house. Surely I should do more! I should be working part time, or be on all sorts of committee's, or do something crafty, or be fundraising to feed the homeless, or something! Surely I am a useless drain on society unless I am doing more than being a stay-at-home-mum?

But I have this theory, that if more people in the world focused on their own little patch of the earth, making it better, taking care of the people they are closest to.... the world would be a much nicer place to live in.

And so right now, if all I can manage is to care for my family, a few chosen friends and the day-to-day running of my household.... that's okay. I'm not trying to put down the people who do lots of extra stuff. I know that I could stand to be more community minded, and I'm aware that it is possible to become too insulated and ignorant of the world and it's problems. There are people who can do more than I can. I really believe that balance is the key.

But at the same time, I'm not willing to sacrifice the needs of myself and my family for the 'greater good' (whatever that is?). I put a lot of work into my relationships, and into trying to meet the
needs of the people I love. Because I think it's important. For example I think if more spouses were more emotionally available, the divorce rate, and therefore the amount of broken families in this world, would be significantly lower. I don't subscribe to the idea that any idiot can be a mother. You only need to go have a chat to somebody working within the Department of Child Safety to see that.

I can't change the world. Really, I'm too small. I can't control other people, and make peace in the middle east. And I can't stop bad stuff from happening to good people. But I can pray, and be aware. And I can control me. My attitude, the way I respond when other people hurt me. I can work hard to make sure that people who have direct contact with me, (hopefully) will come away richer because of it. So much of the time, I can't do anything about other people's behaviour, or beliefs. But I can take care of my own. And I can do the best I can, even if it's in a very small way.


  1. What a great perspective to have. I wonder why it is that we are supposed to always strive for more when really we all have more than enough to concentrate on. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses lovely

  2. The urge to 'do more' is something I struggle with. I've had to ask myself WHO am I doing more for? Is it for my own glory, or is it because my heart in the right place? That said, I think the impact and influence we have on those around us - doing life together and building relationships - really matters.

  3. Great post Robyn. I agree with Deb that questioning motives is so important. Doing more can be healthy as long as out of doing something God asks us to as opposed to trying to seek external validation.

  4. Am with you that if everyone concentrated on their own 'small world' we would make for a much happier community.

  5. I know a couple who are going through a tough time at the moment because the husband's so focused on his volunteer work with the church and the wife is feeling neglected and is lacking support with looking after the kids.
    I don't think there's any point helping others if we can't get our own shizz together.

  6. Nice post. I think you're right - get it right at home and with family first. When that's together, step outside and see what else you can do.


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