Monday, February 16, 2009

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: THE MOM YOU WANT TO BE

I don't know how old I was when I saw her. I was watching a t.v. commercial, and even though I don't remember the product today (it may have been Kool-aid), I do remember her. You know her, you've seen her as a kid growing up, she's the mom you want to be someday.

In the commercial the kids were all happily playing in the yard, there looked like there were 30-40 of them but I doubt there were that many. Then the mom came out with some kind of a treat, either cookies or Kool-aid or something. She was the cool mom. The fun mom. The mom I wanted to be someday.

Then came our first child, and somewhere around the 5th diaper change or so I realized that mommyhood was a whole lot more work than I thought it would be. Rewarding work but still work. I also realized that I wasn't born with the ability to change a diaper perfectly. Bummer. Thank you Lord for velcro.

I also realized that I couldn't always figure out what the crying meant. Was he hungry? Thirsty? Sleepy? Was his diaper to tight? To loose? Goodness, why don't these kids come with an instruction manual?

Then there comes a moment when they're asking "Mommy, will you play with me? Will you read me a story, or play with my toys with me?" or any of the other things that they ask.

Suddenly everything is kicked up a notch. Whereas before you were trying to balance mommydom with wifedom and trying to keep up with your chores while carrying for your baby or toddler, now the kid notices that he doesn't have your full attention all the time. Can you say guilt?

Suddenly you're trying to balance work (if you work outside the home), meals, dishes, laundry, housecleaning, and raising a happy, healthy child(ren) who follows you around begging for all of your attention, all at the same time. Can you say stress?

Achieving a balance is hard. It's a dance and everyone does it differently. Some may play endless games of Candyland or make playdough creations, while letting the housework and laundry slide. Some may have an immaculate home but have very little time left over to sit down and read a story to a young listener. Some may be eating dinner at 9:00 at night every night because of to much play that day and dinner is a "Oh yeah, I forgot."

Some may fall in the middle. Some days are one big monopoly game, or playing at the park, or swimming, and maybe the house suffers that day. Other days you're busy catching up with the housecleaning so maybe you don't have time to spend hours at the park.

Even though my kid are older I still struggle with balance sometimes. Some days I just drop everything (that I can) and off we go somewhere to have some fun. Other days I just feel like I need to get some things done or there won't be any laundry or food!

Raising children is a precious God-given responsibility. One that we want to take seriously-but not to seriously. Having fun, reading a book, playing Candyland or Monopoly, making up silly stories, going to the park, these are all moments that you can't get back, so go for it.

But having a peaceful orderly home is important to. A home that is chaotic can be very stressful for the grownup to live and function in, not to mention the kids. Finding that balance of fun and function isn't easy, but it's possible. How are you finding it today? Let the rest of us know how you are "Making Your Home Sing!"

19 comments:

  1. Your post was especially timely today, as my second baby has turned 13 and I've been reflecting on the past 13 years...the ups and the downs. The word that seems to fill my soul and make sense of all these changes is: mindful. I think the way to create the balance in our lives is to be mindful (or deliberate) as we live our lives, recognizing that compromise will always be necessary, but that deliberate compromise is far different than having things fall through the cracks due to lack of awareness or, might I say, negligence on our part. It is the conscious effort we take to live our lives that is reflected in the quality of its entirety.

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  2. Erin, beautifully put! The balance is in the active decision that you make to let some things go in order to do the needful things that moment. Sometimes it's laundry, sometimes it's playtime!

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  3. About the time I figure out how to get balance in my home instead of chaos...my kids (or maybe it's me!) enter another season of life and I've got to start all over again!!!
    With two very active teenagers who love spreading those wings and trying to fly farther than I'd like right now, I find balance is a moment by moment thing. What works today, may very well not work tomorrow.
    I find that if I begin my day in prayer and spending time with God, then I'm able to better hear Him throughout the day and the day just goes smoother.
    Love & prayers,
    Deb

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  4. Since your post tied into what I've been thinking about, I went ahead a blogged my thoughts and linked to your post here: http://nagle5.blogspot.com/2009/02/being-mindful.html

    Now I must go put a cake in the oven!

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  5. Your post was timely for me today, too... I spent a lot of time last night thinking on these very things. Isn't it interesting how all of us Moms are stumbling around in this world of Momhood? Even those who seem to have it all together often feel that they're coming up short somehow. I"m learning to trust God to mold me into the parent HE wants me to become. Thank you for your words.

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  6. Amen, Deb. Just as our kids are growing our home is growing and adapting along with them. There are different seasons of life and things change fast. Thank the Lord that He never changes!

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  7. Rina, being a parent is like walking into an unknown country without a map and you don't speak the language. But you learn the language and the directions as you go. I too am so thankful that I can trust the Lord to guide and shape me.

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  8. seems like you always post what I am thinking of! thanks
    I wish kids came with manuals! lol

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  9. Tootsie: You're "back!" Wooooohoo!

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  10. Yeah, I was hoping you could tell me...I have to have an orderly house, and sometimes that sucks the fun out of our day...help with that please. Keep in mind I have self diagnosed OCD...work with me please:)

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  11. Less is more. That's our routine. With four children, we guard our times like sentry's at the castle gate!

    It's hard to have a constantly peaceful home, but we work hard at it. We also got rid of our television. It has been wonderful.

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  12. Yeah, I posted about this a little on Friday. Some days I just have to go with whatever God is leading me to do that day and give up my to-do list :)

    Balance can be so tough!!

    Amen, Sister!

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  13. Great thoughts...all so true. I struggle to find that balance almost daily. It all just never does seem to get done.

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  14. It is hard to balance. I haven't found the happy medium. I am between my house and my parent's home a lot during the week. I am torn between a couple of homes and a toddler wanting my attention. TOO often, I let the Noggin channel babysit my little one while I try to get something productive done around here.

    Where is the balance? I don't know. I think the fly lady needs to visit me. lol

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  15. So glad to hear that my inability to find that elusive balance isn't due to having too many kids! I guess all of us mothers struggle with it.

    Thanks for stopping by my place!

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  16. This is definitely I have been thinking about. I actually posted about it on my Family Friendship post just yesterday. I so many times feel pulled in different directions and don't focus my attention to my children or dh when they are talking. Thank you for the post!

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  17. so love this! I really like the vibe here. I am kind of in a blog frenzy and have only been posting to my blog. But, I will have to remember to come back.

    I had to pick up extra hours for work because hubz lost his job. But, I really like it here.

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  18. I definitely struggle with this. Then I struggle with feeling guilty about it. I have such a hard time finding a balance. Thanks for being an encouragement in the struggle.

    Take care my friend! I hope your mother is doing well!

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