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!"