When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Learning, Enduring and Becoming A Patient SAHM

So, one of the few things a stay at home mom does that is "measurable" is keep house. A measure isn't really necessary, but for my personality, I just want to be able to look around and SEE something I did. Kids don't really work that way...Sometimes I can smell that they are clean after a bath or observe that they have learned something I taught them, but it's not the same. No one ever really looks at my kids and says, oh Tara must have done X Y and Z today.

In my previous life, everything I did was measurable, by praise from superiors, bonuses, salary, grades on tests, etc. This life is very different and I think about that a lot. I like to have something to show for my day. Parenting requires a selflessness I'm not sure I will ever possess though I am learing every day to sacrifice more of myself and actually enjoy this. I am not quite there yet.

Lately, in my enlarged state (only one more month!!!), I haven't been keeping up with housework and it has really been bumming me out...so much so that last night after husband's well-meaning comment, I sat in the garage (for surely no one would look for me there) and cried. Why did I cry exactly? The well-meaning comment indicated something along the lines that he was glad we had gotten to a point where we were "OK" with a lower standard of cleanliness in the house--this after he spent some time at a neighbor's "spotless home" (did I mention she has two children under four as well?). He couldn't have known I have spent countless hours this month scouring books, magazines, and blogs for helpful hints on keeping a home organized with little kids, or that I had just that day made a cleaning chart (AGAIN) to help keep me on track with laundry, meals, and household cleaning. He couldn't have known because I don't like to tell him when I am feeling unworthy or subpar--I just reasearch and fix it.

Only, this time, I have been researching and trying to fix it for a loooong time...without much improvement.

Here are some of the selfish thoughts I had while I was crying:

1. I have been trying to figure out this balance of cleaning/household management/parenting/playing/teaching/menu planning/ministry/time for "self"/time for God as a stay home mom for over three years. I am NEVER gonna figure this out;

2. I am hopelessly lazy and undisciplined and will never be able to keep house like my friends;

3. How in the world am I gonna ever get better at this with THREE little babies running around the house? I just got used to two!

4. Why am I the only one who feels like this?

So, after my little pity party, I realized that most of these questions are not all together rational and that I am nine months pregnant and probably a little hormonal and that I need to cut myself a little slack. But I also got some great perspective as I scoured the kitchen til 11 PM.

Kids make messes. I can help them learn to clean them up, but I can't prevent them. If I did prevent them, I would not be a very good parent and my kids would be terrified of playing and enjoying themselves. I don't want that. But, I also don't Wyatt to someday tell his wife what a horrible housekeeper his mom was...so I am looking for balance.

I am no longer crying about it. Scott let me sleep in this morning (until 7:45!!!) and I got a nap...and it's cooler outside. But I still want the house to be clean, and I'm still gonna work on getting better at balance...and realize that these issues in the scheme of "troubles" are pretty minor. We have our health, a house, our family and friends, financial stability. This is when the reader should say, "Quit your moanin' and get on with it!"

Thanks for reading.

Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. {29} He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. {30} Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, {31} But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.


Dani said...

I've been right there with ya, sister! I'm glad you got a good perspective about life in that last paragraph.

You are a beautiful (yes, very beautiful- even at 9 months pregnant!!!), smart, loving, kind and giving woman. I am so grateful to have you as my friend!!! And if you ever get down the mommy/housekeeper/menu planner/wife/teacher/etc..., please write a book about it. I'm pretty sure you'd be the first one ever!!!
So until then, keep those nagging thoughts from the enemy at bay, quote God's word, and keep loving on God, your kids, hubby and yourself! And remember, I'm a phone call away if you'd like a babysitter!

Janelle said...

Tara, you are not alone. I desire daily that my house was cleaner and more organized... it used to be before Maddy. When the kids get to be about Reilly's age they'll be able to help out tons! Right now I am just trying to enjoy the mess that my baby and my husband makes... it's so hard! I don't have that kind of personality either. If you ever need a listening ear or even need a babysitter for an hour of alone time, call me... I am serious! Much love! Janelle

Janelle said...

Hi Tara,
I totally understand! If you ever need a babysitter for even an hour of alone, relaxing time, before the new baby, call me... I am serious! I will come to you or whatever you'd like.
Love ya,

American Mom said...

I'm just up the street - my kids are always eager for a play date!!

Glad to know that someone else is feeling the way I do!!!

Lynette said...

Tara, I am so with you on the balance issue, I think that is the hardest part of being a SAHMommy. It is a challenge and the enemy knows it, so he uses the issue to get to us. You are a wonderful mommy and homemaker, if you need an hour or two to yourself, remember that I live very close to you!
Oh and I had a crying fest just like yours day before yesterday! It must be the pregnancy hormones!!!

chic Dresses said...

The article is very good, I like it very much.
I will keep your new article.