Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a little contemplation

This morning was a hard wake-up call.  Yesterday was a beautiful day in every sense of the word--things went smoothly, we spent lots of time out in the breezy sunshine, and we ended the day with happy children, a clean house, and breakfast (homemade yogurt, muesli, strawberries & blackberries) prepped and ready to go in the 'fridge.  I thought I was doing pretty well at this four kids business.

I'm not sure what happened in the night, but I woke up this morning riding the hormone roller coaster.  It felt like Luke napped in five-minute stretches all night, although the clock told me otherwise.  I fell asleep with him in my arms this morning around 8 (Neil had been up for hours) and woke up to Luke simultaneously throwing up on my neck and urinating all over my stomach (thanks to my sleepy haze that forgot to change him at the last feeding).  I stumbled out of bed, saw Isaac's hair that I had buzzed last night after watching him run around all day with hair plastered to his head with sweat, and started crying because he looked so grown up and I wasn't ready for it.  Then I totally botched my beautiful breakfast by blending part of the spinach bag into everyone's green smoothies.  Awesome. 

As I went about the day, I felt a lot better.  Swishing the mop over the kitchen floor at naptime, I realized why:  I had spent the day focused on making my home a more pleasant place for my family.  We read stories for an hour in the morning, baked blueberry muffins together for lunch, picked up, vacuumed, and mopped.  Nothing too huge, but all things that I felt were making our home environment more welcoming and nurturing, which in turn calmed me.

The world spends a lot of time telling us that as women, we are entitled to more worthy pursuits than raising children and creating a home that is lovely, peaceful, and a haven from the world (I'm a member of a tongue-in-cheek Facebook group called "I got an advanced degree to be a stay-at-home mom").  Fortunately, there are plenty of people who also speak out in support of the role of mothering and homemaking, but I was thinking today about how true I've found this to be in my own life: some days I bemoan the endless hamster wheel of tasks that are never finished (laundry, anyone?) but I also find peace and satisfaction in a freshly-mopped kitchen floor, the breezy scent of clean laundry, the fan of picture books surrounding an engrossed child, and the handfuls of dandelions excitedly presented to me in grubby little fingers.  I loved this quote from J.K. Rowling about Molly Weasley:   "I wanted to make the point that just because a woman dedicates her life to her family, doesn’t mean she’s not highly skilled and talented and powerful."

That's what I'm thinking about today. 


Rachel Mae said...
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Rachel Mae said...

Oh, some days how I would long to mop the kitchen floor during nap time! Being able to devote oneself to kids and house is indeed a luxury in some ways. Enjoy!

Meghan said...

Great post. We are discussing the Proclamation on the Family in seminary, and today we watched a video clip showing various ways a mother "nutures"--everything from reading scriptures, to calling out "I'm here" when the kids walk in from school saying "MOM?", to taking a child back to the store to return a stolen pack of gum, to sitting down with a teenage daughter to apologize for a blow-up and talk it out. If God's work and glory is the exaltation of each person, then their mothers have a huge responsibility to give them the best possible chance at mortality.

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