What to do, What to do

There’s a blogging block going on over here. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been writing, in my secret writing folder that has no chance of accidentally being published. Don’t you just want to get your eyes on it? It’d bore you to death, I assure you.

My days have been weird. This new stage of life has hit, and hit hard–the stage where all three of my kids are in school and it’s just me and the infant toddler hooligan puppy. It’s like my life has both fast forward and rewound at the same exact time, and I’m sorry to say, I don’t do change well.

I get all introspective and weird, and then it takes me a million years to get normal everyday tasks done when no one is around except for a dog to trip on. My ankles and wrists are all marked up from his teething shenanigans, and my room is enormously dusty and Luke’s laundry needs to be taken to the mat.

I get stuff done, but it’s like I have no idea what to prioritize except for feeding my sourdough starter, and even that has been shifty. I feel like a good mom for baking bread regularly these days, and then I look at Julia’s eczema and feel responsible for not knowing how to fix it and assuming it’s somehow my fault and I’m the only mom who doesn’t know what to do here.

Oh gosh, to even write this nonsense feels like nonsense. Just know that after having at least one child around for 12 years almost non-stop, life without kids underfoot is unsettling. It’s like walking into the store without a purse and having no idea what to do with your hands. Am I right?

Please just tell me it won’t take another 12 years for me to figure this all out. I’m hoping for another  month maybe? The thing is, my life is both a mix of routine and chaos. We have a morning routine down pat, and for the most part our evenings are routine, but then in the middle every week is different. Some weeks are full of volunteering, some planning, some cooking, some coffee-ing, and every day looks a little different. And while I do like variety, it also challenges me in the behind the scenes spaces.

How productive do I need to be when no one is around? Does everything housewify need to be finished before the kids start getting home? Should my house look cleaner since supposedly I have nothing else to do and no source of income? If I pursue a “hobby,” i.e. something I enjoy but doesn’t make any money, does everything else in my house need to be done before I squeeze in time for that?

Should my time be full of service to others outside my family? Is it okay for me to do something that only benefits me or my sense of inspiration and motivation? And what if I do and then dinner doesn’t get made, is that okay too? If I’ve carved out time in a day to perhaps write or something, is it okay to say no to something else that comes up even though it’s not like it’s my job or anything? (if you have a “job” you can just say, “Sorry, I have to work that day,” but when you are a SAHM the pressure is on to be available for anything, since you may not have a paycheck to validate how you spent your time).

There are so many questions, and no formula. And a lot of these questions have both yes and no and even maybe as answers, and I’m working them through, tossing it all around. I don’t think a rigid schedule for myself is the answer, but perhaps floating about with whatever whim hits me isn’t the best way to go either.

Knowing that I’m loving my family and pursuing kindness in the midst of it, ever so imperfectly, is good and I want that, but I so want a script to tell me exactly what this life of mine should look like now. And I want the affirmation of my feelings to go along with my choices, and the self-checking and doubting to be eliminated somehow. I mean, self-evaluation has definite positive attributes, but it can become so consuming that you forget how to enjoy anything, and sometimes I’m at that place–the forgetting how to enjoy something without a false sense of guilt.

These are my days, all strange and weird. When the kids come home all of a sudden I feel like I have a purpose again, and so I’m longing to feel that way about my kid-less moments as well. And while there’s definite relief sometimes of dropping the kids off and having some hours to myself, and I do enjoy it, the confusion can come quickly and throw me for a giant loop.

 

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  • Lindsey Newton

    And, it’s definitely easy to feel this way even when you do have a job. I’m still looking for the day-to-day script for my life (: Hope you find a routine that makes you feel satisfied!

    • Thanks! I’m finding that I have to fight against believing certain lies and be reminded of where my identity is (in Christ) and that He has freed us from false regulations so that we can enjoy what He’s given us more fully. I guess we will always deal with these things, seasonally.

  • Miranda

    Man, I can only imagine! I ebb in and out of introspective “weirdness” a lot and all my kids are home with me 🙂 I continually keep asking myself where my value comes from. Tasks? Mothering well? Doing? “Getting it” in various seasons. I think questions of identity and meaningful work – in any sphere – is one that we need to wrestle with. Especially as Christians. How productive should we be? What is a life well lived – a loving life? How can unmeasurable things (your writing for example) be valued because it’s something that is life giving for you? I just read a book called “Made for More” that was addressing being made in God’s image as our starting point in navigating all our various roles. That before we are anything – it all flows from being made in God’s likeness. I found it very soul stirring and anchoring for me. You are asking good questions, seeking a good father 🙂 Thanks for posting.

    • I’m reading a lot these days, maybe I will pick up that book, if you recommend it. I hope I’m asking the right questions and not just being too over analytical!!! There are just seasons of life that don’t make as much sense as others, and I’m sure this too shall pass.