Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Taming the Three Ring Circus

When people ask me what I do for a living, or when I have to fill in that "occupation" blank on standard forms, I freeze. Now, admittedly, part of this might be the remnant of the rebel Indian girl who when filling out demographic information for standardized testing in high school perhaps indicated that she was a purple people eater or three eyed space being. (And no, "they" were not amused.) Part of it is that I'm not sure if I should be filling it in as mother, homemaker (however amateur), ministry, writer, or ringmaster. 

Photo from WikiCommons
Leaving full time out-of-the-home work, I thought perhaps life would be a little easier to juggle. Turns out, there is just more time to keep juggling. Sadly, I'm not so gifted at the art. When I am at work, I think about all the things I need to do at home. When I am at home, I think about all the things I need to do at work. Somewhere in the middle I try to play with the kids so Li'l G knows I'm happy (because apparently mommy doesn't always look happy - sigh) and I can drink in these years that I know will fly by. And then in the midst of that I think of all the things I would love to write or create. You know what happens? Nothing. Not a damn thing, because I get overwhelmed with the thinking and never step out into the doing. 

Work list goes unfinished. We won't talk about the home list. Playing with the kids becomes a chore because all the while unhappy mommy is thinking what a mess the house is and what she left unfinished at work. Interject prayer in there somewhere and there is peace for a few moments, but I have to still admit that I am not superwoman. I would like to be superwoman who has all the balls expertly balanced and floating in the air being caught with a quiet rhythm, but truthfully it is more like I lost the balls and the seals are now tossing them about while I try to get them back.

Mary over at Let Love Be Sincere always marvels that one of the reasons we are sometimes overwhelmed by the married/parent life is that our parents made it look so easy. It is true. I never knew how much work went into running a home or raising me. Well, maybe a little on the raising me side, but it was all done without complaint. I was their life, though in hindsight, perhaps that balance was off a bit too which could explain why I want to intentional about bringing all elements of my life into balance. 

Photo credit: iangallagher via Flickr
I am determined to tame this circus. With the bathroom remodel done and the backyard looking inviting, I am beginning to feel more like a grown up. Admittedly, that is part of my problem - I feel more like a kid playing house than a 37 year old with her own family. Pushing forty, I had better figure out how to live more like an adult with a childlike heart. So today it begins (well, technically yesterday, but I was at work all day). The Hubs has gone back to school and we are beginning a new year with a new rhythm. A teacher's family definitely has to learn to go with the ebb and flow of the school year, adjusting to life with him at work and then life with him at home, back and forth through the year, the breaks, the much anticipated and prayed for snow days (at which time I remind him that some of us still have to drive to work in that snow)...it is not always a steady rhythm, but there is rhythm. 

I am determined to create that same rhythm at home and at work. I need to get in a groove where we have a pattern to keeping the house clean and chores done so I can enjoy the time with the kids and be happy mommy instead of frantic mommy who just wants you to play with one thing for more than five minutes so I can get the room clean. I need to have the stability of crossing off my to-do lists to be able to leave work at work as much as I can in the mundane tasks. I need to create a pattern of being that allows me to rest in the Spirit with the Lord, to find time to create and write to fulfill my passions, so I can be a happier wife and mother. 

I need to stop thinking about me and start acting for others, which I know is how I am best fulfilled in the end. I also need to start seeing how I do this in small ways instead of always looking for the grand gestures. In shifting my focus, I begin to see that a mother should always live for her children, with every diaper changed, every meal prepared, every tear wiped away, every nose blown, every prayer said, every bedtime story and hug and kiss. I see how a wife should always live for her husband, with every loving glance, every unmentioned kindness, every affirmation, every joy and sadness shared, every tender embrace, every vacuum run or bathroom cleaned. I see how we should always live for our neighbors, be it a warm smile, a wave hello, help in time of trouble or prayers said. It doesn't need to be grandiose in size to be a grand gesture. Small things with great love - sometimes that is the boldest move we can make. So here I go, trying to love selflessly in all things, serve joyfully even when (especially when) I would rather not and boldly taking this circus by the reins and taming the wild beast to create a better rhythm in our lives. Hang on and enjoy the show!










PS - I think you should know that whilst writing the above, I was called into what should have been a napping child's room because she had tissue stuck up her nose. Yes, she tried to pick her nose and stuffed a shred of tissue up it which then came flying out as she was huffing and puffing. Awesome. Big love even in the little things...which end up being pretty stinking funny.

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10 comments:

  1. A neighbor of mine who is raising 5 kids once said to me, "Sally, all you have to do to be a good parent is have food for the kids and clean clothes." She told me this as she sat at my house with a basket of clean clothes she was folding. Eventually we as parents learn to make peace with who we are and let go of the illusions we have of being someone else.

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    1. Thanks, Sally. Food yes. Clean clothes...well, clean is relative. ;-)

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    2. Thanks, Sally. Food yes. Clean clothes...well, clean is relative. ;-)

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  2. It is hard to juggle work and home. Keep at it. A Mother's Rule of Life is helpful to get you going.

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    1. Thanks, Emily - I will have to check that out!

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    2. Thanks, Emily - I will have to check that out!

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  3. I could have written every word of this post. This line, 'I am determined to tame this circus. With the bathroom remodel done and the backyard looking inviting, I am beginning to feel more like a grown up. Admittedly, that is part of my problem - I feel more like a kid playing house than a 37 year old with her own family' I have been thinking about for the past couple weeks and thought about writing a post on! Interesting, interesting reflections.

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    1. Thanks, Mary! (I am woefully late in responding, sorry!)

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    2. Thanks, Mary! (I am woefully late in responding, sorry!)

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  4. I love this, Rahki! I'm going to be learning a whole new rhythm this year myself! Praying for you and all the "ring masters" out there! :)

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I'd love to hear your thoughts! Rest assured I do read each and every word, but please forgive me if I don't get back to you right away. The toddler tugging on my leg and the one year old pulling my hair may have seized control of my typing abilities. Blessings on your day!