I have a pretty active brain. It is always swirling, always 10 steps ahead, always looking for solutions, and craving something to conquer. As a stay at home mommy the internet often feels like a lifeline to the outside world. I am so very thankful for it. It provides connection, ease of planning, communication, shopping, and a way to research. It also brings everything into my kitchen in very close and real way. I can rattle off a list of people who have diseases, cancer, sick kids, relational issues, financial struggles, pet problems, house problems, big new ideas, new diets, new houses, new babies, new jobs, and the list goes on. For a person with a spinning brain, but only one current and primary calling (wife/mom/teacher) the internet is both great and terrible. Great when I can reach out and ask a someone for prayer, or catch up with an old friend, or fend off feelings of isolation …terrible at leading me to think that something really bad/exciting/new is or should be just around the corner.
It is also bad at leading me to think that that I am nothing special. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to hang my hat on. Nothing that will fill my brain with the right thoughts, or purpose. I am not a skilled crafter. I can sew, but not great. I can do stuff with paper, but nothing amazing. I have no idea how to create awesome graphics. I am not a great photographer. I do not have a “brand”. I do not have a hopping blog. My house is not overly clean, or dirty. I like to organize, but am not obsessive about it, nor do I have the storage to “give everything a place”. I can cook, but I don’t always love to. I have a degree, but don’t use it in a traditional sense. I like to learn, but am not a veracious reader. I am a “planner,” but am realistic that I really do not have the time or energy to be on any big board, committee, or plan any big exciting endeavor or event (and still have enough to give to my family). I am a bit prone to depression (mainly when not sleeping) and anxiety, but not in a debilitating way that halts life or forces me to “conquer” it. I have lots of friends, but not as many close friends as I would like. I am not super fashionable. I am not a runner, gym club member, yogi, “enthusiast” or professional. No special label. I am a wife and mom and follower of Christ. The accomplishments come slow. There is nothing flashy and a lot of the work would not be labeled as “fun”. Although the ironic part is that fulfillment and purpose are really all around. I want to be the one raising my children and teaching them. Even when it is hard. I know them and they know me. We are a team God created.
I am so thankful that God has blessed me with a relatively peaceful life. But, sometimes I am left feeling not so special, and just kinda bored. This is ironic because there is little people chaos swirling around me most all of the time. It is a very hard job to raise four little ones who are five and under. To be home with them and raising them, teaching them, and training them all day/every day…and often on very little sleep. I am so glad God has not given me more right now. I could not do more. I don’t have the time or energy to be anymore than mommy/wife right now. I would probably crumble under the pressure. But for someone with a brain like mine it is hard to know how to just be at peace with just being. Not having a label. Not having a traditional project, or special skill. Being a wife and mom is all I have ever wanted. When my professors would ask me what I planned on doing after college I always struggled to answer that question. “You should go on to grad school!” No, thanks. “Have you decided on a career path?” Yes. Sometimes I would tell people I knew my calling, other times I would not. For my very liberal minded professors I was pretty sure that a “good student” should be much more than a “mother” in their eyes. I knew this was a lie. But sometimes I still struggle.
There is no question in my mind that being a mother is a very high calling. I know I am doing important work. I know this has eternal value. I am happy with my stage of life. I love having young children. I love language acquisition, I love raising babies, I love teaching my little ones new things, I love answering their questions, I love most things about this gig. I am not wishing away these years. I want to enjoy every stage. But the reality often feels like lots of long dark cold days spent constant picking up. Constant training. Babies who prefer to be held most all of the time, and few real and tangible accomplishments because of the difficulty at getting anything “big” done. Slowly putting out the biggest “fire” around the house. Nothing is accomplished easily.
I don’t want these days over, but it often feels like I am waiting for something. For Daddy to come home. For the weekend. For vacation. For something other than the 7:30 am when Daddy leaves to 6:00 ish when he comes home.(Because I need to admit “9-5” is a big fat lie.) Because for homeschooling/stay at home moms there are not many coffee dates, lunch appointments, or meetings to move the day along. There are just lots of meals to prepare. School to fit in here and there as attention spans allow. And nap time.
Until I can accomplish getting dinner on the table on a regular basis (rather than waiting for my hubby to come and cook) I feel like I have no business following my whims or “great ideas”. This is my calling. This is my job, my city, my home, my minivan, my family. I am content. But my brain and heart sometimes struggle with the ordinary, the slow, and the sameness. The gradual passage of time, seasons, and the difficulty of accomplishing much more that what is necessary to keep our home functioning.
For the time being I will pray for contentment. I am living out my calling and I will try to be who He created me to be. Even when it feels mundane. Even when I feel ordinary. Even on the long dark days. Even with a migraine. Even sleep deprived. Even in a body I don’t always want to claim. Even when he works late. Even when the kids have colds. Even when it is hard.