What I have been mulling over in my mind is this idea that we can “over do,” and wanting so desperately to make it untrue. I would like to think that I can run around like a chicken with my head cut off, and just deal with it cause I am one tough mama! Sometimes when random people like to tell me that I have too many children, I want to say something like, yup, it’d prolly be too hard for you. You shouldn’t do it, you’re not as bad ass as me. But that would be conceited and not altogether true, if I’m honest with myself….so…..I just smile and share what a joy and a blessing my family is.
But the question goes unanswered. How far can we push ourselves? There were folks who came across the ocean from Europe, my ancestors, with very little good food or water, and had to tough out many a difficult and trying situation, and if they even made it here to the states, they were lucky. Those people were amazingly strong, and must have died young from all the stress and disease they were exposed to! I wonder though, how much of it was a simple hard-nosed determination that got them through. You’ve heard the expression, “mind over matter,” right?! Well, I think about that a lot, I tend to be a very positive person, but there are days, like today for instance, the kind of days I am beginning to refer to as, “the next day after.”
I know why I feel like crap, because I totally pushed myself on the day before last, did too much ( meeting for homeschool co-op 9am- noon, schoolwork with kids, atrium session at church 2-5:30pm, took daughter out to eat, husband picked up other children, car swap, atrium meeting, fuel meeting for daughter, pick up other daughter from soccer, drop off daughters friend, go home, watch bad sitcoms until midnight because I’m so wired I can’t just go to sleep, wake up on the sofa with fuzzy teeth and a cat for a pillow). Its not that the day after that suffers, but it does a little, its the NEXT DAY AFTER, that really sucks, because as soon as my feet hit the floor, I realize how wiped out I am, and I want to crawl back into bed with a book, and possibly never emerge. I feel justified in being tired. I have neglected to eat well, rest well, and take care of my poor old grand multipara self….and so I slump a little lower and complain a little louder, and boss my children around in a not- very- nice way….. After the coffee kicks in, I apologize if I was too hard on them and try to cheer up by snuggling with the baby and reading her Zin Zin Zin a Violin, because she always makes me laugh when she points out the expressions on the cats faces, and what the different musicians outfits remind her of…..
So I guess my REAL question is: how much is too much, for YOU? What is your limit for outside activities? How do you handle the demands of older children wanting to do many things combined with the natural maternal feeling of pregnancy and babies that makes you want to hole up in your home and bake something?
I think it’s probably different for each of us, right? And there are seasons for going and doing a thousand things, and there are times for rest. Times to recuperate from busy schedules and demanding activities. And times to make up more craziness just because we can!
Sometimes I get down on myself because I wish I could do more, I have so much love to give, and like the Little Flower, Therese of Lisieux said, when she was himming and hawing about how she wanted her vocation to be everything: the missionary, the priest, the nun, the mother, and a martyr. How wonderful it would be if she could do everything for Jesus….All those endless impossible desires ended up making her feel uneasy and stressed. We can hopefully find comfort in our individual vocation, and the calling of the moment.
“Then, beside myself with joy, I cried out: “O Jesus, my Love, at last I have found my vocation. My vocation is love! Yes, I have found my place in the bosom of the Church, and this place, O my God, Thou hast Thyself given to me: in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I will be LOVE! . . .”
― Thérèse de Lisieux, Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
I am clinging to her words and the thought that I can “just be”. “Just be” a homeschooling mom, and let that “be” enough. I am hoping and praying that you can have the same resolve today. Hoping, praying for an inward smile at the life He has given us, together with all of our unresolved questions. To peacefully accept the day with a sigh and drink more coffee. I mean water. Drink more water. Yes. Amen.
Hello? Yes you……reading……can you come up with a set of guidelines? A suggestion for where I should invest my time? What should I let fall away? Feel free to give me those directions, okay?! Great. No one will stop you from commenting. Thanks for reading my blog.