There are so many things we can do, as mamas, wives, and teachers, and then there is “good enough.” I already know you KNOW this, but, years from now it won’t matter if you had a sparkly clean floor! But the children will remember you looking up at their faces and smiling. Read your most needy child of the moment a story you enjoyed as kid! Do you remember Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs? I remember imagining macaroni and cheese coming down from the sky, and savoring the sensational thought for long enough that I could almost smell cheddar cheese….
There are so many ways we can be hard on ourselves, it’s not clean enough, it’s not organized enough, it’s not pretty enough. Even if all those things may be true, try to rationalize a bit of it away by thinking about your daughters wedding. How will she remember you? Will she think about how sensitive you were when she was upset? Will she feel supported by you through her tough days, or will she only recall being pushed aside for more “important” tasks? These little people that God gave to us are precious gifts, and we are to treasure them and treat them like the gold they are. Pure gold.
I’m not saying here that it’s an easy thing to do. Just like sometimes I have to use middle names to get my child’s attention, sometimes they have to call me by my first name instead of “mom,” or I won’t realize they are speaking to me. Ignoring the children is easy, we do it all the time without meaning to, I’m not really talking about that. If we didn’t have the ability to zone out a bit us stay at homers would soon get dizzy and quit or freak out. Yes, that is different. What I’m really talking about is that I understand that you want your home clean and orderly, I k now how busy you are, I get it. Don’t make excuses to me- I’m okay with the way things are, they are good enough. Awaken yourself to the richness of your right now, and savor it. I have beautiful thriving smart children who impress me everyday in someway, and teach me way more than they learn from me, I’m quite sure. I am saying that peace is here. I am fine with it being what it is.
I take the opportunity to try and organize one small part of my home everyday, and I look forward to at some point either adding on to the house we live in or moving somewhere bigger, because I know part of what we have is a lack of space, even though, as I love to remind the children, you will always have to put your shoes and clothes away. There will always be doing your “best part.” If you mess it up, clean it up, if you open it, shut it, and so on. But space does matter, and I understand that I have a clutter problem, some of which is theirs, some of which only I can take credit for. Hoarders unite: I’m just waiting for the day when 80 naked children come here, and I will be the one to clothe them! I wish I could say it is because I grew up in the post depression era, and I simply find a use for all of the stuff, and that why I keep it….but it’s a lie. I’m a collector and an artist who loves to see everything. If I can’t see it, I forget it’s even there. Most normal people are visually over-stimulated by the amount of eclectic/ colorfulness I squeeze into my home decor, but I’m okay with it! I like it like this. Good enough. There are many life lessons we learn as moms, and boy am I thankful for each one. I am ever so thankful that I have gotten to be with my children and in turn, gotten to know them and learn from them. Thanks to these lovely kids I can now understand shyness, how difficult it can be for a shy person to hold a conversation. Or what life would be like if I didn’t think about myself. Think about that.I know it seems obvious, but if I had time to think about me more, believe me I WOULD! But since I am so preoccupied caring for my young family I have grown leaps and bounds towards my goal: God first, others next, myself last. It will take a longer time, to fully understand that and accomplish that, I bet. But I like where I am right now, being able to see that there is still room for improvement… despite the many quirks my children have to deal with me being their mama, I sure hope the stuff they see when they look back at all this scrambling, sacrifice, and sweetness is good enough. I am aware that there will be things they hold against me, there will be reasons for them to feel disadvantaged, displaced, or sad. I hope that nothing will ever happen that will make any of these thoughts prevail as their primary response to their growing up. I pray that when they are adults they can tell their own children how special and blessed this time was. I hope they are able to see that our priorities were keeping them loved, warm and fed, and educated as best as we could, most of all about Jesus, so that they have the ability to pray and feel safe when we are gone.
God, you have given me so much. Please help me be a good model for my children. Help me to be good enough.
No matter where I go, no matter what I’m doing…I’m camping! I go camping when I check out a few books at the library, I camp all the way to the park, I camp over to my girlfriends house, and camp a bit here and there to mass, museums, and groceries….Let’s just put it out there friends, if me and mine are getting out- then we are camping! We have to bring the same equipment, and supplies! We may as well stay for a while! When I open the back of my van, a double stroller almost kills me, tumbling out amongst bags of all sorts, bags of books, bags of food, extra clothes, diapers, wipes, first aid kit, homeopathic remedies, an old keyboard?!, and shoes, that is correct, shoes. They breed at night….I swear!
Do you always feel like you are camping, too?
What is it that you don’t leave home without?
I am certainly no theologian, so I am really asking you. Whenever I ask you a question, you can feel free to give me your honset opinion, I will take your thoughts with a grain of salt. What exactly will heaven be like? Why should we all try so hard to be holy? Why should we work our whole life to attain something we really don’t understand? I know some of the saints saw heaven and hell during different visions. Teresa of Avila and Maria Faustina both were able to see the afterlife for what it is, but something tells me you have to see it with your own eyes to really get it.
If heaven is a wonderful and special place, but it is away from our loved ones, how special could that really be? The smell of my sleepy baby cuddling my neck, the jazzy hugs I get from my big girls, my sons laughter when I flip him upside down, the peace that fills my entire brain, like a warm slice of fresh bread when my honey is finally home from work for the night. Can there be a better place?
Hard to imagine. Would it be fair to resort back to Christ’s words in Matthew 13, and just say the Kingdom of Heaven is like a Pearl of Great Price? It must be hard for most of us mamas to imagine anything that we would be willing to sell all of our personal belongings for, maybe we feel that way sometimes about sleep, but truly, all our earthly possesions at this point are so numerous, it would take years to gather it all up again.
Oh Lord, make me holy, make me like you. Help me to understand your greatness, and give me a heart like your heart. Make me long to be with you in heaven. Give me understanding.
Breastfeeding is the bain of my existance, but I love it. I love love love it and I hate it. If you have ever nursed a toddler, you know what I mean. Most days it’s the most blessed thing on the face of the earth, it’s the cure for sadness, tiredness, a bad bonked head, or simple hunger. And it makes everyone happy. Everone that is, well, under your own roof- the rest of the people in the world, that is another story! I once had a very kind teacher at the park near our house ask me to stop nursing my baby, because the children on the playground were giving me “eyes!” What?! Really?? I told her to have them come over and look, to see what breasts really are for. They are here to feed babies. And that is that. Tell me your wild and crazy breastfeeding story!
This is a fun and silly blog written by me, Jenny Jenny, to share my perspective on life as a stay at home homeschooling mama to seven. I want to inspire and excite those that need encouragement on those tough days! We all need suppport and encouragement and I hope to be a little of that for someone. I am working on several creative projects, childrens books, and a grown-up book, too: chronicles of mothers who have gone before me, have adult children, and managed to stay mentally stable throughout it all. I also want to share some cards I make with you all.
Happy days, and God Bless you all! ~jennyjenny genesis