Sunday, September 2, 2012


fantastic sentiment from illustrator Charlotte Trounce

Now that school has started, I'm in an interesting place.  My dreams of productivity are a far cry from reality.  My schedule goes something like: wake up, feed the baby, get the kids ready, drop off kids at school, feed the baby, do some dishes/laundry or run an errand, pick-up Sam, feed the baby, try to get kid(s) to nap, start dinner preparation or do more laundry or make phone calls or clean a bathroom, pick up Addie, feed the baby, make dinner, get everyone ready for bed, feed the baby, put the kids to bed, try to do a few more productive things, fall into bed. 

I lamented to the husband a few nights ago that it's a bad thing for a woman when she doesn't feel productive.  I'm having a hard time letting go of all the things I thought I'd be accomplishing and embracing the reality of my days right now.  I've watched some of my friends move past this stage and into the place where kids are becoming more independent and dreams of productivity are becoming reality.  I realize that everyone has their own timetable, but I feel left behind in some ways, like I should be moving at that new faster pace but I have two littles holding me back.  And then I feel a million percent guilty for even having that thought.  I love having kids at home with me!  I am so grateful for these wonderful people I spend my days with.  And I'm not sure that this is the end of this chapter for our family- this stage may stretch on for a few more years.  It excites me and stresses me out all at the same time.  

This time of year is a transition for everyone.  We've had one week of both kids in school, I'm sure that I'll start to find my groove more, but I'm kind of tired of feeling like we can't move beyond the bare minimum of household functioning.  When I think about what I'm wanting, it's silly that I even have these feelings.  I want to feel more on top of things at home.  Why?  To make things better for my family.  But isn't my family what I'm wanting the break from?  I want to have more time to help others.  But helping others?  Why can't I feel more content helping those within my own home?  Oh, the irony.  

It's time for an a paradigm shift around here.  I have my work cut out for me.  If you've been in this place before, tell me what's worked for you.  I need a pep talk.  


Ella said...

Christina! I haven't been there with 4 kids but I've been there with 1,2, and 3! Does it mean anything that I'm constantly thinking Nellie is older than she is because of how quickly you re-entered real life? I wish I had some advice, but the ony thing that worked for me was the baby getting older. :) but my MIL, mother of 9 always says, "that first year is lost- don't plan on getting anything done." so I think it's definitely a universal feeling shared by mothers everywhere! Hang in there and know I think you do a TON for a lot of people!

Natalie Cottam said...

ah, i know about this! definitely time to lower your expectations and just be where you are now. it's so hard, though. in my scripture study just today i was reading about the concept of Jesus Christ as our shepherd but i was translating it directly over to the idea of me as a shepherd for my kids. i've noticed that when i'm not "in the field" with my little flock, so to speak, that things just don't go very well. if i'm working on a project or browsing on the computer or sleeping in...things go awry. but when i'm out in the field laboring with them, things go so much better. less fighting, more cooperation. i get way less done but i know that it's more important for me to be with them then pursuing other things, even when (most of the time) those things are FOR them. it made a lot a sense to me today and i'm going to try to put some lesser things off to enjoy being with my little flock. hang in there, mama! we can't get distracted from the most important work we're doing.

Evaly said...

This is exactly how I feel right now! Frustration, guilt, lack of productivity. I've always loved nursing my babies and this time I find myself a little resentful that I am constantly stuck feeding the baby. I don't have any advice, just commiseration, I guess :) I feel a little left behind too because many of my friends are done having babies so I know what you mean about that too. I just keeping telling myself that this is what I want (because IT IS- I would be bawling my eyes out right now if I was sending my last kid to kindergarten!) and really a lot of those friends that are "done" having kids are done because their husband doesn't more (but the wife does) or they have had fertility issues. I know I would be so sad to be in those shoes. They are wishing and praying that they could be strapped down with a baby, so it makes me try to be grateful for the blessing of having a baby when you want one. Still hard to deal with the day to day struggles though. If you figure out something good, please share! :)

Hannah said...

Christina - You've always been the woman who could handle a hundred assignments at once. It's nice to know you're human. ;)

But really, this time of mothering little ones is about serving our children. I truly believe that we sometimes need to reevaluate our expectations of ourselves and realize that we can't do everything. And this may just not be the time for serving beyond our homes. Maybe that means that our primary parties aren't quite as elaborate this year. Or maybe a little more dust will live on our furniture. Or maybe we'll have a few more pancake dinners than we'd like. It's okay. We need to let a few things go to do the things that matter more. Our kids won't remember our meal plans, but they will remember that their mom was there for them when they needed her.

Jennifer M. said...

I'll let you know when I figure it out. We're alive and fed everyday!

Kathryn said...

First, I think you are amazing! You said it yourself - everyone is going through a transistion including yourself. Relax, give yourself a break. Its okay to do the bare minimum around the house! You have a famiy to take care of and that is so, so much for each of us to handle ... regardless of 1-9 children ... little ones are tough!

Things will get done when its time for those tasks to be completed. Focus on being the best you in this moment. If that means you need to serve others outside your family its okay too. You have an amazing support in your husband, I'm sure he will help you get a moments break to fulfill your heart outside of the home.

Again, I think you are amazing!