Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why Blog Now?

Last month, Casey sent me away to the coffee shop to have a break from two of my children and blog. I ended up writing a two-part essay starting with the following. At the time, I hadn't started this particular blog. Now that I'm not posting these kinds of things on my other blog, this is where this essay belongs now. I hope it's not too confusing.

The recent passing of my blog’s first anniversary causes me to reflect on the irony that I have been posting to it pretty regularly NOW THAT I DON’T HAVE TIME. When I first started a blog last summer—mother of two toddlers, not yet pregnant with a third—I was adamant that I would not be blogging regularly until I learned how to function on less sleep or somehow got organized enough to not have the management of blogdom take priority over other things that should remain important—i.e. the loving care of my husband, children and home. Do I suddenly have it together, now that my life is busier than ever? Has the addition of number three finally pushed me over to “Personality Type A,” (my husband wishes!) and I have it all figured out now? Have I learned to thrive (happy-hearted) on less than 6 hours of interrupted sleep? Is it because I now find myself—midmorning—with my soft, supple ped-egged feet up, twiddling my moisturized and well-manicured thumbs; my house sparkling, a three-course dinner ready to be served in a half-hour’s time, my children’s every physical and emotional need met, all the heart-oriented training complete for the day? Not hardly.

I am struggling (like I was then), trying to find the balance between keeping some sense of order in the home, without it being the end-all of my existence (we DO need underwear, people!), and almost 24/7 meeting four other human’s needs (some more demanding than others!). It’s probably safe to say that most days, that’s about all I do. I’m not trying to paint a woe-is-me picture, but I believe it is good to be completely honest so as not to create unrealistic expectations for those who have yet to experience these unrelenting demands of motherhood. And I have no desire to try to be Super Mom. Sometimes, I wonder if God’s purpose for me in all of this, among other things, is to help others be encouraged if they are able to do more—or better—than I. There should be MANY encouraged women, if that be the case! Maybe it’s a testimony of what is possible, if God gives EVEN ME the grace to get through each day.

So, in no way am I any more “together” than any acquaintance can remember me. In all this, there are several points that stand out to me as to why I’m blogging now. The first is that with time, like money, you can afford (within reason) what you *choose* to afford. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few examples on the money side:

  • I know several moderately-earning-one-income-“we-don’t-do-debt” couples who give lavish, high-quality gifts.
  • We also know people who do not have much of an income at all who eat out a great deal (at least from my perspective).
  • When I was growing up, my friends, upon opening our freezer, exclaimed: “OOOOh, you have Cool Whip? Your Dad must have a steady job!” They really thought we were rich to have such a thing, even though the reason their parents didn’t buy Cool Whip was because they didn’t like it!

On the time side:

  • I can't count the number of times I have heard (sometimes from my own lips) regarding personal Bible Study or memorizing verses: "I don't have the time."
  • Casey will sometimes decide to hire something out because his time is actually more scarce than money right now. (Oil changes, lawn mowing, fixing problems with our rental house, etc.)
  • I don't wear makeup most days. Only once or twice a week do I take the time to put on my contacts and makeup. It just isn't a priority to me (or my husband--he likes it now and then, but would rather me be low-maintentance and out the door sooner!)

My point is, what is important to us--time or money-wise--we afford. Everyone has at least a few examples of how they either do or do not afford something based more on values than a true ability to afford it.

Following the idea of time and money being more about priorities than amount, brings me to my next point: in the full-time career of homemaking with young children, one finds it almost necessary for the sake of sanity to do SOMETHING which—at the end of the day—STAYS DONE.

When I was single, a dear friend of mine, a homemaker with four young children, would often tell me of the elusiveness of “accomplishment,” especially within this particular season of life. A quick review of just a few of the responsibilities I have reminds me of this:

  • Meal prep (x3)
  • bathing, dressing—and the inevitable laundry production of—all of us
  • diapering and/or wiping bottoms
  • paying bills
  • washing dishes
  • grocery shopping
  • decluttering and cleaning house
  • disciplining and training children

The significance of this list is this: all of these things will need to be done again; if not tomorrow, then next week. (Save bottom-wiping. I try to do that whenever it is offered.) The phrase “a woman’s work is never done” surely applies here.

So in all the working, serving, planning and execution (not literally, though don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind :), sweating, thankless cycle of full-time motherhood, I not only have the need for accomplishment met, but I am able to also express myself somewhat freely (and don’t forget uninterruptedly!) through blogging. Here, in blogdom, I find expression and conclusion. I also often find encouragement and fellowship.