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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

Why am I awake?

Because this is the time of day my house is quiet.  Everyone is asleep – for the moment.  My husband was able to take a day off today, and it was his first day off since June.  Which means it was also my first day off since June.  Not that parents ever truly get days off, but something as close to “off” as I can get right now.  I ran an errand by myself.  He took the kids to the park, and I stayed home with the napper and the newborn.  After dinner was done, I hid upstairs in my room and just wasted time online.  And reveled in the solitude.  And reveled in the fact that when anyone poked their head in (which happened a lot), I was instructed by my husband to send them back to him.  Exhale . . .

Our precious baby #6 arrived at the end of July.  And it has been hard.  One kid to two kids in 18 months was hard for me.  Three babies in three years was hard again.  Number four and number five slipped in quietly and just made life more full.  Number six has humbled me.

He (yes, he!!) had a rough start, and in the crazy newborn days it is hard to remember what life will be like a few months into the future.  And it weighs you down.  And makes you wish for an extra body to take care of the other five at the same time.  Or a spouse who isn’t overworked himself.  We survived.  Not without tears – from me and all the kids.  

Since my husband has been working Sundays since June, we have only been able to attend church very sporadically for months.  And I miss it.  Oh, I miss it.  I miss the songs.  I miss closing my eyes and lifting my voice and just being washed in the fellowship of other believers and renewing my hope in Jesus.  It is a season, and I need to figure out how to endure the valley.

Part of enduring the valley is this – writing.  Reaching out to someone, anyone, who might be in the valley as well.  Or just in the trenches of the battle of motherhood.  Writing down my days so I can remember them myself when the fog lifts.  And remembering to cherish these days in the present.  I do not want to miss these days hoping for the future!  Writing at 11:30pm, when the house is quiet, sets it all in perspective again.  Renews my strength to be Mom again tomorrow.  

Lord help me . . .

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en: Portrait of William Butler Yeats by John S...
Image via Wikipedia

“Education is not filling a bucket,

but lighting a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

When I read this quote again today, I could not think of a more timely encouragement.  As we wind down this past year of school (we go year-round) and prepare for the upcoming one – I need to hear this.

When I drift too far off the trail, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to “educate” my kids.  I picture myself in that old infomercial with the Ronco rotisserie that came with that flavor injector device.  (Am I the only person who remembers this thing?)  Separate that skin and shove in the garlic!  If I just get the right tools, I can jam those little bits of information into their bodies and end up with perfectly seasoned educated children.  Voila!

But, then somebody pees on the floor (talking about the 2-year-old here – not me), so-and-so wants a snack, the baby just woke up, I need to order labels before the next farmers market . . .  And of course, my fabulous educational tools sit on the desk.  And I feel like I am failing my kids.

So, when I heard that quote today, I felt myself relax.  It isn’t about my tools, it is about their passions.  It isn’t about what we didn’t get done today, it is about what I taught them about learning.

No, I am not an unschooler (I am not that brave), and yes, I do use resources to teach, and I make a lesson plan, and we do actually (miraculously) get it done almost every day.  But, what I need to remember is that checking off those little boxes I make as a plan is not the goal.

Teaching them to love learning when I am not there handing them their little boxes is really why I do what I do.   Not just getting through any given Wednesday, but lighting the fires that will burn for their entire lives.

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