So hopefully you've read The Black Hole of Motherhood (Part 1) which gives a glimpse of what life is like in the early years of parenting. The following is now just a couple things of which God has been teaching me in said Black Hole. I hope you might find it helpful, challenging or encouraging.
One of the best things I have recently learned:
How to Get Rid of Stuff:
Too much stuff swirling around in the Black Hole adds extra unnecessary gravitational weight. Shout out to Allie Casazza at the Purposeful Housewife as I have found her teachings to be very inspirational and I have been growing in simplicity and minimalism.
|I know this is exactly what I look like when I clean. I bet you wear the same.|
Example: I had THREE pizza cutters in my kitchen junk drawer. One for small pizzas, one for big pizzas, and one for when we have homemade pizza parties with lots of people which has happened once in my lifetime. (Seriously, do you sense a small dose of craziness in that logic? I do now.) Now I have one pizza cutter. The best one. The favorite one I always wanted to use anyway. It makes me really happy every time I open that drawer and it isn't so crowded and every time I actually use the awesome pizza cutter. I have been doing this in every drawer, closet, room in our house. Approximately 40 car loads to Good Will. Not exaggerating. It's been amazing for the whole family.
|Just Kidding. De-cluttering is more like this girl. Isn't she great?|
I've also been getting rid of stuff like perfectionism. The idea of being a perfectionist actually makes me laugh now. I am not perfect and I never will be and I have NO desire to try. I will give you *excellence* and I will give you my best. I have been so inspired "there is no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one." Amen, Jill Churchill. Amen. This applies to every aspect of life. Why strive for perfection just to fail and compare myself and obsess over it? I'm a follower of Christ. That means whether I eat or drink or whatever I do, I do it to the glory of God and Jesus is my Perfect.
During my time in the Black Hole I've also been learning
How to NOT Get Rid of Stuff:
There are lots of motherhood moments where you are in the Black Hole and you're not getting out that day. The children are hungry, the cupboard is bare. It's Monday/Friday/Middle of the Day/Night and you're 6 million hours sleep deprived and you've got one cup of yogurt for two kids, a half used bottle of Coconut Water they don't like/ won't drink, some random veggies in the freezer and a brown banana. Guess what's for lunch people? Smoothies! And that expired flour is a "sensory bin". Those old shoes are your "dress up activity for three hours". Moms in the Black Hole are resourceful.
So I'm going to stretch my metaphor here if you'll just go with me. I've had to decide what NOT to get rid of when it comes to the essence of who God created me to be. I've had to fiercely sort out "Who am I, at my core, when I am in the Black Hole today?" When I may not see another adult besides Husband for days. When there is no written evaluation or even physical observation because Moms spend a majority of their time with kids by themselves. When my career is on hold, I'm beyond exhausted, and my To-Do list is a never ending cycle of: Make Food, Do Laundry, Clean House. On Repeat, Ad Infinitum.
Will I get dressed? Will I read my Bible? Will I play with my kids? Will I be kind? What kind of wife will I be? How will I evaluate my day and my life? This is a huge topic which I'm sure I will write more about another time. For now, there is a lot of wrestling with these questions (and others) in the Black Hole.
My current conclusions: These are the things I choose to preserve as precious, I choose to prioritize, I choose NOT to get rid of:
My faith, my joy, my femininity (as in getting dressed, wearing make up etc.), my covenant of marriage, my pursuit of personal and spiritual growth, my delight in my children, my scrapbooking.
I don't achieve all of these every day, but these are what I have found to be at my core, when all is stripped away, when no one is watching, and even if no one else cares, this is still me. It's really good to know this. I think a lot of moms feel they lose themselves in the Black Hole. I encourage you to not let it be a losing of yourself but rather a defining of yourself of the short list of who you really are and what really matters to you. And if what you find is sad, or scary, or empty, know that God would love to meet you there. He is close to the brokenhearted.
So this is where I have been and why I haven’t blogged for a while and which means this post is so long! My plan is to post every now and then in those beautiful windows of time when the children are sleeping, my caffeine is still kickin’, the laundry is done and Husband is watching sports.
Blessings to you!