Every day we are all faced with multiple choices. These choices may be small, but they do have the potential to have a large impact upon our lives. Some choices may not be that important, while others are monumental.
I thought once I had made the choice to be a stay-at-home mother, the decision to be with my kids was over. I was dead wrong.
Every day, I have the choice to be “at home” or to be “at home with my kids”. When just “at home,” I meet the basic needs of my kids while my cranium is somewhere else. When I am “at home with my kids” we visit the moon, have picnics on the family room floor, and read books until we all fall asleep in bed. Small choices. Big outcomes.
My choice to “really be here” is a hard choice to make each day. A lot of times I find that while my body is here, my brain is somewhere else. But, the choice to really be here has a permanent effect upon my growing kids.
The challenge of “really being here” while simultaneously leading a somewhat productive life is an every day challenge. I wish my laundry would magically fold itself and all of my dishes would permanently stay clean so I could have more time and energy for my kids.
By mothering, and mothering well, we as women can still find satisfaction, confidence, and fulfillment in our lives. Elaine Heffner said, “The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering.”
In addition, Marjorie Hinckley once said we will never feel fulfilled as women until we give all we have. Regardless of our various seasons in life, if we do not give it our all, we will feel empty and unfulfilled.
All too often, I take these moments of feeling unaccomplished, and I reach for something new to fill the empty gap. Because the new something is not approached in a healthy manner, it all too quickly starts to rule my life. My kids start to “get in the way” of my success and the little messes make me mad.
Then I try to simplify. I start to “give things up” again, which hurts and makes me sad. Finally, balance is once again restored. I am happy at home. I am in love with my kids. Then I get off track for a couple of days and I start another hobby or project. The cycle continues.
When my life is simplified, things run more smoothly. Dinner is not so stressful, clothes get folded, and those sticky monsters that hide on our kitchen floor are frequently removed with the mop. Why is simplification so hard to maintain?
Marjorie Hinckley also said the following:
“We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.”
That quote hit home. I love the statement, “We have to learn to be content with what we are.” Does that shake anyone’s world with mine?
I want the maturity Hinckley refers to. Sometimes it is hard to find contentment when I feel as if I live in sweatpants and my main form of entertainment is Bob the Builder, but that is who I am and it is where I am at. While my social schedule does not resemble what it once was and my hips have expanded, I love it. I want the maturity to understand that simplifying my life does not make me any less of a person.
I love my life. I love that there are days in which I don’t get anything done. I love pancake nights, finger-painting my little boys’ faces, and kissing the dirt off of their cheeks. I love pajama days and walks to the park. The preconceived notion that my life needs anything more than that is a farce.
QUESTION: Are you frustrated with choices you have made vs. what the world has to offer?
CHALLENGE: Learn to be content with who you are.