This blog post might come across as a journal entry, rather than a devotional. I’ve been away from my blog for over 3 months—much longer than I’d intended. In addition to giving birth to my son, so much has happened since that time and I am still adjusting to life as a “stay at home mom.” A life which I believe is more appropriately termed “work at home mom” (WAHM).
And work it is. I’m never off the clock. I am available to my son’s needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The demands of breastfeeding require me to pay closer attention to my diet, which in the past would have been the first thing I would have slacked on in order to meet other demands of life. In my son’s case, I don’t have that option.
In addition to caring for my son, I have picked up the bulk of the household chores—cooking, cleaning, etc. I made the mistake of tackling the responsibilities at home in the same fashion I managed my office in the corporate world. I’d multi-task—trying to complete a million things at once. Only at home I’ve noticed that working in this fashion does not yield wonderful results.
I even tried using the 4 tenets of management: plan, lead, control, organize. I’m convinced, however, that this has driven my husband nuts. My planning can be over the top as my perfectionist qualities set in. My leading is in direct tension with my desire for him to be the spiritual leader of the household. Control? I learned that my husband had an inkling of me trying to control him (which I was completely unaware of) and it really upset him. Organize?–Lets just say that is a work in progress.
Sigh….This has been going on for almost 4 months. And after a period of intense frustration from not being able to be as great of a WAHM as I had hoped, I just feel empty. My son and husband both have needs, and while I find great pleasure in meeting them…or at least trying to…sometimes I feel like I don’t have anything left. I went to church yesterday, and when I was asked to name one prayer request, I broke down crying. All I could say was: I feel so empty. I didn’t know how that answer would be perceived. I frankly didn’t care. All that mattered was that it was the truth. I was among friends, and thankfully, they were willing to pray for me.
I’m pondering ways to help myself become more balanced. I want to be a wonderful wife and mother, but I also want to hold onto the woman that I was before I took on those roles in my life. I am more than a wife and a mother. There is more to my story. And although home is my first ministry, there is still more for me to do. I believe that this empty feeling is related to me losing sight of who I am as a person.
There are are little more than 2 months left in 2010. I want to start 2011 off on a different foot, so I am compiling a list of things that I want to do differently….changes that I want to implement. I hope that sharing the list on here will bless you. Perhaps you are in need of making similar changes in your life.
1. Spend at least 3 hours with myself each week. I will not feel guilty for unplugging from my family and friends. This is time for me to spend time with me.
2. Be consistent in spending quiet time with God. I’m still striving for consistency, and I realize that it is going to be a challenge because my son is not yet on a regular schedule. So, I will have to sacrifice. I will get up before he and my husband awake—around the 5am hour—and get that time in. I think I’ll do a study on the “I Am” statements in both the Old and New Testaments. In this strive for balance, I need to relearn God’s ability to be everything that I need.
3. Spend at least 3 hours on the phone each week, catching up with long distance friends and family. I do not enjoy talking on the phone, but I realize that some of my closest friendships have not been cultivated as a result of this. My family is also preparing to move to Georgia in 5 months, so pretty soon the phone will be my main way of accessing my loved ones.
4. Write! Write! And write some more!
5. Make time for exercise.
I think I’ll stop there. I fear if this list gets too long that I’ll diminish my chances of committing to it.