Note: This is an old draft that I’d never gotten around to publishing. I figured now is as good a time as any to do so.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. A few years back, she asked for information about making some of the products we make. I gave her resources and she took off and is making and selling her own products! I’m so proud of her!!
She asked me today, how I am able to do all that I do without feeling like I’m neglecting other important things. At first I wasn’t sure how to answer beyond pointing to God’s grace, but not being satisfied with just that answer, I began to look at more of the practical ways I believe I have helped myself.
She’s not the first person who has said something along the lines of not understanding how I’m able to do all that I do and be happy and rested.
We are a homeschooling family of 6. The children all have various activities. I speak and sing pretty often and am a youth group leader. My oldest daughter and I make herbal products that we primarily sell online. We also have a business encapsulating placentas and I occasionally attend births as a doula/student midwife. Even with all that, the truth is, I nap as often as I need to, I spend a lot of time “chilling with God”, and I am very happy. The only thing I am working on is making time for a few other creative things I love doing like painting and writing. I see that a few games that I have been playing here and there are my time wasters which easily get in the way of time I could be spending on my creative activities.
Some of the practical things I have done to help myself includes teaching my children how to cook and clean very early on in toddler hood. By the time they are five years old, they tend to be well acquainted with cleaning and are comfortable using tools in the kitchen. At the very least, they can scramble and boil eggs.
You know how toddlers are so eager to please and help? I maximize on that moment in time. Yes, there are a lot of messes, and everything takes way longer than it would if I just did it myself, but they can and do learn how to do things very well, because they are interested, and very soon, I and the older children are a bit more free as that child becomes more independent.
A side story- once, I had one of my nephews over and he asked if he could have a sandwich. I said yes and went on with whatever I was doing. We both ended up laughing because he was fully expecting me to make it for him. I was fully expecting him to get up from playing his game and make it for himself. I just thought he wanted permission to make it, lol. He had to have been around 9 or 10 years old at the time. I don’t know if he ever made himself another sandwich anytime after that but my baby got up and made his own sandwich that day! In general, I will not do for them what they are fully capable of doing for themselves. I just don’t believe it serves them in the long run.
This leads me to this really stupid thing I used to do where I put on this “super woman/mom” act. I would run myself ragged doing this for the children and that for my husband. When they got to a point where they did virtually nothing for themselves or our household, and, looked to me to get it all done, I’d get really mad. Here’s the thing. I am awesome. I love people. I love to help people. I am sweet and kind and someone to know but I am not super woman/mom and I don’t want to be. I have hopes, goals and dreams apart from my family. I get tired. I need and want help too. So, I burned that silly cape and allowed them to help when they offered instead of saying that I had it covered. When they didn’t offer, I didn’t get angry because they should just “know and offer to help”, I simply asked for help. I think lots of women do this super woman/mom, independent, I’m every woman thing (to their detriment) and then have the nerve to get angry when their family believes their act wholeheartedly. Sometimes the strongest thing one can do is ask for help. I’m doing well with asking for help, just ask my children. 😉
See, God is the only One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. I on the other hand, am rather fond of sleep. Sleep is fun. We need to learn to rest in Him and give Him our cares. We must learn to include Him in our day to day activities, soak in His presence and allow Him to pour into us. He is more than happy to partner with us throughout our lives and give us strategies for conducting our lives more efficiently and from a place of resting in Him all while enjoying it. Sure, it won’t be easy or fun all the time, but we have a wonderful Father who loves us so much that He has already given us the grace to accomplish great things in this life. All we need to do is partner with Him. So, check yourself out in a mirror,if you have one of those capes on, burn that joker. Ask for help.