Just for a few hours, anyway.
The past few weeks, my 6-year old has needed me by her side more and more. School will be starting soon, and as excited as she is about it, I think she wants to have as much of me as she can cram into these last days.
But when she sits with me, she needs to sit next to me on my not-to-wide-or-spacious one-person chair. Not ON my lap, but next to me. I have cats that do this too. Not ON me, but NEXT TO me. What is that all about?
Anyway, as I often explain, I do love my children. But summer is hard. The post you are reading will have taken me the three days to write. Because I will have had to stop to read directions to the 6-year-old, explain a parenting decision or comfort a friend dispute for the 11- year-old, and monitor the screen time of the 9-year-old all before dinner. The words that I will be writing will come and go through my brain, and if they get lost, I will sit, unproductively searching for them for way too long.
Those are all important things which need to be done. However, I do have a regular job, and a writing career, which do not stop for summer vacation. I love both of those endeavors, and they do not NORMALLY take up too much of my time, but time interrupted becomes at least triple the time each would take when there are no distractions.
I love and enjoy having my child on my lap, so before you tell me not to take it for granted, please know that I do, indeed treasure time with my kids.
I just treasure it more when it is ALL the time.
During the school year, the background noise of the TV is gone. The cats do not ask me which day I will be washing light laundry. And the train of thought has two stations - Departure and Arrival.
Are you cringing at the inhumanity of my fantasy?
Are your fingers poised above the comment section, ready to remind me that God has called me first to be His child, then to be a wife, then to be a mother, and everything after that is bonus?
You aren't commenting because you know I know that, don't you?
I am a work-at-home mom, and so often criticized for not spending more time with my children when I have the luxury of being at home with them. But if I were away at work, would people be asking me why I am not home taking care of my children? (Possibly, but less than I am asked when I am working at home). And does ANYONE ever ask a stay-at-home mom why she isn't out earning a living? (Besides herself, of course. She is asking that all the time.)
No one seems satisfied these days with what the "proper" place for a woman should be. Seventy years ago, there was no question that a woman would stay home and spend her day on household chores while raising her children. (Though, I do not recall seeing June Cleaver sitting down to go over math facts with her boys.)
Then, in the 1980's, the only women who were taken seriously were the ones in shoulder-padded suits working 9 to 5. They gave us kids a key to the house and told us to start our own dinner if they were going to be late. And we better make sure our homework was done.
So, we latch-key kids grew up, knowing how to be self-sufficient. Our children are then born helpless, and we don't know what to do with that. So we teach them how to be independent and wait for society to come down on us for neglecting them.
I bring my laptop to soccer practice so I can do my writing, editing, or other work. This has become a joke to many. So I feel guilty for letting my child down because I am not the one on the field coaching.
It becomes the case of not getting it all done well, or getting it all done much later than it should have been done. All of what needs to get done DOES get done. The house gets clean, the kids are fed, and work is done too. And I promise the kids are loved. Just not smothered. (Don't take that wrong. Some kids like to be smothered, and as long as you are smothering with love, it's all good.)
So I don't coach my kid's soccer team. But I do go in to help out at school once a week. It's less than a lot of other moms do, but more than some others. I don't want to judge anyone by the number of hours they put in anywhere.
I want to do my best. Everywhere. If the kids are at school (a place that they LOVE, by the way), they are getting the 100% attention of the teacher, because she is doing her job. Who is asking why that teacher is not at home with her own kids instead of being out working? Not me. Thank you, teachers, for taking good care of my children!
I, on the other hand, am home concentrating fully on my work during the school year, to get it done so that when the kids and husband DO get home, I can concentrate on making dinner, running to soccer practice, going to church, or maybe playing a game of Uno with my son. I can give my full attention, because my work is done. During the summer, it isn't that easy. So I get stressed, and less gets done.
But bear with me, because September is around the corner. Books will be written, work will be done, floors will be clean, and doggonit, hot meals will be on the table. Feel the love!
A satisfying place to be.
Passion Under Grace,