23 January 2011

Conflict

I have conflict in my life.

No. Not with my husband. Not with my children.

With myself.

My life is the usual for a mother of two small children. My days repeat themselves. Day after day after day after day. The tasks and activities and even the very words I speak “H, take a bite of yogurt. Now take another bite. Now take another bite. Now take another bite.” This phrase and a hundred just like it are repeated by the minute, by the day, by the week.

Laundry. Diapers. Dishes. Meals. Bottles. Baths. Whining. Giggles. Cartoons. Books. Jammies. Kisses. Frustrations. Pat-a-cake. “Please N, you NEED to eat.” Toys. Cars. Grubby hands. Tickles.

You have heard it before from a thousand women just like myself who face these same repetitive, challenging, exhilarating, frustrating, melt-your-heart, I NEED SOME ALONE TIME kind of days. Day after day. We all go through the same thing.

And I do suppose that my challenges are a bit out of the ordinary because I also live in North Africa. Where I find the BIGGEST challenge to add on top of the all usual challenges is a severe lack of things to DO. I recently sat and thought about it… I estimate I have been spending an average of 10 hours a week outside of my house.

10 hours.

I HATE admitting that, just so you know.

This 10 hours is coming from a extroverted woman. And active woman. A woman that for years wanted to be a stay-at-home Mom knowing that in America one doesn’t actually have to stay home much. I like to get out, see people, do things. But here I am. At home.

Still.

Yes. To answer your question there are things I could get out and do. Sorta. But the challenges surrounding them end up causing me to talk myself out of it 9 times out of 10. Challenges like…. “But it’s the baby’s naptime” and “But M needs the car” and “But it’s so far across the city” and “It’s too hot” or “I have too much to catch up on at home.”

I wonder. How can one woman spend so much time catching up on things at home? I am ALWAYS here! What in the world do I have to catch UP on? Please, someone tell me.

Nonetheless, this is the reality.

And so there is conflict in my head.

What do I do? Do I accept the circular days with all their challenges and joys? Or do try to make some changes?

Do I continue maintaining my sole focus as my home and my family? I want to fill and complete this God-given role well above all else. But am I selling them short if I don’t do anything else if I feel a nudge to? Would I be a better wife and Mom if I got out more to do something un-related to aforementioned home, children and husband? Would it energize me? Give me more patience? Help me to cope with the circulating circular days?

Maybe. Just maybe.

In the summer I resolved to do nothing else but care for my home and family and the occasional extra responsibility. I felt God led me to this decision. Honestly, it’s all I could handle. My emotional health was fragile in the summer, as I think many mothers' is here in this crazy inferno of a city. And this summer that strategy totally worked. I focused on them and on keeping myself healthy. We had a great summer. Really really great.

But maybe I waited too long to re-evaluate. Cause now I feel like that season is gone (at least temporarily) and I am struggling with the ways things are now. I need to do more. I want to do more. I need to step out, use my gifts, get stretched, nudge myself to get outta this house.

Maybe more than a nudge. Maybe I need to kick myself in the pants (or long skirt…whichever is appropriate. Ha!) cause now I'm just so used to being here ALL THE TIME.

Not too much though. Remember that geographically and meteorologically related emotional health thing?

Yeah. Definitely must not do too much.

But the conflict remains. I’m scared… what if even doing a little extra is too much and I can’t handle it? Maybe I should stay focused on the basics and take time to rest.

Or maybe I should really go crazy in the other direction and do something absolutely seemingly impossible and perhaps stupid, like starting a preschool… just so I can either fail miserably but get to say that 'at least I tried' or maybe I’d succeed because I put all my trust in God and He helped me climb that mountain. The challenge of this actually causes me to consider it.

But probably, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. I believe I’ll add some things into my weekly schedule, but not too much. I need to get out more. But my family needs me.

Oh… how badly I want to have the right balance. To be the woman God created me to be as a wife, a mother, a friend, and His child learning to listen, obey, trust, step-out and grow.

Guide me Jesus. I want Your ways. Your plans.

1 comment:

  1. well said suz..... i think this is most mom's struggle, including me. good luck with your new adventures.

    ReplyDelete

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