Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rough around the edges

It's been 10 days since Jordan and I started our daily household chores and overall, I think we're both really pleased with the way things have been going. It seems backwards, because everyday I'm cleaning something, but I feel like I have more time in the day to do things with Isaac or for myself. I can take a nap or watch TV or blog without feeling guilty for choosing to relax instead of straighten up. I've had time to re-incorporate running and exercise into my weekly routine. The house is probably the cleanest it's been in at least a year (more than likely longer than that). The chores have all repeated themselves at least once or twice and things have become easier and easier to accomplish throughout the day. Shockingly, it took me only 10 minutes to fold and put away a single basket of laundry... as opposed to the hour it typically takes me to fold and put away about 4 overflowing baskets.

That 10 minutes included folding a king-size fitted sheet.

All in all, I'm thinking that we'll stick with this plan for a while (hopefully). In addition to finally growing up and becoming an adult in regards to housework, there are some other changes underfoot. My husband has started getting up an hour earlier each day to exercise, read, and eat breakfast before going in to work. I'd love to say that I join him when his alarm goes off at 6am, but I am still too attached to my warm bed and fluffy pillow. Secretly, it's a goal I have for myself, but the laziness in me has won out each morning. Until I can force myself up, I'll groggily cheer from the sidelines. For now, I'm just thrilled beyond words to be freed from the stress of a cluttered house.

It doesn't take long to realize that having a child makes life messy. While the literal spaghetti-in-the-hair messy certainly applies, I'm more so referencing the I-dont-have-it-all-together kinda messy.  And I'm FAR from a perfect mama. In fact, the longer I'm a parent, the more messy and imperfect things begin to look. Like when I was at my wits end a few weeks ago dealing with a sick and teething child who was too tired and cranky to nap. I may or may not have laid him down and turned on the vacuum cleaner to drown out his wailing. Or that time I was out of the house and had forgotten my nursing cover or a blanket and instead used a shopping cart cover to conceal my breastfeeding son (and my boob) while eating lunch at Chick-fil-A. Howabout when I forgot to pack something for Isaac to eat for dinner and ended up feeding him a ritz cracker and half a carton of diet yogurt. Just last week, I was too lazy to dig Isaac's toothbrush out of my overnight bag and instead wiped his teeth down with the washcloth I'd bathed him with.

I'd just like to point out that Isaac is still a healthy and happy child despite all of my recent less-than-stellar choices.

It's just kind of incredible how parenthood becomes this giant spotlight or great big magnifying glass of all of your most ugly tendencies. Selfishness. Impatience. Jealousy. Stubbornness. Anger. If I thought I had a handle on these emotions before, well now they stare me in the face day after day. When life revolves around caring for a child that has no ability to care for himself, selfishness must take a backseat. (even though most days I still just want to do what I want to do.) Patience is tested to its absolute limits on those afternoons of endless crying. Jealousy becomes ugly and comparison steals all joy. I dig my stubborn heels in and fight back against unconquerable battles. Frustrations turn to anger and before you know it, I'm throwing a book across the room and calling my husband to come home and rescue me.

Wow. I can see clearly now how wretched I truly am.

And how desperately I need a Savior. 

A great, big, powerful, love-me-harder-than-I-know God who can pick me up when I am on my knees. The One who reminds me that parenting my son is my greatest calling and is quick to extend grace to a tired mama. The One who has promised that life wouldn't be easy. The One who speaks and reveals Himself through my baby's giggles. In a moment, my heart fills with love and I can't help but smile, hug, and kiss my precious boy. My strength is renewed for a moment and the marathon continues.


Erika said...

Love this-- and really love that SO TRUE graphic of the fitted sheets!! Just last week I happened to fold ours (which are only queen, but still miserable) and I don't know WHAT happened, but lo and behold-- IT FOLDED RIGHT. I mean, it was the same size and FLAT just like the flat sheet! I was hollering and rejoicing like I'd won the lottery or something. I may or may not occasionally go stare at it in the linen closet and pat myself on the back. I will probably never use that sheet again just so that it will always stay beautiful and visitors will marvel at my skill when they look in the closet. you know the REAL me... ;)

Amanda McD said...

This is why I love your're so real and raw, and have such a talent with writing and tying it altogether. Love this.
And yay for sticking to the cleaning schedule! I always have lofty goals like that and they fall by the wayside sooner than I'd like the admit.

Emily said...

Have you read Gary Thomas's Sacred Marriage? He has a similar one out called Sacred Parenting. It poses a similar question...that perhaps parenting is about making us holy. Bingo! :) I haven't read it all the way through. It was a slow start for me. Probably because of the subject matter. Oops.

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