Managing My Domain?

I seem to be having a lot of difficult "mommy" days lately. Attempting to effectively stimulate and occupy small children while simultaneously managing my household duties seems to be a skill-set at which I am extremely deficient. It is so difficult to find any balance. I truly enjoy doing activities with the kids. I am always excited for the playground, a fun craft or a trip to the library. But life cannot be all fun. There is some measure of work that must be done if I am to manage my domain properly. How does that happen with little ones? How do I balance quality time with the kids and running a house? How do I grocery shop and run errands with three kids in tow? Can I ever be efficient and effective when I spend so much time in the car? Can I find the energy to take care of myself after taking care of everyone else?

Some people wonder how one can stay home with kids all day and not go insane. While this career choice definitely has its challenges, I don't find the "stay at home" part to be all that difficult. The true challenge arises when I need to be both a productive (because no one has clean underwear and the dishes are piled high in the sink) and good mommy simultaneously. When we are all doing fun things, the world seems so different. It is springtime and the birds are chirping...zip-a-dee-doo-da. My patience is seemingly endless. The kids are obedient and kind. But the slightest hint of mom being focused on something else and the sky turns dark as the storm clouds roll in. Our attitudes (mine included) can spiral completely out of control in an instant.

Currently, a further complicating factor is my 14-month old wrecking ball. Even if I manage to entertain the two oldest with a video or coloring, the baby can quickly and easily counteract any progress I may be making around the house. She can empty a drawer in the blink of an eye. She can unfold wash at lightning speed. Need a full trash can emptied piece by piece or a super-sized roll of toilet paper unraveled off of the wall? She is the one for the job. How is it that a child barely able to walk can be so adept at destruction?

I wish that I had answers, but right now, I am simply in the midst of the struggle. God is using the busyness of life and the demands of little ones to reveal my many weaknesses. Mediocrity appears to be my new normal. Some days my house is perfectly clean and orderly, but my kids have not been loved well enough. Sometimes my kids are loved very well, but I can't even get into my laundry room. I am trying to find the middle ground, but currently I seem to just be swinging (in the "all or none" style that I find so comfortable) to one side or the other. I am not clear on much yet, but I am pretty sure of one thing. When my kids are grown and gone, I'm going to wish I was in the midst of this struggle again. Talk about insanity.


Shea said...

Augh. exactly. That's exactly right. Eric and I were just having this conversation tonight....again. being "home with the kids" is what I want more than anything and also what I want least. How do you balance the "urgant" needs (laundry, dishes, etc) with things that are really important (caring for your kids' souls) when the urgant things really still have to get done?

Kate said...

Hey girl!!! It will be fun to know what you are up to on your blog! I've added your link to my blog. Kelly and her family just left (they were here for two weeks). Not much going on next week that I know of except I might have to watch the two girls next door. Want to come up and go swimming with us one day??