Friday, January 11, 2008

First I'll Be A Mother...

I'm still thinking about my isolation post from yesterday and chewing on what else I am to learn about hospitality and such. I remembered a poem I saw years ago and thought it was very applicable to my current state of mind...

Our Home
Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there
Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere
For smears are on the windows, little smudgies on the door
I should apologize I guess for toys strewn on the floor
But I sat down with the children and we played and laughed and read
And if the windows do not shine, their eyes will shine instead
For when at times I'm forced to choose the one job or the other
I want to be a housewife, but first I'll be a Mother.

This seems to embody a common struggle for many of us. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating caring for your children at the expense of being a Godly wife, being a good homekeeping rolemodel, etc. It's just that I think often my kids see me strictly as a "manager" of our home and not a "mom". Does that ring true for anyone else? How do we find that balance? I was reading in a newsletter recently that the largest impact a mom had on her grown son was the simple fact that she was *there*. Not meaning emotionally available, or supportive, but physically *there*. Are we being careful to be physically there for our children, or do we operate on the principle of "Well, they're being quiet so I'll leave them alone and do what I want to do."

Again, don't get me wrong, I do this... often! But, I was given pause to think the other day when I sought out my kids and they were all playing nicely with the dollhouse. When I sat down and joined in, they were shocked! They didn't know I knew how to play dollhouse so well. And as I thought about it, I realized that I have pretty much counted on siblings to play with siblings, where as I was an only child for a long time and my folks played with me a lot because I had no one else.

So, I'm looking for balance. I know we shouldn't seek to be our children's everything because then they have no need for God, and we need to be modeling healthy marriages and habits, but how can we be careful not to lose what it is to be a true mother in the midst of it all? It's often easier to be the "manager", but somehow I don't think there are grown children out there saying, "Gosh, the thing I remember most about my mom is how regular she was at cleaning the bathroom. It's had such a positive impact on my life."

Any fellow balance seekers out there? Anyone already attained that balance that would like to shed light on the process? I'd enjoy hearing some success stories or some "not to do's" if you have them.

1 comment:

dumai said...

i really love this poetry! you must be a great mom! :)