As I go forward on the quest for my "Mother Culture Sweet Spot" I am forced to examine a few things. One of those things is "how do I take care of me?"
BAM! There it is. Out in the open for all eyes to see. The $100 question. one of the most controversial topics there is in Mommyland.
Ok, a little ranting on my part.....
We see mothers, as a society, as women who never think of themselves. We see Motherhood as a "lot in life".... Yes, we do; and we approach it far to often with an air of foreboding. What we look forward to with anticipation and excitement when we first discover we are pregnant quickly turns to the idea that a little being has now attached itself to us and robbed us of our freedom along with draining us of all individuality.
Oh Motherhood.... you dreadful lot in life... Or at least society wants us to view motherhood as losing freedom, personhood, and individuality. Motherhood is viewed as the end of a road and never would we tell a young girl it was a vocation she could do if she wanted. When was the last time a highschool guidance counselor said a girl could be housewife and mother if she wanted to be? Hang on.... we tell the young girl that she may will be a mommy one day, but we don't consider motherhood a viable "vocation." We tell our daughters that they can be a mom AND something else... anything else but JUST A MOM.
Does Motherhood rob the woman's soul? Nope, and the mother that allows this to happen is doing a grave disservice to her family and herself. The woman that looks upon her children as robbing her soul is a shell of a woman because she isn't allowing herself the room to find the joy in the "Mother Culture" that exists for each of us.
Society says that to gain control of her mind the mom needs to work; that a real woman must work to find fulfillment. Lets look at this with open eyes.....
Up at 6 am (or 4:30 am if you do shift work like I use to), rushing around, maybe bundling a baby or toddler up in blankets and rushing out into the frigid air to start the cold car (maybe scraping windows or removing snow). Then you find yourself driving to a daycare or grandparents house and depositing the child. While rushing back to the car you are surrounded by screams of "Mommy" and teary eyes haunt the rest of your drive to work.
At work you might face, if you're lucky, a pot of coffee you didn't have to make yourself. Maybe you have meetings to attend, letters to write, reports to generate, or maybe you have angry patients or customers ready to scream at you for problems you didn't create. Yes, this feels like fulfillment.... If you do make a mistake someone is real quick to tell you. Unlike your child who might say in a sweet innocent voice, "Oh well, accidents happen" you can listen, in your fulfilled woman way, to a LOUD boss bark and threaten your livelihood, or worse pass judgment and make innuendos about your inability to do what they want. I mean, you read minds ... right? In threatening that, not only are they attacking your job performance, but they are tearing down your sense of self. Trust me, I know. I was a full time working wife and mom. (I could be again if God deemed it so I am not trying to be holier than thou.) This is the face of the fulfilled mom...
Yeah, fulfilled. The only way a woman can be fulfilled is to work and satisfy her need for intellectual stimulation outside the home. She MUST only be stimulated intellectually by other grownups and working 8-12 hours a day...... She must only find fulfillment when working for someone else. If a woman says she is fulfilled and loves being a wife and mom she is deemed dimwitted and socially inept. Yep..... I know its true. I was there once.
Oh how wrong this is. How degrading such thoughts are to "Mothers" and the culture of motherhood. Why do we wonder at how we have lost the concept of the "Mother Culture" when faced with this?
Thus, in the midst of this search for my "Mother Culture Sweet Spot" I am examining how I take care of myself so that I might be a better wife and mom. How do I take care of me? Being a good wife and mom doesn't not mean neglecting yourself. You need to take care of yourself so that you continuing to be inspired. Maybe you get inspired from reading a good book, or gardening? Do it! Maybe you are able to relax and refocus when you are painting or drawing during a quiet time. Do it!
The first step we are going to undertake is taking a Sabbath day. Sabbath was made for mankind. God gave us the Sabbath day of rest so that we could relax, refocus, and reenergize.
I am at fault. I see a day off as a day to get caught up on blogging, sewing, cleaning, preparing for the week ahead... How is the Sabbath a day of rest and calming a day of peace when I am busy trying to get caught up? This is the first step we are taking as a family. We might hike, explore, read, relax, putter doing something we enjoy, but it will be about rejuvenating our hearts and souls so that we can focus on God, family, and being better people. It will not be about getting caught up.
When I take care of me, I will begin to find that path toward my "Mother Culture Sweet Spot."
I plan to read for pleasure. Besides my Bible, I want to have 2 or 3 books beside my bed. Each evening I can read the one I feel like reading that evening, but getting back to reading for pleasure is a must.
We already try to do 20-30 minutes of quiet time each day, and we will continue that. I also want to continue to use 30 minutes or so early in the morning for me to have time reading my Bible and thinking about my day. This means getting up early, but its a nice habit that I have missed being able to do.
So here I am heading down a road that hasn't been traveled in a while; this road to the "Mother Culture" and finding my sweet spot is important for each mother. Maybe you work, maybe you don't... regardless you can find your "Mother Culture Sweet Spot." I hope that you enjoy traveling this road with me.