Taking some time off is good for your soul
First, I’d like to thank my Dad for letting me play hooky approximately 1-2 times per school year from about 9th grade onward. He knew my rebellion was strong when I would ask him to call me off for the day. The year he was not in charge of me, whilst spent on exchange Down Under, I missed 23 days. I can’t clearly remember what many of these absences were for — some were days traveling throughout the red dust, a few were spent at the mall, and a few more because one of my host mums just didn’t make it out of bed!
Still wet behind the ears, I was the only girl I knew who got married IN college. Much to the dismay of many around me who swore I’d end up pregnant and eating bon-bons in History 401, I graduated summa cum laude with a BA in History (and Love) and managed to only miss 1-2 classes a week due to “illness” and “life.”
This lengthy opening is all to prove the point: Sometimes we skip out on things and life doesn’t end.
I missed 23 days of school and learned more about life than ever before. I missed 2 years of “college life” and gained a faithful husband.
We live in a time where we sign our three-year-olds up for the soccer team and chart how many letters our children can identify before age 4. Frankly, I’m trying to keep my three-year-old from pooping his pants, I don’t have the capacity to worry if he can score against Declan and Logan. This week I explained to another mom that we only have the boys in swimming because I don’t want to get in the water with C (under 3s must have a parent at our Y) and I FELT GUILTY. GUILTY BECAUSE MY CHILD WHO IS NOT 2 IS NOT YET MICHAEL PHELPS. What kind of world is this?
We all (myself included) need the daily or weekly gut check to remind ourselves that we are all taking this little life too seriously.
Not as in, we aren’t compassionate about orphans and widows and refugees and sick mothers and broken neighbors…
but the American life that we lead, the first world, wealthy, MY 21-MONTH OLD NEEDS SWIMMING LESSONS- world. That is the one we need to step back from and consider the hours, consider the commitments, and consider the cost of not loving and living well.
Playing hooky from the extras hurts no one.
Your 3-year-old does not need teamwork. He needs parents who love him and tuck him in at night, discipline his wrongs, and teach him to peddle his bike.
I’m so torn about hurting others’ feelings or expectations for what my life should look like that I don’t step back and look at my own life and make those decisions for our family that WORK FOR US.
My husband and I started dating the weekend I turned 16 and so a few nights ago I was emotional (and tired) and felt the candle was burnt at both ends and I had the little meltdown….the exact one I remember having on his shoulder the week before the high school musical Guys and Dolls was about to start and Miss Adelaide not only had to sing about having a cold but I had come DOWN with a cold. It’s weird to have a deja vu moment like that, but it came and it revealed something that I understand but much of the outside world may not- I despise being busy and burn out easily. I’m an HSP with an emphasis on the HS. (<- btw when I found this stuff it was like my ENTIRE LIFE WAS EXPLAINED).
But when I get around others, whether in the physical sense or the social media world, I have the expectation for MYSELF that I should be able to do the crazy busy American dream. I’m not sure what that dream entails but I doubt it includes the consistent ugly cry on my husband’s flannel.
I think it was Jen Hatmaker (theology aside) who said, “We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise.”
Do you know what helps me to be an awesome mother and wife? Sleep. I may want to be the world’s best writer but if I write instead of taking that 20-minute afternoon rest, you can count me in as the “I’m making dinner and threatening the livelihood of my children” category. I can have evenings busy with dinner dates and sporting events, but I’ll snap at my husband more and want to collapse into a dark room by 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Wisdom, to me, is going through life slowly. Adding small things on my plate that I enjoy, like travel and girls’ nights, and ignoring most other things except the non-negotiables: loving my husband, raising my kids, and homeschooling. Outside of that circle, I can play hooky. I can shrug off the seriousness. Jen goes on, “The choices you make today may completely change in five years or even next year. Operate in the right now.” I’ve spent the years since Olen came along just completely at war with that statement. But oh my gosh. Yes, this is a season. And while it’s a busy season, it’s a beautiful season. For now, we’re playing hooky from those things and THAT’S OK.
I want to stop worrying about whether I’m doing it all right and just do what works now.
My family unit is more important than my social media status.
My health is more important than my checking account.
Finding God in the quiet is more important than amoeba soccer.
What do think? ?Have you had to step back from things for your own sanity? Do you think we moms push too much for our kids to be successful when we should be pushing more for sane mothers? I’d love to hear!