Aug 18, 2013
E, 15 months.

I'm sitting here at my computer as Owen and Elena play in the playroom. The sounds of the springs of the trampoline and Elena's sweet ramblings as she reads to herself, accompany me while I type. Asher's new fascination is drawing, and he currently sits downstairs drawing his latest masterpiece. He hums to himself, and these days, is never without a drawing pad and marker.

My back hurts and my neck is a little tense from motherhood lately. This mantle is upon me full force, and interestingly enough, it's a new feeling. Our helper, Tsega has been gone on holiday for a little over a week now, and I feel it most in my back. The surprising thing about her being gone though, is that I've felt more alive and fulfilled in this role than I have in a long time. With each scrub of a dirty breakfast dish, each pass of the vacuum... with every toilet I clean, and clothes I hang from the wash, I feel very vividly, the blessings of this small service I provide to my family. It's a truly surreal feeling, but I realize and more fully appreciate the peace and joy that can come from running a household. It is a job that takes strategy, planning, real effort, and an insane amount of patience. And that's just to keep them alive. To keep their spirit's nourished? That's a whole other story. Sure, having help is great, and Mac would much rather relax on a Saturday, than help me with chores, but we have each commented on how much more engaged and present we feel with the children.

Tsega has been so good since Elena's arrival, always being there to take her when she's fussy, and an excellent pair of extra hands. She's almost too good. I'm always saying I don't know what I'd do without her. She usually keeps one or more of the littles if I have errands to run, but now, it's just us. The five of us have to pile in the car in this crazy heat to do even the smallest thing, and I've had to relearn the art of juggling. The heat radiates as I buckle children in their seats, toss the keys over to the front, quickly pack bags and strollers in the back, all while my hair blows and sticks to my face. I have to breathe deeply in those moments. Memories of the days before I had help, and even a car, come back... and a smile forms at the thought of dragging the boys anywhere and everywhere with me in the jogger, and piling bags of groceries on top of them after a shop.

I know that most mothers who've been raising children and scrubbing toilets without assistance would probably laugh at this, and I myself, know that I won't be having spiritual experiences while cleaning for much longer, but the truth is, I never placed much value in myself as a mother. I knew that the role was important, and I'm continually inspired by mothers like her and her, but I never really felt anything significant when it came to what I could contribute. I always felt like this role was something that fell in my lap- not something I was called to do. My feelings have changed, however.

My family needs me. They need me to be my best self. And while road to that self is long and littered with bumps, I'm realizing that my family is the vehicle to take me to that place. My service allows for a safe and peaceful place in which my family can learn and grow. The time I take to bathe and dress and feed them and simply be with them, are opportunities to teach them to be good listeners, communicators, and humans. And every second spent serving them, I become better, myself. My role is important, and even though I've done these simple tasks for almost seven years now, I am just realizing their true and eternal value.

This is no way means that I don't miss date night, however.


7 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful post and so true.

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  2. Although I am not a mother yet, I can relate to this post on some level. Although I don't have kids to engage with, being present is kind of a struggle no matter who it involves, at least for me some days :) It's important though, and there's really nothing better.

    Also, after coming back to the US from Malawi where I always had someone to help around the house, the transition is a bit crazy. But, I've found I'm sooo much neater and proactive now, after having other people clean up after me. It's kind of a weird way to learn to be neat, but whatever works I guess :)

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  3. I so enjoyed reading your perspective. I'm a mother to one little toddler and I'm just starting to think of a second. To be honest, i feel a little daunted by the physical/emotional load of mothering a second person- will I cope? Will life be enjoyable? One is hard enough at times!

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  4. Hmm, I was cut off! Thai you for reminding me what a gift it is (even if it's hard and monotonous sometimes)

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  5. Wow! I swear this just touched my soul!! I'm a mother of 2 , 3 if you count my husband lol. But I too feel like although I've been mothering for 5 years I'm just now coming to the realization of what the true meaning of being a mother and complete care taker for my household really is. Its a very challenging yet rewarded job and it definitely pushes me to grow in areas that I otherwise may have never noticed I needed to grow. There truly is "NO Greater Calling"

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Hello! So glad you're here. This is my little space to blog about life, love, and being a mom on the run. I'm an American girl married to a super cute boy. We're LDS and we've got three little monkeys that we love on pretty hard. I run a little shop called Interwoven where I curate fancy rugs. My family and I live in Abu Dhabi- the land of sand, shawarmas, and Lamborghinis. We are hoping you stick around and share in our little adventure! Ahlan wa Sahlan!
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