Tag Archives: power of moms

Dreaming away today

In case you missed it, I’m a writer. (Shameless plug: I can now say “my book is coming out next year”!) So I was instantly drawn to a guest post by a fellow forthcoming-in-2013 author on the Power of Moms yesterday. I was so drawn to it, in fact, that I tracked down the author’s blog and discovered that we’ll be sharing a publisher (awesome!).

But even more awesome was her essay. I have been thinking about this very topic a lot. As a writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about imaginary people with imaginary problems who live their imaginary lives all in my head. Yes, it does get crowded. So crowded that I spend a good deal of time thinking about what I need to do for this story, how I’ll plot out that story, how I’ll edit another story—even when I have three flesh-and-blood (albeit quite small) people right here in front of me. Shouting at me. Tugging on me. They’re hard to forget, and yet somehow, sometimes, I do.

One of the things that astounded me as a new mother was how much my baby could need me. And he wasn’t one of those children who instantly quiets in the arms of his mother. (The opposite: he was pretty quiet in general, unless he was starving, and getting near his mommy at those times meant he was going to eat soon, SO HURRY IT UP!!)

Somehow, this little lump of a human, less expressive than our house cat, needed me all the time. For eating ever 90 minutes, yes, but somehow even then, I felt the emotional draw of his utter dependence.

My children aren’t quite so dependent on me these days—they’ve discovered the refrigerator—but still, the one thing they need the most from me isn’t games or toys or food or stimulation. What they need most from me . . . is me.

So one of the things I’m going to try to focus on this year is being more mindful of the present. We spend so much of our lives filtering our existence. I want to look up from my camera and my computer and into the eyes of my children. I might even get off the couch.

And hopefully, I’ll be able to come to the same conclusion as Jenny has:

Often days, even weeks, go by without writing a single word. Days that are full of not just the routine maintenance and care of a home and family, but with homework helping, piano teaching, baby building, book reading, game playing, story listening and many other rich and rewarding things that I’m simply not willing to give up. I will not give them up because I want to be present in my children’s lives; and because I know that in the grand scheme of things, my children, not the number of books I’ve published, will be my greatest prize.

This raising of a family is God’s work. I know this. I feel it in my heart, in my bones, and even in the very words that I write. I do not think it coincidental that those moments that have brought me closest to God are moments I’ve experienced as a mother. Writing is rewarding in its own right, but mothering? Mothering is sanctifying.

Amen.

How do you focus on the present? (Or how do you dream and wish your life away?)

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Holding on to the Magic (at Power of Moms)

My mom has worked very hard to establish family traditions (and she continues to build new ones). She knows that when we spend time together having fun, we have those memories to hold onto and to knit our hearts together.

Today I’m blogging at the Power of Moms about Holding onto the Magic,” on establishing and preserving the memories of those fun times.

If you’re visiting from that post, welcome! Please check out some of my favorite posts on fulfillment:

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In the mean time, I’m playing with my kids.

Have fun today!

Doing It All (at The Power of Moms)

I have another guest post at The Power of Moms this weekend! It’s calledDoing It All.” Doesn’t it seem like we’re always told we can do it all, and we should be doing it all right now?

If you’re visiting from that post, welcome! Please check out some of my favorite posts on fulfillment:

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Why I quit working

I was very lucky to be able to work at home up until just before Rachel, my third, was born. In some ways, it was the best of both worlds: I only had to put in a few hours a day, I helped with our expenses, I got the opportunity to exercise my mind and (kind of) associate with other adults (though I don’t know of blog comments “count,” especially with some of the ugly conflicts there that still bug me).

On the other hand, I almost never regret leaving the “workforce.” I liked my job and my boss, but I was spending waaay too much time on the computer. It hasn’t gotten all the way better, unfortunately, but I’m glad that I don’t have to be online for those hours a day anymore.

Over on the Power of Moms recently, I read an article about Telena Hall, who went from full-time WAHM to mostly SAHM. She still receives some resistance for her decision, but I think she has a great perspective on the working/nonworking debate:

I continue to work on a much smaller level and I still associate with the same women who were once my peers (and are now my superiors). They continue to encourage me to work more and move back into management. They often remind me of the money I can earn, or influence I’ll have in that position. I have to remind myself that I have the greatest influence over my children, and that one day they will grow up to influence the world. I came to realize that quantity time could not be replaced with quality time. My children needed BOTH.

There are many wonderful opportunities we can pursue as moms and as women. In stepping down from my position was I saying it is wrong for a woman to work? Not at all. It was simply a matter of dividing my time and prioritizing accordingly.

Telena concludes, quoting a church leader, “A woman need not sing all the verses of her song at the same time.” There are seasons in our lives, and after reviewing her priorities, she decided that this season was the time she needed to be with her young children, and maybe in another season, she might return to working—or not.

For me, it wasn’t a big change in my schedule to free up those hours—but it made a big difference in terms of my stress levels (for a while). I continue to struggle with some things I miss—like feeling valued, etc., which is kind of funny since I know my boss valued me, but we didn’t have to communicate all that often—but I know that putting my family first, above a nebulous, difficult to achieve and easy to lose “feeling,” is the best bet I can make right now.

What do you think? What are your priorities? How have you changed your schedule or life for them?

Photo by Sean Dreilinger