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Do your familiess friends get you? Distracted by duty.

Carolyn Hax, a Style Columnist for my beloved Washington Post, Go Capitols!, wrote an article May 23, 2007 where she examined why her friends with children seemed to be so busy doing the same things she can do in half the time it takes her parenting friends.
Mothers are very busy.  Many of us work, all of us work really at home and out.  There is a wonderful line in the The Other Boleyn Girl the historical fiction novel by Philippa Gregory; in which Mary Boleyn is commenting on the treatment of women.  She says that women walk the hard line between church, bedroom, kitchen and childbirth, I would add employment as well.

And it is a hard line.  It would just drive me crazy when my lovely hubby would care for our four little ones when they were younger.  We had a ten year old, five year old and twin one year girls, and he would act as if caring for them was a walk in the park!   Well, frankly for him it was.  He is a chemical engineer so he looks at things logically, and does things very methodically.  The children would respond very positively to that, and that would make me feel as if I was "doing it all wrong."  I wasn't I was doing it my way; which the children responded to positively.

Thinking about that experience so long ago I recall how distracted I was by the children.  I felt as if I was being pulled away from one activity and then thrust into another.  I know there are moms out there who can relate!  Especially when my girls were very small we were dealing with a twin daughter who had some physical delays; so there were hours of home therapy and rehab to do, along with doctor appointments, and therapy visits.  Our other children didn't realize all this was important, they just knew they wanted Mommy!  I really call this distraction being distracted by duty

I learned from this to:
  1. Be patient with myself and the other children.  We all have needs that want to be met but dropping one important thing to pick up another isn't always the best idea.  Its better to let each child know they are important and to be clear about when you can be with them.
  2. Find balance.  That ever elusive balance.  Its elusive when we try to do everything all at once.  balance requires that we prioritize things the things we need to do vs. things that just nag at us.
  3. Find what is the most important thing.  Looking at my schedule, duties, responsibilities, I tried to make time for the most important first, and rank them to the least.  I am have wanted to dust everyday but was that the most important thing? Could that wait until the weekend?
  4. Get help from your supportive friends and family.  You know and I know there is no way we can do it all!
  5. Not to hang with people who, you feel or know, criticize you.  Now if your supportive friends and family are giving gentle constructive criticism that's one thing.  Constructive criticism is meant to BUILD you up.  If your "friend" makes you feel badly, than she is tearing you down, and why do you want that?  Really, its a good question to ask yourself.
  6. Care for yourself the best you can! Right now the end of the tunnel looks YEARS away.  You know its not, but if you are like I was it sure seems that way; so why fight it.  You are in the midst of a great deal to do, but promise me you will try to find five minutes a day just for you...please!
  7. Pray
  8. Finally...remember that guy next to you in bed?  Snuggle.
With all of this I came to realize that I was a Queen.  God had given me that role at my baptism and this was what Queens did: care for their resources (here read your health/sanity - take a nap if you need it), got advice (here read seeking supportive, helpful, positive people), and rule with gentleness over my kingdom (here read care for my children and love my husband).

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