Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Be a mom and eat your cake too

"Ignoring your passion is slow suicide. Never ignore what your heart pumps for. Mold your career around your lifestyle not your lifestyle around your career." -Kevin Claiborne

I saw this quote on Instagram the other day at at first I was like "Huzzah!" Especially since it was accompanied by a photo of a person horse-back riding. 

I'm a big believer in following your passions in life but lets be honest . . . one and a half weeks into summer vacation and the only passion I'm following is a passion for my kids to have fun, learn lots, and not kill each other. There's just not a whole lot of time for anything else. 

So my Huzzah quickly petered into an Uggggg. It's hard to read that quote as a mother and feel anything but despair. Molding my career around my lifestyle seems rather impossible as a mother currently.

Don't get my wrong, motherhood is my passion . . . but it is not my only passion. And is it fair to myself to say I can only have one passion? Even if it is my most important passion?

Most of the time I find a way to be more than "only" a mother. I schedule things in, I am blessed with moments of quiet or I sign up for things like conferences and retreats. But during these summer months when all my kids are home, I have to say that my once daily times for writing or reading or meditating have been almost non-existent. Which was leaving me feeling, like I said before, rather discouraged. But then things started to click and I came up with a plan.

Someone once told me that there will never be a time that I will be 'completely caught up' or finish my 'to do list' and suddenly be blessed with buckets of free time. The moment I put out one fire another one will start blazing. There will always always be more to do.

But it also occurred to me that it's within my power to choose to do whatever I want to do, and how and when to do the things I want/need to do. I choose what's important. When I take the time to make a nutritious meal for my kids instead of just giving them cereal I need to embrace that choice and not feel sorry for myself or the "time I wasted" when I could have been fulfilling some other passion like writing. But at the same time I need to realize that when I have some kind of deadline or conference planned I do choose to let some other parenting things drop and maybe my kids do get cereal for dinner or miss some classes because a babysitter is watching them. I need to embrace that too--and the possibility of  bending my schedule/responsibilities to my own will.

I guess my point is that I need to be conscious of and deliberate with my choices. It is possible to be a mom and "eat my cake" too. But I'm probably not going to be a perfect Mom all the time for that to happen and my slices of cake are probably not always going to be even. There is a time and a season for all things and I need to embrace the fact that my 'Jenny time' is not going to look the same during the summer months.

But that doesn't mean I have to dump everything else during this season. I am just going to have to be a bit more disciplined and organized with my time. Maybe sacrifice some mindless Facebook time or TV time for some more important passions of mine. And perhaps I am going to have to get back into waking up earlier. But I'm also going to be honest with myself and the fact that I really enjoy sleeping in sometimes so I'm not going to completely deny myself of that particular passion either. Ha!

One way I thought of to be more disciplined and organized with my time is to create myself my own "mommy chart." My kids have their own charts with things like cleaning their room, brushing their teethe, practicing their piano etc... So it occurred to me that I might make my own chart as a visual reminder of the things that are important to me, and to help me remember to find ways to fit them in. Another thing I've learned is that if I take the time to take care of myself with things like scripture study, journaling and writing, the other "must do's" find a way to squeeze themselves in. But it doesn't work the other way around--my passions won't squeeze themselves in, I have to make a conscious effort to give them a space.

And I'm not really interested in a slow suicide, so I'm going to live for all of my passions--motherhood and all. Huzzah!




2 comments:

  1. Interestingly, this morning I also read an article in the newspaper on essentialism. Yours was definitely more interesting but both make me think I need to start choosing more carefully what I do each day.

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