Monday, January 30, 2012

Mothering and Old Ladies at the Grocery Store

I have become one of them. The old ladies at the grocery stores that tell the young mothers with small children to enjoy it--it goes so quickly!

I read 3 posts this week about them. It started here then went here, then lead to here.

I agreed with them all.

I remember taking my small children to the grocery store. It was hard. It was work. I was exhausted by the time I got home. I remember going to a bargain store-where bag your own groceries and save a little money-with small children in tow and one on the way. By the time I left I was sure the money I had saved was not worth it and vowed to never go there again. And I don't believe I did--with the kids. I took to shopping at night--late night. Alone.

I remember staying at home with 2 boys in our student apartment and looking out at the parking lot and feeling lonely and isolated and just a little bit bored.

I remember yelling too much about too little.

I remember being frustrated with the difference between what we needed and what we could afford.

I remember letting Elmo entertain them too often.

I remember envying my husband, in his air-conditioned office, surrounded by adults, having adult conversations.

I remember not being a happy mother enough.


I've been here, at home mostly, for about 20 years.

I've adjusted. I've learned. I've found my place. I've realized that I could have been a very good science teacher but my children only have one mother and that's me.

In the Huffington Post article, Melton compares raising her children with her husband's job, complaining that people don't stop him and tell him to enjoy the moment.

Well, no, they probably wouldn't. Because it is really not the same. It is comparing apples to oranges. A job, a career, might be fulfilling-economically and personally-but it is not the same as mothering.

To choose to stay at home and raise your own children is not a job, it is more of calling, a commitment....even a privilege.

Somewhere between the diapers and laundry and field trips and classroom volunteering and endless cleaning up, I realized that it wouldn't last forever and I would be sad when this phase of my life was over. This has been the best choice for me and my family. I have been happy to be at home watching and coaching and training the best I could.

In the article, Melton refers to Kairos time and Chronos time. Kairos time being God's time. "The magical moments when time stands still."
Chronos time is everyday time: laundry, cleaning, changing diapers.

The day my last baby goes to kindergarten is in my current planner.

With that day staring me in the face, I have more of those "Kairos-time" moments than I had when I first started this mothering adventure.

My real regret is not having more of those moments when I was a younger mother. And writing them down!

So I will continue my quest to remind all the exhausted, exasperated mothers-of-young children-at-the-grocery-store that they need to enjoy their little ones because they are only little for a small moment.

Even if that particular shopping trip felt like an eternity!

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