About Me

 

 The greatest thing we can do is to show up for our lives and not be ashamed.

 -Anne Lamott

 

I'm a creature of the word, learning to tell my honest story.

I offer it here because telling stories is the road back home.

Motherhood is not a biological designation
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Tuesday
Apr132010

A day in the life of a new mommy

:

"Sign me up on the list of those who won't maximize their earnings through a life of professionally focused ninety-hour weeks. 
Plenty of people do, I know, either perforce or by choice-  
overwork actually has major cachet in a society whose holy trinity is efficiency, productivity, and material acquisition. 

Complaining about it is the modern equivalent of public prayer."

Basically, this quotation is about me- the holy trinity.
Specifically the "holy trinity of efficiency, productivity, and material acquisition."

I am not so much for material acquisition, but I put way too much emphasis on the holiness of efficiency and productivity; I am nothing if not strategic and multi-tasking.

I am driven by the need to maximize my time in every aspect.

I am a slave-driving member of the group that needs to categorize and catalog our indispensability on this earth based upon how much we accomplish.

This is especially frustrating for a mother with a new baby.

What did I accomplish today?

Here is what my day looked like:

1:30 am: nurse my 3 week old daughter (who still sleeps with me)

5:30 am: nurse

6:40 am: I hear my oldest son (3 1/2 years) get up and join my husband for breakfast.
Knowing I can not handle him coming in my room at this most ungodly of hours, I grab his pillows and blankets from the room he shares with his brother, and throw them on the floor of the baby's unused nursery. Then I stumble downstairs and tell my husband to put Malachi back to bed on the floor in the nursery before he leaves for work.


8:30 am: nursed... which is when the boys (the 3 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year old) bound in my room and start wrestling on my bed. I dispense directives like "Get off your brother," "stop kicking him in the face," "get your feet off the baby's head," "If you can't listen and obey right away, you will get a consequence," and "don't talk back to me; you are being rude and disrespectful."

9 am: Pour Honey nut Cheerios and make myself Chamomile tea and Ezekiel hot cereal. After three bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios each and multiple acts of disciplining and swatting Gabriel on the hand with a spatula, the boys clear their plates and I try to read my morning devotional from The Divine Hours and Dobson's Bringing up Boys.

9:30 am: determined to be productive,  I complete a page in Gabriel's baby album and read the boys a book about an apple orchard.

10:00-12:00: I sit down with the boys and watch Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs while nursing the baby. I feel really guilty for sitting and watching the movie and not taking advantage of the boys' occupation to get things done, but I am exhausted. Plus, if I leave the couch, Gabriel will just follow me around the house.  He has already pulled out all the diaper wipes and stuffed them in the toes of my shoes (after stuffing the wipes down his pants), jumped on the bed, thrown the Redbox cases in the bathroom trashcan, peed on his shirt while trying to squat over the toilet, tried to suck on the baby's hair, dumped over the whole laundry bin of folded laundry...he's not one to sit still. Understatement of the century.

12:00-12:30: Lunch is pieces of steak, pieces of dried fruit, and a bit of pasta with feta and tomatoes. Praise God for women who brought me food this week! The boys want me to feed them and the baby is crying. She is definitely having a fussy day- probably the jerk chicken I ate last night. I didn't care last night; last night I deserved it.  But this morning I'm really getting what I deserve- I can't put her down to save my life. I hold the baby in the crook of my arm, nursing her standing up while spooning food into the mouths of my boys thinking I should absolutely not be spoon feeding two boys who are not babies. I give both of them a gummy vitamin and put them in bed. I cozy tuck Gabriel in bed, turn on his monkey music (Jack Johnson and Curious George), and put up the gate (that he climbs over) to keep him in his room. I tuck Malachi into his bed on the floor of the unused nursery. I run back downstairs and eat pieces of steak and jerk chicken while the baby nurses. In my mouth, out my nipple, in her mouth...very weird sensation.

1:00 pm- I make chamomile tea and eat two pieces of chocolate chip brownie bars (another gift from a friend) while finishing the movie An Education and nursing some more of course.

2:30- the boys get up from their naps. I put away laundry, nurse, try to distract the boys with baby toys to keep them from fighting, discover Gabriel completely naked and standing on the window sill (the window is closed) yelling down at the men cutting the community grass.

3:00- the baby throws up all over her outfit, the side of her head, and the new sheet on the new crib. I change her diaper ( I have done this about eight times already today) and change her clothes, adding the sleeper to the growing pile of pooped or spit up on clothing in the washing machine. The baby is crying again and the boys are super restless. It's a gray day and we haven't been outside.

3:30 I vacuum the main floor to try to get the baby to go to sleep. Then I let the boys try vacuuming each other up for over twenty minutes while I do dishes and eat more chocolate as a poor substitute for the beer I want to drink.

4:00- Michael comes home. I fall apart. I ask him for a break-some kind of off-duty time, but the baby is crying so my off-duty time means I nurse while trying to type this blog.

Now it's 5:45 and I've eaten more chocolate and Malachi is watching yet another movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Sounds like the story of my life.

Michael takes Gabriel on errands, and the baby is sleeping on my chest.
My feet have fallen asleep from the awkward position I am in trying to balance the baby and a laptop while typing.


Productive?

by whose standards?

Efficient? 
No.

Does it matter?

NO.

What matters in this life?

How many baby albums I complete, or how much I hold my babies?

We are told to:


Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.
And love your neighbor as yourself.
--Luke 10:27

Everything else is a chasing after the wind.

What matters is how I love my God, my husband, my children, and the world around me.

Perpetual rain dribbling down the windows, gray day notwithstanding, my only job is to abide.

My public prayer is Lord, help me to abide in you the way you abide in me.

For I am fruitless without you.

I am totally unproductive and inefficient- bearing nothing, accomplishing nothing, if I, the little branch, do not remain in the vine.

Tuesday
Apr062010

On being an artist: why I blog

Every experience of beauty points to eternity." 
--Hans urs von Balthasar


Storytelling- it's what Jesus did. 

It's who we are. 

It's how we overcome.

Our stories are the only things new under the sun, the only things that set us apart from everyone else in the world.

I am not the best writer, the most adept communicator, the coolest mom, the most beautiful wife, the most soulful Christian....I am not the best at anything. 


 I don't really have anything to say that hasn't been said before, and said better.

What I do have is myself, my story....and so that's what I intend to tell.


Now that I've reconciled with my very ordinariness, I ask myself, WHY do I intend to tell my story.


I believe that experiences of beauty give us hope, and hope is the essence of faith.

Beauty is honesty. What is beautiful is what is raw and unfettered and boldly vulnerable.


Sharing brokenness is beauty


 Being honest about the journey and the process of faith is beautiful.

I hope that in my sharing, you experience some kind of beauty...therefore hope...therefore faith.

I love nothing more than to see raw humanity in words or on stage, boldly mined from the coal pits of someone's life...an offering to say "This is what it feels like to be human. If I can share this, maybe you can acknowledge your own pit and start climbing out."

Christ died to set us free, and those that are set free are free indeed...so why do we voluntarily return to a yoke of slavery?

There are slaves who choose their servitude, and there are slaves who know no other life. 


I want to communicate truth in such a way that chains are loosed, and slaves walk free and freer still, never crawling back into the pit.

"Man fully alive is the glory of God." 



My prayer is that my stories inspire you to live fully alive.

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