Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mother vs. Homemaker


Above: Last summer our family with Christophers' parents, 2 brothers, wives, and children

Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there,
Ours boasts of it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere!

For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges on the door.
I should apologize I guess
For toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with the children
And we played and laughed and read,
And if the door bell does not shine,
Their eyes will shine instead!

For when at times I am freed to choose
The one job or the other,
I want to be a homemaker
But first I'll be a Mother!

---Anonymous

I like this poem, not because I believe that God wants us to have messy houses, but because I do believe he wants us to be mothers first. This is something that I want to do, but often don’t. Even though my house is not always perfectly clean, I do find that I often put cleaning before spending time with my children. What happens is that I never did laugh and play and read with them because the cleaning was never done. However, I think that it would do much good to just spend an hour putting all housework aside and just having fun with them. The work will be waiting for me afterward and I can do it then. But somehow I can fall into a trap where I say to the girls: let’s play dolls together. They get their dolls and doll clothes out and I immediately start organizing them. I start going through the doll clothes bin and removing items that shouldn’t be there: play food, real kids’ clothes, missing kitchen items, blocks, game pieces. Then as I’m putting the game pieces away I start organizing the board games and asking the kids why they can’t do a better job keeping their games in order. As they are dressing the dolls for the tea party, I am realizing how much crayon and pencil shavings are on the carpet so I’m running to get the vacuum to do a real quick run over the carpet. This goes on and on. The kids’ books on that shelf are all turned every which way I better fix them real quick. If only I could just play with them and do all that stuff later, because I know that stuff will never be done. Not to say that I never spend fun times with them. But I do feel that it is not as often as it should be. And I have to remind myself as well that I have a newborn right now and the family dynamic is very off kilter. One particular individual is requiring a disproportionate amount of my time. I should revisit this in a few months when Naomi is a little easier.

3 comments:

Archie said...

We miss y'all at Michigan House. Hope to see you sometime soon.

Archie

Leslie said...

Hi Archie,
We wish we could be there. Tell everyone we miss then. We will see at Christmas if you are heading to Wheaton.
Leslie

Mary Brooke in Atlanta said...

I enjoy your blog! We are Christians with 3 littles in Atlanta learning a lot! About enjoying your children....you won't believe this:
http://eyesofwonder.typepad.com
check out 2/10/07