Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mission Impossible: Doing Everything

The boys did their best yesterday to look cool.  I think the hats and smug expressions helped!

Chris called from work.  

"Watcha doing," he sang.

"Working," I mumbled over the phone lines.

He teased, "Not cleaning the house?"

I'm sure he expected a chuckle and a round of friendly banter.  Instead, I greeted his response with silence.  Unbeknownst to him, his comments touched a soft spot in me and stung.  

For the last couple of days I've felt like I'm neglecting our home and all things related to my job as the homemaker (kids, husband, etc.).  Piles of mail and school projects seem to be multiplying on my kitchen counter.  Dust and dirt are procreating.  To do lists sit untouched.  Children went to school today without library books and gloves.  

I've been busy, you see.  I'm writing another magazine article.  Gleefully I accepted the assignment, but didn't anticipate the amount of work and the short deadline.  And so I've spent whatever free time I have grinding away on the article (it seems) to the detriment of my home.

After I hung up the phone with Chris, I scanned my filthy house.

I desperately wanted to:

A)  Cry profusely,
B) Yell loudly at anyone or no one,
C)  Drink as many caffeinated drinks as I could slurp down so I could pull an all nighter and accomplish absolutely everything during those twilight hours (and still be completely fresh the next day),
D) Clone myself in an amount equal to the number of my projects/responsibilities, or
E)  All of the above.


I chose E!

I think about Ann Voskamp.  She penned "1,000 Gifts" while tending to her six home schooling kiddos on a farm.  Or there's the Duggars.  They wrote several books while raising 19 kids (and counting).

If they could do it, surely I could draft a few articles while still tending to a home, a husband, and only four boys. 

But I wasn't.

I contemplated how to proceed.  Writing for magazines is what I love to do.  It's what I enjoy.  But then another little part of me that feels guilty.   An inner voice shames me for being selfish and neglectful.

A voice of reason seeks a compromise.  Surely, I can do both.  But how?

And so I mentally formulate a plan.  A new way of operating so I can write free of guilt and without slighting all my other responsibilities.  I think of ways the boys can pitch in more with the housework and take over more personal responsibilities.  I readjust expectations.  I remind myself that the house can stay messy for a season (or until I reach a deadline) without the world crashing down.  I make a vow to keep my priorities in line: faith and family first over house and work.

And so I continue to write, making time for family dinner while refusing to make eye contact with the laundry. 


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