Monday, October 18, 2010

Gone Missing

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm going on vacation (back to New Mexico) until next Monday. Sorry if posts are few (or none) until then! I'll leave you with one of my favorite saint quotes as I often like to do:

"Guard your eyes that they may not look upon anything contrary to purity; your ears, that they may not listen to evil conversation; your mind, by banishing from it all suggestive thoughts; your heart, by stifling impure desires at their very birth." - St. John Baptist de la Salle

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Housewives and Homemakers

When we first moved to Oklahoma, I was already pregnant and knew I would stay home with our children. Because of this I decided there was no point in finding a job that I would need to quit in a few short months. I would instead stay at home. Most days I would sleep in to my liking, clean up a little around the house and then find somewhere I could go or something I could do. I blamed my need for escape on cabin fever and could not stand spending a whole day in my house.

Now, even with two small children, I tend to do this. Granted, I cannot sleep in anymore, but my days are planned around where I can go that day or what errand I can run to get out of the house. I am constantly stressed about the mess of my house and feel I can never have company over without many hours notice (to clean before they come). The laundry is constantly piled and the toys are never picked up. Every time I walk in the door I feel a mound of stress creep up in my body dreading the massive amount of housework that I should be doing.

For nearly three years I have been a housewife, but I have not by any stretch of the imagination been a homemaker. Now, when I say homemaker, I am not talking about the "home" that you take everywhere with you. Not the "home is where the heart is" home, but the house part of the home. It is time for me to start embracing this part of my vocation as a mother and wife. For the first time in my married life, I am starting to embrace my home. I am enjoying becoming more organized, getting in a cleaning routine, and discovering healthy recipes to cook for my family. It is a wonderful feeling and something I feel God is really working on in my life right now. With this new found love for homemaking comes a drastic realization of what a lost art homemaking is. How many women do you know that keep a nice peaceful home while still cooking healthy meals and tending to cleaning and laundry. I know a few, but not many. I have learned, the hard way, that just because you stay home with your children, doesn't mean you have provided a home for them. I consider this to be a woman's obligation to her family, and an important part of her vocation. Taking care of your children and your home is a full time job, and maybe we have just shoved in too many "extra curricular activities" to be able to enjoy it.

So women, put on your apron, cook a nice homemade meal for your family and enjoy dinner at the table together. These are the memories your children will remember. This is the home they will love to come to. The home that you made for them.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Liking and Loving

My great friend and I were blessed last weekend to have a weekday wherein our husbands were off work. It was a beautiful Friday morning, so we all decided to go to the Science Museum. I love going to museums on weekdays. There are no crowds to worry about and people to shuffle through. I don't shuffle gracefully with a double stroller. Anyways, as we moseyed around the museum we passed several rather large families. My friend commented to me, "They must be all homeschoolers because it's a weekday and they aren't at school." I thought about it for a minute and then agreed saying, "Yeah must be. I wonder why that is: homeschoolers and big families seem to go together most of  the time." Then my friend, in her brilliance, stated,  "I don't know, maybe because they actually like their kids and want to have more and spend time with them."


That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't think most people like their kids these days. I didn't say they don't love their children; that they wouldn't jump in front of a car for them, I'm saying they don't like them. Now, please don't be insulted if you don't homeschool or have a lot of children. If you say you like your kids, I believe you, I just think you are a rarity.

I have been struggling with something lately. This whole concept of "mommy-time", or whatever you want to call it. It seems to be on everyone's lips, "I need time away", "I need time for myself" etc. I do understand that mothers need adult conversation and time out of the house to spend with friends away from their day to day tasks. What I think can be a problem is the attitude with which we do this. Are we really doing these things to enjoy the companionship of other women and bask in much needed adult conversation, or are we doing it to get away from our children? Do we really enjoy the company of our children, or are we just waiting for our husbands to walk in the door to "relieve" us of our duty? Are our children an inconvenience that takes us away from what we really want to be doing, or have we adjusted our attitudes so that raising our children is what we want to be doing?

I think the sacrifice of child-rearing is what keeps a lot of people from having more. Children do take time, money, a whole bunch of patience and self-giving, but what better thing to do than raise an immortal soul for all eternity? It's time for mother's to start doing what we were made to do. To pour ourselves into our families totally and completely. To start changing our attitude towards our children and enjoying their littleness. Sure, go out and have a drink with your friends every once and a while. But I hope you like your kids enough to miss them while you're gone.