The advent of summer vacation means that, even though I'd love to be out with my parasol promenading through nature a la the Claude Monet painting here, I'm glued even more to my computer. Trying, trying to get caught up on writing, editing, and design. Trying to get organized. Trying to do what needs to be done and still help the kids have fun.
But you know, there's always conflict. And when there's conflict with my kids, I inevitably come away feeling terrible. In short, every time I say "No, I can't," and my wee ones pout at me, I feel guilty.
It's tough. Being a stay-at-home-mom is tough on its own (am I right? Eh, eh? Can I get a "hallelujah"?? LOL). Being a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom sometimes stresses me to the point of banging my head against my desk and pleading with the world for five minutes of SILENCE. Which, of course, then makes me feel guilty for not having enough patience...
But here's the thing. Moms very rarely have the luxury to just be their kids' playmates. If I weren't glued to my computer, I'd be gardening or making homemade pasta (my friend just posted pictures of doing this, and I had one of those "Oh, if only I had time!!!" moments) or making bread or picking up messes or scrubbing spots from my carpet or doing laundry more than once a week (ahem) or... you get the idea. I'd be keeping up with other projects. There's a reason kids used to run rather free, when it was safe for them to do so--because mothers always have responsibilities.
It happens that my writing-related responsibilities take the priority over organization or homemade-this-and-that-making. And while it's harder to get the kids involved in it (as opposed to baking, say, which they help me with), I really try. They're often right beside me, painting or coloring or writing their own stories (okay, not Rowyn yet--but he'll pretend).
But still, I need some quiet work time. Our current set-up gives me one day a week without the kids. One day--and I often feel guilty over it. I try telling myself that I have no reason to, that it's not unreasonable, that I need it. Yeah, that never works.
Then I hear that little whisper. I was called to be a mother, yes. And I love my children in ways I never imagined I could love. But I was also called to serve the Lord through the written word. To write books. To help found a publishing company. And those callings require the sacrifice of my time. Daily I have to pray for insight in how to balance it, and if I'm at my computer at all, my kids will say I spend too much time there, LOL. But there it is. If I believe this is my calling, I need to do what needs done to achieve it.
Now, I'm not saying we don't all run the risk of neglecting one thing in order to pursue another. Sometimes we go too far. But we also all need to be aware that when we are doing what the Lord wants us to do, that's going to open us to attack. And so we'll feel jealousy. We'll feel discouragement.
We'll feel guilt.
I need to remain forever aware of my kids' needs and put them, without question, first. But I also need to give them to God and remember that a happy child isn't one who has her mother's undivided attention, she's one who has learned by example to seek after the Lord. My seeking, my obedience, is here. At my desk. With my Bible on my right (and another on my left, and two more on the shelf above me...), my computer under my fingers, and my kids dashing in and out.
Do you ever struggle with balancing the multiple things God has called you to do? Ever feel guilty over it? How do you deal with that?
On an unrelated note, we finally started a Facebook page for WhiteFire Publishing! (http://www.facebook.com/WhiteFirePublishing) If I haven't invited you yet or you haven't found it, please go "like" us! =) And check out that beautiful line-up...