I don’t know if you can relate to the feeling of being ‘in a fog’, but I have to say, I’ve been there for a lot of years of my life. In most recent years, I have been in the ‘mommy fog’ of the early years with my kids where the combination of disrupted sleep, compromised brain cells (I have to be real–the tack-sharp memory disappeared with the first pregnancy, and I have yet to see it return), and the sheer volume of tasks to be done in a day make it hard to start and finish one task, or even one thought without a really concerted effort. For example, I sat down 2 hours ago to begin this post and promptly got distracted with approximately 100 other things…and my children are even sound asleep in their beds and are unable to distract me.
The fog is a familiar place for many, I hear. Bumbling through life with some sense of direction (or maybe not), but also with a lot of questions and uncertainties, wondering if we’re making the right choices or doing the right things. Obviously some choices are clearly right or wrong from the outset. But a lot of choices are more ambiguous….like the question ‘which one do you like better?’ Is there really a wrong answer to that?
As I mentioned, for the past few years I have lived in the mommy fog. Changing, feeding, bathing, rocking, nursing, cleaning, driving, cooking. Many days all a blur and spent on auto-pilot, just doing what I had to in order to make it to the end of the day. I found my own ways to ‘escape the madness’ for a few blessed moments via my hidden sugar stash, afternoon movie time, mandatory naps for all (which can no longer happen without dire late-night consequences), time on facebook or editing photos. Normal stuff. And while I don’t think any of those ‘escapes’ are bad in and of themselves, I did start to notice an increasingly ugly attitude in my heart toward my kids was something more like, “Can we just skip past this hard part where you need so much of my attention and energy and get to the easy part when I won’t have to physically do so much for you so I can do the other things I want to do?” Just honest.
And then I bumped into a few reality checks. Time is short. The future is uncertain. Today is what I have.
I feel the weight of the gift of this moment. This home. These children. And each day I have the choice to escape to my own world or press in to theirs…to do the same tasks I was already doing, only with a new perspective, a new joy, and in the process, discover a lot of things I was missing in the fog. I have discovered a clarity and a deep sense of purpose as I have become the homemaker I never wanted to be, or at least, never set out to be. And truthfully, as I have invested more of myself in the mundane tasks of mothering, seeing them less as necessary tasks and more as a willing investment in the health and wholeness of my family, I have noticed that each of my children, my husband, and even myself have a sharpened sense of direction moving forward, deep inner peace, and a lightness to our days. Lots of days are still hard…but not nearly as hard as when I had no idea why in the world I was put here at this place, with these responisbilities. Somehow, understanding that tilling the soil, planting the seeds, and watering the ground makes it possible for God to bless and grow something truly beautiful in your field, it makes the hard work worthwhile.