Friday, February 18, 2011

A New Mantra

I had a startling realization on Lydia's birthday. I have been a full time mom longer than I was in a career. I started working full time a month after I got married. Lydia was born a little less than five years later. I worked up to the day before she was born.


I guess this seemed shocking to me since I've always thought of myself as a career women who is currently staying home with her children. But it's been five years. Five years of full time homemaking and mommying. I miss working, but I'm not going back. I love staying home with my babies. As hard as it is, I know this is what I need to be doing. I know this is the best thing for my family. Still, I find it overwhelming in it's monotony at times. 

I've been looking for a couple new mantras to replace the negative ones I'm trying to control. I found one that I absolutely love in last season's issue of Seeing the Everyday. (A gorgeous advertisement-free magazine I think every mother should receive.) It talked about finding the poetry in the prosaic. To quote Gary Saul Morson, to focus on the prosaics is "a way of thinking about human events that focuses on the ordinary, messy, quotidian facts of daily life. In short - on the prosaic. Clocked in their very ordinariness, the prosaic events that truly shape our lives, escape our notice."



When I think of the mundane activities of my life in this way, it's as if a cool sweet breeze enters in a room of stale air. This way of life will never be easy or glamourous. But I can look at it in a way to find the beauty hidden in the most insignificant chores and actions. Folding a sheet may not be a moment of any notice, but what if I include Lydia and we shake it out together, whipping it into a frenzy. Then I take the time to show her how to make the corners match and how to keep the wrinkles away. We have created a moment together. A duty that must be done, can bring my child closer. 

We need to to have bread to make our sandwiches for the day. What if I really did learn to make my own and the kids made small little loafs at the counter with me. Together we watch the bread brown and the house start to fill with that intoxicating smell. Together we rip into that warm bread and laugh as we get sticky with jam and honey. What if we did this every week? What if the smell of baking bread would always make them feel safe and loved, even when they are far from home.

I think I am afraid to lose myself in pure domesticity. But who says I can't be a strong woman and still find joy in cleaning my kitchen floor? (And I really loath cleaning my floor.)

This is my new mantra. Find The Poetry In The Prosaic. I want to find fulfillment in the books I read, the friends I make, the places I visit, and the man I love. But I also want to find it in the small area of space I take up in this world. Within these wall are the memories my family will cherish, as long as I am able to find the beauty in the daily mundanes that bless my life.


6 comments:

Nellilou said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you....although our situations are slightly different(I work part-time) I do feel the same as you very often and your post has lifted mys spirits, made me think and put a smile on my face...once again THANK YOU!!!

Love

Natalie(aka Nellilou)

April said...

love it Natalie- Love that quote.

By small and simple things, great things come to pass.

I have taught more gospel principles to my girls during the day when nothing is really going on than they have ever learned at Family Home Evening or scripture study- just talking with them and making them lunch or helping them clean up their room- questions and conversations always pop up. And sometimes the days seem so long and I wish I were more productive making money...but like you, I wouldn't trade the small moments with my kids. great quote. I think I will make a cool print out of that and hang it up somewhere...

Ange said...

This was great. I am not a mom (yet) but one day I will be. You are so inspiring with everything that you do for your family. I completely agree with creating moments with your children that they will cherish forever...even if it is folding sheets. Love it!

Anna said...

This was exactly what I needed to hear today. My life seems to be too full of the mundane things. It is good to be reminded that I should be reveling in these moments and cherishing them.

And thanks to April for commenting on here "By small and simple things, great things come to pass." Another good reminder.

Jana @ The Summer House said...

My favorite
There is no way to be a perfect mom and a million ways to be a good one.
~Jill churchill

Shannon Gillman Orr said...

Thank you. I wonder why it is so difficult to let go of the must-do's and go ahead an lose ourselves in the domicitiy. We have similary scenarios and I have also now been a mother just longer than I was a working girl. As challenging and as irritating the everyday is...I am also working to keep the sweet simplicity of motherhood in the forefront and spend the moments I can kissing my boys little faces. I have to. Now while they want me as their best friend so that hopefully they will never completely let go, because I know I never will.

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