From the show this week:
“Take the jazz song: do-be-do-be-do. If you don’t have the balance of the doing and the being, then all you have is doo-doo.” -Marcia McFee
A contribution to that: “I do a lot of doing and being, and yet, as a mom, find myself surrounded by a whole lot of doo-doo.” -Leslie Murrell
The other day, I was listening to Eric Elnes talk about his passion and what gives him energy and his priorities. As he listed his priorities, I thought about mine. And then I thought, well isn’t his list just adorable and tidy. Perhaps I was a little jealous. I love a good list. To the point where my husband thinks I should add “Make List” to the list. It just FEELS like my priorities are all jumbled together on one line and that nothing relents. I can’t just line item things individually. That’s crazy. Clearly this series is for me. And once again, I’m left to think that Eric writes his sermons as direct letters to me, the narcissist.
Because on paper, here’s mine (honestly):
Healthy eating (it’s a time taker)
Facebook is in there somewhere, but I’m embarrassed and too chicken to put it on the list.
I’m happy to report my soul is healthier than my thighs. God gets a bump above exercise. Well, that’s just great. I’ve tried waking up early to pray, exercise or write. Sometimes all three. All of those things give me energy. Until about 3 p.m. when the kids get home from school and I’m ready not for a nap, but for bedtime because I’ve been awake for 12 hours.
Here’s what I’d like my list to look like:
Here’s what actually happens in a day:
Wake Kids up
Kids to School
Work (or write)
Kids back from school
Kids to football, cross country, art club, and/or dance (I may or may not work out while they have their class or practice)
Nag kids to do homework while folding laundry
Think about reading one of the books from my stack on my nightstand, but slam eyes shut instead.
Wake up and do it all again.
I try to steal moments with God throughout the day, and quite frankly, I usually do. In my closest moments with God, it’s not in prayer, but in the eyes of the people I come across every day, whether its in traffic or with a friend at lunch, I see God. Sometimes it feels like maybe I’m stealing time doubling up like that. But then again, I help Lucy with her homework while I’m peeling potatoes. I’m catching up with my mom while I drive to work. And I had two babies in one shot. Clearly, I’m the queen of doubling up on life as we know it.
Yesterday, I picked the kids up from school. Lucy had to wait with me in the car until Max finished his first day of cross-country. I’ve mentioned before that my favorite times with my kids are when they are trapped in the car with me. One-on-one time with one of my twins trapped in a car with me is golden. To say the least, it was a fun discussion. I learned the French alphabet and that Billy talks a lot in math class about ridiculous random stuff, Mom.
Now, I’ve been known to pull the car over, announce Mommy needs to write something before it escapes me, and everyone needs to be super quiet, or else. I’ve done that a few times. Other than my Dory Writing Episodes, I think the reason I love driving in the car with my kids isn’t because they can’t scatter off. It’s because I can’t scatter off. No phone, no facebook, no distractions.
What followed was Max getting in the car, me announcing I’d packed snacks and that we were running an errand across town. A slight groan from the back seat. Then, I got suckered into getting us smoothies on the way across town. We got stuck in traffic, we called Chris (super dad and husband extraordinaire) to grab Max’s football pads and meet us at practice. We dropped Max off, I smooched my husband and off Lucy and I went to pick up a friend and head to a movie screening. We were home by 9:30 p.m. and Lucy was devastated that she hadn’t been home all day.
Within that paragraph of chauffering, things happened. I talked to them about a few things that were on my mind. I let them ask me any question they wanted. I answered their questions honestly. They actually listened and took in what I had to say. Then we cranked on our favorite playlists and I let them play dj. We giggled together. We saw a crazy fun hello kitty car and stopped traffic to watch it drive by. Max covered up a part of a sign at the elevator with the “ON” in the word “BUTTON,” suggesting the BUTT was this way. Lucy re-enacted Buddy the Elf getting on an escalator and we had several people around us giggling.
In short, my favorite moments, one of the greatest energizers for me are impromptu moments with my kids. I had a magnificent time with them. And then, the next day, they begged me to never take them out on errands like that again.
“But we had fun!”
“Yeah, mom, it was fun. But I like to chill at home.”
My kids teach me to be honest with myself. To prioritize. And that rest is good. And that busy can wait.
Leslie is a blogger for Darkwood Brew. She’s had her own blog for 8 years – www.momontherocks.com, chronicling the crazy moments of mommyhood. She also has a column in HerLiving, a local Omaha Magazine. When she’s not writing, she’s laughing and/or eating with her very tall family: husband, Chris, and twins, Max and Lucy.