Monday, October 19, 2009

Thoughts of a Sulky SAHM*

*stay-at-home mommy

The other night I was talking to Josh about the endless household chores that I have to do every day. These tasks aren't specifically "my" responsibilities as the wife (since in our marriage we are equal partners), but they often become my responsibilities because I am here, I have the time to do them, and they need to get done. I was venting because sometimes it's so frustrating to do tasks that seem so mundane! I just DID the dishes-- don't tell me I have to do another load! And no matter how many times I do those dishes or clean the living room or change the sheets or pick up jr.'s toys... I should probably do it all over again tomorrow. Sometimes it gets a little old! Sometimes I wish I could do things that were more fun or seemed more personally fulfilling with my time.

Then, as I thought (sulkily and a little indignantly) about all of that, I realized something.

What keeps me doing those things over and over again? It's the fact that I'm a member of a family. I'm a wife and a mommy, and for those reasons, I have to. That dinner isn't going to magically appear. That diaper isn't going to change itself. That kiddo isn't going to stay safe and well-fed and clean all on his own.

So if I weren't in the situation I am now, what would keep me doing good things all day? Probably nothing. I would probably end up surfing the internet or sleeping during my free time and doing absolutely nothing productive. Not because I'm a bad person, but because by nature, I'm a little lazy. The natural man has a tendency to take the easy road. So the fact that I chose to be a mother (which God asked me to do at this time in my own personal life) means that automatically I have responsibilities all day long to guide me in my daily choices.

And that makes it easier to be a good person! Instead of being in the position to waste all of my time away, which I probably would, I've got this little guy (soon to be TWO little guys) crawling all over me, and begging for my love, attention, care, and support. And I have a busy, hard-working husband who probably wouldn't mind having things to eat and a tidy place to come home to amidst all the craziness of his work and school activities.

So my point, I guess, is that God makes it easier for us to use our time well by giving us the commandment to have a family. Just by getting married and having children, I have lined myself up for a whole bunch of built-in opportunities to serve (and to serve those I love most!) that I wouldn't have otherwise. If I didn't have that commandment in my life, I'd have to find soup kitchens to volunteer at or old ladies to help across the street or charity organizations to donate all of my money to (not that I shouldn't be doing those kinds of things anyway, but hopefully you see what I mean), which would be very time and energy consuming... and who knows if I would take the time to do it? Being a wife and a mommy is the easy way out in this case.

And the more I do the things that are ever present (albeit ever mundane) and necessary in my home, the closer I am to becoming like Heavenly Father. He is endlessly serving, so He has given me a simple way to be endlessly serving too (and hopefully growing to like it someday...) and trying to become more like him. The more I fold the laundry, the more I align my actions with God's will and the less with my own silly will that doesn't know what's best for me.

Yeah... in the end, I'm pretty sure that mopping jr.'s dinner up off the floor is going to make me happy.

...and once my kids are old enough, they can do it all! just kidding. kind of.


Lori said...

The day to day life of a mom can definitely be mundane, but so can any job, really. The days that are particularly boring for me, I just have to remember that many of my days while i was working were tedious, boring, and ridiculously repetitive. I have tons more fun days as a housewife than I ever did as a writer... and this is so much more rewarding! I do feel your pain though adele- and I think that you're fancy and fabulous.

Lindsey said...

Oh man, I have been feeling exactly the same way lately! Have you seen the last post on my blog? It's about the same topic. :)

Nathan and Sarah said...

Thanks for posting this. I have been feeling those same feelings today. It is nice to see the more positive side of those feelings. I suppose it wont be the last time I will feel this way, but I hope to remember what you wrote and be grateful that I have the opportunity to have a kid and husband to cook for!

NoSurfGirl said...


Lately I have been sick and bedridden and my husband has stayed home to do all the things I usually have to do but have not been able to for the past several days. And it's really, really hard to be in the position of not being able to do it all! It's interesting how that aspect comes into it too... when you suddenly can't do all these things, you realize how fulfilling it is to have a productive, happy, well-fed, well-educated household running because of the hard work you put in everyday.

Linda said...

Well said. You have inspired me to go clean my house and actually cook a meal for my men. (at least for a day or two) What a wonderful mother, daughter, sister and wife you are!!!

Trent and Meg said...

Adele--you are a wise woman. I know both sides of those feelings (but not with a kid yet!) and I am grateful for your wisdom that you shared...I've never thought about things that way before. Thanks for being a great example, and for working so hard :) And I'll tell you--I bet Josh would understand coming home to a messy house once in a while...just so you have more time to play with Jr., enough time to read, to play the piano or to find a new hobby :)

Margaret said...

Beautifully said, Adele! Thanks for this! :)

Steph said...

I love that! It's such a good way to look at things. It's great to have the gospel to help us keep it all on an eternal perspective, and I'm sure your hubby and boy(s) will and do appreciate all the hard work you put in to making your home an amazing one. It's a hard job, but an important one and makes such a difference. I always remember my mom being there for us and that means/meant so much more to me knowing that she gave us the best upbringing possible complete with clean house, home cooked dinners and always folded laundry. It's the happiest childhood experience I ever could have imagined, and your kids are getting the same thing :)

Jack and Bernice said...

Amen sister!! :o) Thanks for the inspiring thoughts...EXACTLY what i needed to read today...after cleaning the kitchen and doing loads of laundry. :o)