Confession… I am not a morning person. Ask any person who has ever lived with me… I do not do mornings well. I used to drive my college roommates up the wall with my over use of the snooze button. I had all 8 am classes one semester… I’m not sure what I was thinking… I apparently was still in denial about the fact that I do not do mornings well. This morning, as I was trying to psych myself up to get out of bed and face the day, I was trying to figure out why getting up and moving is so hard for me.
I do think that some people are morning people and some are not. I think that those of us who are not can train ourselves to become something similar to a morning person. However, since being a seminary wife, I have struggled more and more to get up and moving in the mornings. I realized this morning that I selfishly treasure that time in the morning when I am waking up… I like to stay under the cozy covers for as long as possible with the bedroom door closed. The husband is off to work and the kids know that as long as mommy and daddy’s door is closed in the morning, they need to stay in their room. I treasure that time… because it is mine. I am not feeding anyone, refereeing any arguments, changing and diapers, wiping any noses, washing any dishes, sweeping any floors, folding any laundry… It is my time… quiet… cozy… time.
A book I once read, “A Mother’s Heart” by Jean Flemming addresses the issue of entitlement. We often feel we are entitled to things when in fact, we are not. We (moms of youngsters) think we are entitled to a few hours of quiet time in the afternoon. Our children should be napping because we deserve a break. We think we have certain “rights” as a mother and are completely resentful if those rights are violated.
Here is the part of Flemming’s book I am referring to:
To be selfish means being “concerned chiefly or only with oneself, without regard for the well- being of others.” Selfishness attacks all of us. We may face shortages of natural resources, jobs, and food; but we never lack selfishness.
Sometimes a child’s needs interrupts my bath, reading a good book, a sewing project, or an interesting phone call. The interruption may be in the form of tears, a bloody nose, an argument, a piercing scream , or an explosion in a back bedroom. Whatever form it takes, I resent it.
How often I’ve resented these violations of my “rights” when I should have thanked God that I could be there when my children had a need.
She then goes on to write of a diary entry she found where she expressed her discouragement some years before… and truth be told, this could have come directly out of my journal this morning:
“What Bothers me About Being a Mother.”
1. The demands on my time
2. Serving them over and over
3. Never finishing my work
4. I’m frustrated by not knowing how to handle problems (should I spank or comfort, make them play alone or do something with them?)
5. No time for my interests.
And then I was reading a friend’s blog… Little Llamas. She addresses a similar idea in her book discussion found here. I’ll let you read it since I’ve already written so much.
Here’s the thing. My children will grow up fast. Some days I LONG for the preschool years to hurry up and be over. I LONG to be on the other side, telling young moms to treasure their time while their children are young. I LONG to take a nap. But… I must push past and set aside my selfish desires. I need to read to my children, play My Little Pony and Dinosaurs with my children, change diapers without complaining, brush hair, fix breakfast, fix lunch, fix dinner, tie shoes, fix baths, go to the park, go to the library, ride bikes, climb trees, swing on swings, push children in swings for hours on end…I need to be there for my children because soon enough, they won’t need help getting dressed, help learning letters, help cutting their food. They won’t want to cuddle. They won’t want me to sing them a song in the middle of the night when they’ve had a bad dream. Soon enough… these days will be gone.
I do not deserve anything… well… that’s not true. According to Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death.” So… I do deserve at least that. But, God in his mercy also promises that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I am not entitled to anything… Despite what culture says, I do not deserve anything. If I can change my way of thinking, I will not resent my children when they do not nap or when they do something that “violates my rights” but will enjoy them more and take it as a blessing when I do get a quiet afternoon.
As Suzanna Wesley said, I’m a mom… for the next 20 years… this is what I do (paraphrase).