Friday, October 15, 2010

Cooking and Cleaning can wait...

The past two weeks have flown by in a rush of "hurry up's", "must do's" and "don't have time to sit and rest right now's".  Right up until I came down with a yucky case of mastitis. I had managed to avoid getting even a plugged duct with this baby. I always nurse on demand, and for as long as she would like. But in the busyness and stress of the past two weeks, my girl and I haven't sat down to nurse like we should have every day, and then I had to pay for it big time! She is such a happy baby and is often so easy to distract that if I was doing something *important* I could convince her to play for just a bit longer or have a snack instead of nursing.

I realized that I hadn't really enjoyed doing any of the things that I normally love so much. For example cooking... I love to cook, I mean I really really enjoy it. But for the past while it has felt like such a chore. "What, you want to eat again??? I just fed you all 5 hours ago!!!" The same went for pretty much everything else in my home, I had developed the attitude lately that everything was just one more thing to hurry up and finish on my to-do list so I could mark it off and get to the next thing on the list. I stayed up way to late, got up long before I felt rested and generally pushed myself even harder the next day.

Well, you can only push your body so hard before something gives... in my case I just started feeling poorly and I ignored it. Within 24 hours I had no choice but to rest. I was sick. So I took my baby to bed and we rested and cuddled and she nursed and nursed. Rodrigo made me tea and even took care of meals for a while, and I rested. During my forced rest I realized that I had not really enjoyed a single thing that I had accomplished in the past couple of weeks. So I decided that I would try to slow down and really put some mindfulness into the things I choose to do and seek to enjoy them. For example: When I cook dinner for my family I will think about what I am doing, I will take the time to plan a nice meal (even if it is something as simple as scrambled eggs!) I will not try to do 47 other things at the same time, so that none of them end up well done.  I will realize that this is a gift for our family, a chance to sit down together and connect once again with good food and conversation. I am trying to carry that mindfulness with me into each of my activities throughout the day. After all if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing to the best of my ability!

Another thing I am really going to be making more of an effort to do is have the children help me more around the house.  That is often hard for me... I can usually get things done so much neater, faster and easier done(!) without taking the time to have the children help me. I have a tendency to think that I'll let them help next time (or week, month or even year!) But it is so important to let them help me for many reasons. They need to understand that each of them is an important part of our family and are needed to help make our family and household run smoothly. They need to learn how to care for a family and a home because someday they will have families and homes of their own!  And they need to feel like what they do really matters. Everyone needs to feel needed! After all, our goal as parents is to raise adults! Godly, responsible, loving, capable strong, healthy, wise ADULTS. And having them at my side and showing them how we care for our home and letting them take pride in their work is one of the things I feel like we need to do in helping our children reach mature adulthood.

I feel much freer since choosing to do things like this. For example, now I have the freedom to enjoy the process of making our bread, to kneed and kneed with my little boys at the kitchen table while we talk about what matters to them (and without worrying about everything else that must be done). I allow myself the time to make a cup of tea, and sit and nurse my baby while rubbing her head and back or browsing a magazine, instead of trying to nurse her while sorting laundry or a myriad of other things. Like the little poem on my right hand sidebar says:

Cooking and cleaning can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I'm nursing my baby and babies don't keep.

I've always known that, but sometimes I find that it is necessary to be reminded, even if it did take getting sick to remind me! As a mama it is hard not to give into the pressure to do everything, but that is not good for us! Having a happy family with a healthy happy (present) mama is so much more important! Our time with our babies is so very short! Just 10 months ago we had this:

And now in the blink of an eye we've come to this!


  1. I had that poem in my head earlier today. I think it was when I was looking at my perpetually-dirty bathroom sink. I have recently (also due to being sick) even put the rush and pressure of school on the back burner. Whatever gets done gets done; whatever doesn't doesn't. The pace of life feels so much more enjoyable - even if the sink never gets cleaned.

  2. I think you are such a wonderful Mother, it is always a bit tricky to balance all that needs to be done, I remember when my children were younger, we would set aside Saturday morning for cleaning and chores, and this worked really well. we would also have family conferences,where everyone had a chance to speak, this would bring everyone back on tract, if chores like,cleaning the cats bowls,etc was not getting done. This gave our family a real sense of unity, that it is a Family that builds and makes a home, not just the parents, love and light Marie

  3. thanks for the reminder...i've been experiencing similar un-mindfulness. :)

  4. What a beautiful site you have. I am a 61 yr old grandma and I have been lost in reading your blog. Thank you for sharing.


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