The other night I had a revelation.
Our house is calm. Even with three kids.
I’d better explain that.
The reality of life with three kids under the age of four is that yes, it does take more “work” overall. Especially when it’s time to leave the house. And yes, the logistics of having two that don’t walk can be tricky. But the truth is – our lives seem calmer. What?! How is it possible to have a more peaceful life when we’ve added another kiddo to the mix?
I should admit that I wasn’t expecting this calm. I was actually bracing for chaos. Caring for a newborn is all-consuming. And when there are two other little ones in the picture survival mode has no choice but to kick into high-gear. Every minute of my day is devoted to keeping someone alive, fed and somewhat happy.
Yet this transition hasn’t been chaotic. Well-rested I’m not, but I’m calm. I’m not panicked about a long to-do list. I don’t have a calendar packed with commitments. I’m not working on any projects. I’m not worried about saying “no” to the many activities available to our kids. And I don’t dwell on the future – if I have time for that I should be sleeping! Having a newborn gave me the excuse to clear my calendar – no questions asked. And as the result of my recent revelation, it occurred to me that I don’t have to fill it back up. An “aha” moment for sure.
I originally assumed that this new focus on today and today only was born out of necessity. Upon further reflection I realize that it is a gift – grace for sure – that has been given to me. My daily tasks are simple – empty the dishwasher, another load of laundry, pick Henry up from school, therapy sessions for Charlie, and meals. I’m no longer running around trying to complete “just one more errand,” or attempting any new fancy recipes for dinner. To many it may not seem like I’m accomplishing much with my day. I suppose that may be true when measured by the standards of our culture. The role of a stay-at-home-mom is not a high-profile position. I’m not making any money and it’s certainly not glamorous. But everyone seems happier – and yes calmer – with our new slower-paced days.
There is something to be said for the calm that ensues when one simply lives for and in the present day. Yet I’m not the first to have such a revelation. Someone else figured this whole “take each day as they come” thing a few years back. Come to find out Jesus was really on to something when he said: “34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 I’ve heard that passage a million times, but it took years for it to get from my head to my heart. To live it. To simply embrace the gift of today and revel in the freedom that comes in that package.
I didn’t just decide that our house would suddenly become peaceful, we had to make big changes. As a result I’ve become much more confident about what I believe – that simply raising my children, being a mother and a wife, is enough. That not only is it enough, it’s exactly where He wants me to be. Of course I must still keep my prior commitments, but I can assure you that I’m much more particular about things that will take me away from my family. And I’m much more aware of the “just because I can do it all, I should” traps. There will always be an opportunity to “help out,” or add “just one more” activity, but my kids will only be little once. I will not miss that. And my husband deserves my best now – not just when the kids are grown. My family is my top priority – today – plain and simple.