The unglamorous everyday. (And what happens when you tip bubble mixture on a laptop)

Sunday, 20 March 2016

A few weeks ago our laptop died a tragic, premature death. Drowning by bubble mixture.

I reacted in a calm and collected way.

First, I said a lot of unrepeatable words loudly in my head and bit my lip to stop them from escaping my mouth. (I try not to swear as a general rule but feel that the sudden breakage of expensive equipment might be one of those scenarios where it is a bit more acceptable, along with stubbing your toe, and accidentally straightening your finger instead of your hair. Unfortunately my tiny daughter is at the stage where she copies every single thing I say and has bat-like hearing).

Then, I grabbed a towel, mopped it up, and switched it off.

Then I tried turning it on again.

Then I repeated the last step about a thousand times in a row whilst muttering darkly.

Then I burst into tears.

I know it's only a laptop, but you know, that's a fairly big chunk of money for us that we can't afford right now. Luckily, a lovely family member is going to give us their spare one, which is amazing. So while I wait, I've been scribbling my thoughts into a notebook. And now I am borrowing my father-in-law's computer whilst trying to decipher my own mad handwriting.

So what's been happening with you?

Life is ticking along as normal with us. There are exciting things coming up, potentially, but nothing I could put into words yet, and nothing to do with jobs or work. I am still a stay-at-home Mum. And for a while I struggled with this, as I'm sure I've written about before. I love being at home with Jellybean, and feel very privileged to get to spend so much time with her, but leaving work does mean leaving a large chunk of your identity behind. You start to worry that you haven't got anything of worth to give people anymore, except your tiny child.

In a world that judges you by how much knowledge you can retain, or how many certificates you have on your wall, or how many places you've seen, how many followers you have, or how much money you have in the bank, being a stay at home parent can feel small and insignificant.

But it's not. Because the same way a working parent provides for her family, and expresses their love and commitment for their children that way, so a stay home parent expresses love in their own way, in the small, repeated acts of kindness and service each day.

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'There are only small things being done over and over with great love, as Mother Teresa said. With great faith. With great obedience. With great joy or suffering or forgiving on a daily basis ... I do want to take my life's work right now, today - whether it's a book I'm writing or a phone call I'm making or a meal I'm cooking - and I want to hold it all in my open hand with a Spirit-breathed prayer and intention.' - Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist


***

Really, I am fed up of the idea of pitting working mothers against stay-at-home mothers, not least because it is ridiculously sexist to both women and men (how often do you see the media fanning the flames of rivalry between working fathers and stay at home fathers? Not often as far as I know. But then stay at home Dads are not exactly well represented in our culture anyway). It goes beyond that. Life - if you're a parent or not - can feel unglamorous sometimes. Repetitive. Same stuff, different day. I'm starting to realise that it's important to embrace my own lack of importance and learn to live with it - as well as realising the importance of the small, every day things that I do.

There is beauty in it. All of it. Whether you are wrangling three squealing children into the car in the pouring rain again (because as a general rule it always rains in England between 8.30-9.00am, and 2.30-3.00pm), or answering emails, or hoovering the stairs, or whatever - if your intent is to make life for other people better, to make things easier for your loved ones and indeed everyone around you - then the end result is beautiful.

Grounding, occasionally draining, everyday work. But don't be fooled into thinking it doesn't count. That if it goes without applause, or fanfare, or admiration, that it doesn't count: it does. Your heart behind what you do matters.

And that is all from me. For now. I can't WAIT to get back into blogging, partly because I type way faster than I write by hand and I find thoughts escaping my brain as my hand struggles to keep up (hence the horrific handwriting). But also because I have exciting things coming up. Exciting to me at least ...

See you soon!

2 comments:

  1. Sorry about your laptop :(

    It is the intent isn't it Megan - although we often forget and need reminding every now and then.

    I've been a stay at home mum in the past too and remember the financial struggle and how meaningless tasks can feel (and how meaningless I felt). I also remember holding down two part time jobs and being pregnant with our second child ... and still struggling financially. We've funded our eldest at Uni for three years (his last year! thank goodness). Guess what I'm trying to say is that through different cycles some things remain the same but it is how we view what we're doing and why. And we get past them.

    Thought provoking post.

    Looking forward to hearing your exciting news Megan. x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Interesting to read your comment. I speak to other stay at home mothers who have also struggled and identity and purpose seem to be something we all find difficult at times. In all seasons of life I think if you have the right frame of mind it makes a big difference!

      Thank you, looking forward to getting into blogging again! xx

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