Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm still learning to drive an automatic and let go of the gear shift....

A lot of what I had read on the internet spoke of implementing routines and being organised. Routines! Aahhh, something I was good at doing ;-) We already had daily routines in place, like meal times, sleep times and story times. Our week already had a routine to it. Shopping day, cleaning day, a day to visit friends and a day to visit grandparents. And we still met with my friend and her children to do crafts.
So what did the teacher in me do? Designed a planner! What’s on this week? Did the planner help? Well, it made me see that my kids were already being exposed to learning situations! However, I was still feeling a little guilty that I wasn’t doing anything constructive with Jenna (something I would also need to learn to not worry about). So I started introducing a baking day and a day to be out walking and exploring in nature.

Now, I am not really a homemaker at heart! Cooking, cleaning and crafts are not my strong points! However, I am blessed with a husband who thinks I am great at cooking and doesn’t get too bothered with a mess. So, if I am perfectly honest, it is my high expectations of self and perception that I needed to do what other moms were doing, that led to the next mammoth task! Using a menu plan I found from another home school mom, I designed a weekly meal planner. (That took me weeks to complete!)
I also spent time trying to plan a cleaning routine. I thought that it was important for the kids to see me doing the housework, and even joining in!

Boy does it take a while for the penny to drop for me.
I knew that the Lord was helping me to let go of my need to control my environment by means of set routines. But I was still finding it hard to let go. You see, first I needed to realize that what others did in their homes wasn’t necessarily what we needed to do! This was learnt the hard way. I was trying to follow advice from other moms instead of resting in the Lord and seeking His way for us! The result was: The routines started ruling me as I spent more time planning and cleaning than relaxing and being with the kids! 

Cleaning my home was even taking me away from time with my kids. It also added stress (self-imposed!) when I wasn’t managing to clean because I needed to help them with their little life lessons. Yes, I know that there are many moms out there who do both. Well, the Lord wasn’t asking me to be someone else-He was asking me to be me! In fact, I soon realized that I had a certain amount of pride about the fact that I could run my own home, cleaning, cooking and raising kids. So for me, personally, I had to let go of this and once again went to my husband with a request: Please could I get a domestic helper? We are now so blessed to have Annah, who helps us keep our home clean! And now that I don’t need to clean the floors at night or catch up on ironing I can spend much needed time with my husband!

Surfing the net was great, but learning to discern what the Lord was wanting for us as a family was the most important lesson I needed to learn. The Lord knows us as individuals. He knows our needs even before we do. He wants to bless us! He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us. I learnt that I would often turn away from His blessings and feel that I needed to do everything on my own. When instead, I should have been leaning on My Lord and trusting that the Author of my Life had already pre-planned all the days of my life, all I needed to learn was to listen! Something I have to practice everyday!!!

And what were my children learning all this time? To discover their own world!