Every once in a while a day comes along that helps me reevaluate my attitudes about my situation. Yesterday was such a day.
The past 14 months, since the arrival of Caleb, have passed in a blur. Two out-going and always-going boys have tested me in my role as a mother and wife. Building my home, establishing some routine, fitting everything in - many (most) days end with my watching the clock until my husband walks in the door so that I can offload some of the heavy burdens that have gathered during the day.
We (James and I) have a strong belief that the husband/father should take an active role in the home. Yes, his primary responsibility is to earn a living to provide for his family materially, but there are certain responsibilities at home which he holds as well. I have never relied more on this philosophy than in the past year.
But I had a re-framing of ideas yesterday. I met up with a friend whom I have come to know through our blogs. Online friendships are certainly a new phenomenon in our time, and foster a very different kind of relationship than those we are used to. This friend and I met for the first time yesterday, and yet were so intimately acquainted each others' family, thoughts, passions, dreams. We immediately fell into an easy manner of conversation that roamed through topics of every imaginable kind.
Currently she is minding her home and her 5 children (under 7 years) without the daily support of her beloved companion. Her husband is finishing up his schooling and will join them again in the spring, but for now, she is the sole head of the home. I inquired about how she managed, and was surprised at her upbeat outlook. No doubt there are days - there are always days - but she admitted that once she had to do it, she was amazed at how much she could actually do.
And so I looked inward into my own heart to evaluate myself: how much can I actually do? There is no doubt my husband is here for support and wants to be here for support - but do I rely on him more than necessary? Do I offload simply because he's here, selfishly desiring my load to be lighter while weighing him down? There are days I want to tear my hair out for feeling that nothing is getting done. But if I had to do it - if I had no choice but to do it - how would I organize myself to accomplish it all?
There is a spark of energy burning inside me, a desire to be a little better, do a little more. Let me put my nose to the grindstone, my shoulder to the wheel, but let me do it with a song in my heart and a smile on my lips. Life is grand, life is good, life is busy, life is joyful! Let my days have purpose and goals, that I may fall into bed exhausted with the good I have done and the things I have accomplished. Let me fill my life so that I may say of each day: "well lived, my friend."