Where is my uniform? Where are my shoes? My shirt and my skirt?
All given the same answer. ‘Wherever you left them!’
Monday morning causing mayhem since 2010.
Uniforms are found, stains are baby wiped. Un-showered hair put up and PE kits are salvaged from the car from when it was left there on Friday. The guilt is fast beginning to rise of not being that mum who folds all the uniforms neatly at the end of the bed were they wait unwrinkled till the next day. Meanwhile back in our mayhem, a shirt from the ironing pile is found given a shake and handed to a child. As I do this, I pray the teachers will be dazzled by the hair being up rather than the shirt that looks like it has been slept in.
At this point I notice the washing piling up, the wet clothes now on their third day outside on the line and the dishwasher needing emptied and don’t get me started on the bedrooms.
At this point as we run out the door I vow to change, I vow to NEVER to go out ever again. I vow that I shouldn’t ever go out because shirts should never be worn creased and uniforms should be neatly folded at the end of the beds.
And then I remember, I remember the reason for the uniform frenzy. I remember the night before. The food that we ate and the chats that we had. The friends I sat with and how we talked about our lives, the struggles and the successes. How we cried because of our pain and then the tears flowed because of the laughter.
I remembered who I was.
After the drop off to school happened and as I left Seth to a friends. I drove in silence and still there was the knot of guilt. Leaving a house with breakfast dishes on the table, washing still out, beds not made and what the heck is for dinner tonight?
I get to work and see Glen in the corridor – we high five the fact that we found all the uniforms and no-one was late. It’s always the little things worth celebrating. Then I sit down with the team, grab a coffee, breathe deep and I remember who I am.
I am a hardcore fierce mama who would lay down her life for all five of the precious lives I get nurture and love but I am also that person who fiercely loves the church and loves working alongside a team of amazing people. I love my children deeply but they aren’t the centre of the universe and I try to work that out so life doesn’t revolve them and that they know as a family, as individuals we are people and we all deserve to run after fast the calling that God has placed in our heart.
My calling is to be a mum, a wife but also I have a passion for people outside my four walls. Laughing and chatting, preaching and writing, pursuing justice and breaking the walls of oppression for those who more than anything need Gods shalom in their beings and their lives. All of these things and my babies make me the whole person that God breathes life into. My kids need to see me have fun with those precious friends, go to work, get it wrong and have joy in the midst of this crazy season of school runs and potty training.
I have found that I am a better mum to these guys if I run after that desire to become a counsellor or I take that random cooking course. We are all people in this house, always wanting each other to pursue what they love and desire to do, I want my kids to always discover that for themselves. I want them to see me courageously trying to work all of this out so that they will always go after their dreams, their vision of who they are. Getting it wrong, trying again, getting it right and celebrating. I hope and pray they value us,their family, spend time with us but also the people, the friends around them.
I also want to remember who I am when I dance in my kitchen with no-one watching to a song that causes that beat of nostalgia to rise and stay. I want to play Kate Bush so loud in my car because there are no babies there in fear of their ear drums. I want to remember who I am when I stay up to 2am with friends because I throw caution to being sensible and grasp joy in the conversation where we laugh till we cry. I want to go to work and write, and preach and sit with whoever I can and listen to their stories while I tell them mine. I want to go dancing till my feet hurt and I want to leave the dishes in the sink along with tomorrows concerns and sit outside with a beer and my face towards the evening sun while the house sleeps and remember who I am.
Whether it is work or just carving out that precious time when you do what you love to do.
I love seeing my friends going for that new business venture, training for a marathon, learning to sew or sing or dance.
They remember who they are.
We don’t need to feel guilty of remembering who we are. We are all different, and it is just a matter of finding what makes you feel like a person. What are those things in your life that helps you remember who you are? What are those moments, what is it in the midst of our daily rhythm, those little pockets of you as a person in the midst of this crazy life.
So I am not sure I have the work/ life balance sussed. Somedays I am drowning and somedays I am nailing it whenI feel I achieved it and then someone can’t find their uniform.