Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Livin' the Dream

I have heard the phrase, "Livin' the Dream" quoted in movies by the rich, the handsome, and the 'have-it-all' character. It is always said with a literal meaning-'It was this guys dream to be rich and famous and he attained it.' And isn't that 'livin' the dream?'  Being so rich you never have to clean a dish again? So rich that you can walk into a store and buy the outfit you really want-not the one that's on the clearance rack? So rich you can go out with hubby on a date to the movies AND dinner? Or travel on a week's vacation with the kids to Walt Disney? Well, the other night, while watching a family show on television, the father asked his wife, "So, whattcha bin up to?" The mom's reply, "I've been folding laundry for two hours now-you know me- I'm 'livin' the dream."  She said it in a sarcastic tone and rolled her eyes. At first I giggled, but then I realized what she was truly saying: Motherhood is not living the dream. The dream of changing poopie diapers every day, picking up endless toys, doing three loads of laundry daily, menu planning, and doing dishes, dishes, dishes is not exactly the livin' the dream.'

Let me warn you right off the top, this blog entry is not going to say that having to do all that work is 'livin' the dream,' cause it isn't. Work is work and you can't get around that. Every day I find myself doing the same exact things I've done the day before: wake-up, make the bed, shower, laundry, make breakfast, tell the children to help clear and clean, sweep, babes down for a nap, little boy in play time, home school, answer a few e-mails, and I'm off to lunch, dishes, tell the children to help clear and clean, sweep, playtime outside, naps, dinner, dishes, tell the children to help clear and clean, sweep, baths, books, singing, praying, ooooodles of kisses, bedtime...you get the idea. It's work and I have to be honest here-I still think the mom was funny in her sarcasm. I'm livin' the dream! lol!

I will say the difference between me saying it and that the mom who said, "livin' the dream' in her untruthful manner was saying it with discontent. She had recently been fired and was 'stuck' at home doing 'housework.' She saw all her work as fruitless, unrewarding, and dissatisfying. I think that is what this world is selling. To the world mom's work- housework, is unrewarding, but having a job outside the home is satisfying. You get to use all your 'God given talents' for the world AND get paid for it. I get that, I do, but there is another side.

Yes, mommyhood is work, no doubt. Mommyhood can even feel unrewarding and all the work gone unnoticed. I remember a time of feeling discontent. I can remember telling myself that any robot could do the things I do.- that I personally didn't have to be the one home-any babysitter could do my job. I would also tell myself that I was created to be doing more, not just changing diapers and cleaning up after others that I had gifts and visions for this world and I needed to be using them. But now I really see how all those words were lies. No one can do my job except for me. My children and my husband actually need me-Ellie.

I cannot deny that I also have dreamed of being rich. I would tell myself that the first order of business would be to have a maid three days a week and actually hire someone to do all the fixing that needs to get done in the house instead of hubby and I doing it ourselves and in my dreaming I'd still want be a homemaker-a stay at home mommy. But honestly, I don't know the two things could exist together. If we were rich I'd probably have to give up seeing my husband as much as I do or I'd have to take on some job or other and that would ruin everything I have now.

Like I said earlier, there are things that the world won't show you. The stuff you miss out on by not being in the home. You see, the stuff  I'd miss if I had a full time job are too invaluable to me to give up: waking up relaxed (cause I have no where to run to) and receiving hugs and kisses from my children as if they hadn't seen me in a year. Picking up my youngest girl and taking the time to smell her Strawberry Shortcake shampooed hair. Sitting leisurely at breakfast with my children and talking with them. Hearing my older kids chase the little ones up the stairs to do their chores. I'd miss out on hearing my little four year old sounding out words for the first time. I wouldn't be around to hear all the stories the kids are reading or be a part of the history class my boy is taking. I wouldn't be around to teach my girls how to do laundry and iron properly Or how to play with their dollhouses or sew.  To teach my boys how to defend the weak and fight for what is right. I wouldn't be home at 2:30pm when my husband walks through the door and hear about his day in the silence of the house as the little ones are napping. I wouldn't be able to have play dates or go out to lunch with a friend if I was working. I wouldn't be around to receive Grandma when she wants to stop by and say hello or do Chuck E. Cheese birthdays at 11am and have the whole place to ourselves.

 No, I would not trade the world's view of 'livin' the dream' to what I am doing-my version of 'livin' the dream.' My dream? Still being in love with the man I married seventeen years ago. Having children to love, teach, and train. Using my gifts given by God Himself in my home and for anyone around me that I can bless. That's my dream and with that dream comes the laundry, the dishes, the poopie diapers, etc. and I'm okay with that because- I am- 'livin' the dream.'

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