What I (fail to) accomplish

hese days are a challenge. It’s been 5 years since I was responsible for laundry full-time. It’s been 5 years since I’ve swept my own floors. I’ve never lived in America with my own family in our own house. I’ve never had two children before. I’ve never dealt with the hormonal mess that marks the 3rd year of life (that’s a whole other blog post!). I’ve never had an introvert baby.

Many days I feel like I’m not *doing* enough. I haven’t kept up with dishes well enough, there are too many books scattered across the house, and every flat surface seems to have sprouted a lawn of junk. We’ve lived in this house for 7 weeks and our bathroom looks like we just moved in yesterday. A mess in the guest room doesn’t get picked up for a week.

I think through my day. It seems like *I* have become the toddler. Everything happens in tiny spurts: a little bit of time snuggling in bed with the kids, a little bit of time fixing breakfast, a little computer time, dress everyone for the day, computer time while wearing Rainier to sleep, a little bit of time reading with Eej, a fast shower, a little clean up time, a little computer time nursing Rainier, a thought about dinner prep, a phone call to handle a bathroom leak, a quick trip to the mail box, a brief conversation with Robin.

Deep breath. A quick look at the family mission statement posted on the chalk board:
The Crocker family celebrates the rhythms of rich simplicity in individuals, art, nature and community by:
-Encouraging wonder
-Showing grace
-Believing in the restoration of all thing

I am purposefully “undercommitting” in this season of life. I know that our family functions better when we aren’t running from one thing to another. I am staying home because it allows the kids to settle into this house. I’m not taking on big projects because I still have baby brain and can’t focus on big things.

I am undercommitting so that I can be with my KIDS. We are building memories of lazy mornings, Ellie Jo memorizing Taylor Swift songs, Rainier learning to interact. I’m encouraging wonder in myself so that I can see how incredible they are. I see the wonder in their small delights and games.

I feel guilty about my computer time, but so much of my community is found through the computer. I have friends all over the world and I love staying connected. Much of my encouragement in the daily grind of toddlerhood is found through on-line community. I want to celebrate my community even if it means that looks different than my ideal of face-to-face interactions. No shame, no hiding it – I spend a lot of time on the computer and it helps me.

Parenting is my hands-on practicum in grace, both giving and receiving. I read about what is developmentally appropriate behavior for Ellie Jo and extend grace to her weaknesses. She has no control over when her brain develops executive function. I have to give her grace until she reaches that stage – patiently helping her comply with my directions and gently redirecting her when she gets stuck in unwanted behavior. That’s the goal.

And then my community reminds me, “Grace is for momma, too.” Grace for me when I am not so gentle. Grace for my perfectionism. Grace for my messy house. Grace in the form of forgiving and patiently loving children. Grace in the form of a new day tomorrow.

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