I asked a question on the Mama Birth Facebook page the other day asking people to list their top three priorities in life. Many people answered that their top three priorities were: God, Family, Self or God, Husband, Children, or something to that effect.
At some point somebody mentioned that they couldn't believe that anybody would put religion or God BEFORE their family- like that was a really silly idea, and possibly dangerous. I have to say that I TOTALLY get how putting God first would be a good idea and how it would benefit my children.
A woman who believes in something bigger than herself, tries to do what is right before she tries to do what she feels like doing, and who lives her convictions can be a wonderful example to her children and a more loving mother.
(Can you tell I am not sure how to SAY this?) I guess what I mean is that I often DON'T put spirituality or worship or God before my children and I can see how it hurts the rest of my life.
I really noticed this weekend how putting my children FIRST- before everything- spirituality, myself, my husband- ends up hurting them in the long run. (Yes I use the terms religion and spirituality and God interchangeably. Don't get your panties in a wad.)
So, back to my opinion. I have four kids and they understandably are a huge focus of my life. In fact I find it really difficult to find a balance where I honor my own needs for spiritual renewal, fun, and knowledge, my husband's needs, have a clean floor, and give my children what they need. I probably talk about this a LOT on this little blog. It is because I struggle with it a lot. I want to be selfless, I believe a life lived in service is a life a true joy, and yet I don't want to give so much that I find myself lacking, on edge, freaking out, and unable to nurture others.
This last weekend was a big broadcasted religious conference that my church does twice a year. I was REALLY looking forward to watching it and hearing some words of inspiration and advice and love. I really wanted to be nurtured MYSELF. In fact, I think I really NEEDED it. I probably needed it extra because I have been trying not to lash out irrationally at my mother-in-law lately, but THAT is another story.
So I was looking forward to being filled.
I wanted to attend and listen.
And then my real life happened.
Hubby flaked out on me and acted like a jerk-head. (Don't tell him I said that. Thanks.) Kids are noisy and needy and hungry and active. I found myself just feeling helpless and hopeless. In fact, I decided to just give up on being filled and focus on my children.
I kind of thought that this would make everything better. Focus on the kids, serve them = everything works out.
But that is not how it worked out. I felt even more drained, more tired, and kind of headachey by the end of the day. And I felt a little bitter. And worn out. Like a dirty old rag.
Sometimes to give from your cup you need to actually FILL YOUR CUP. Sometimes nurturing your own relationship with God helps you be a better mother who can nurture her relationship with her own children. Sometimes taking a moment for spirituality and reflection gives a woman the strength she needs to be kinder, gentler, more patient.
Maybe you thought this post was going to be a "how to" article on the exact recipe for nurturing spirituality while you mother your few or many children. But it isn't. Because I haven't figured it out yet. Of the many things I struggle with improving, finding BALANCE is probably at the top of my list.
At 8pm at night when the kids are finally in bed, I realize the floor needs mopping, I need to read my scriptures, spend time with my husband so he feels like he matters, and actually do something I enjoy it just seems like TOO MUCH. It is overwhelming and I feel like I can't find time for everything, much less do it all well.
I don't know how to fix this. But I do believe that taking time for the most important things first, like faith and spirituality, will help everything else fall into place.
(What are your tips ladies? Would love to hear them.)