The morning Women's Bible study seized a spark with me. I affirmed with nods on everything everyone shared from last week's lessons. Sandy meant well. She wasn't fueling my embarrassment in the way she raved at me with extravagant praise. But none of them I felt I deserved.
I was new to the group. My mind seared with ambivalence. And then, I caught a glimpse of my life tethering fast my head. Then, mental pictures whizzed by-- just as it entered. Some things about me they didn't know. Hot flashes and thumping heartbeat were taking place inside me.
She put me on a hot spot. She broke in to my silent, interested state of mind. I wanted to stay interested. I wanted to be quiet. Stories fizzed out in spells in my head as I listened. Writerís effervescence glowing to life. I was with high spirits as they were kindling my characters with ideas. That was delicious reminiscence for me. Until...
"Jules here, has seven children. She's a teacher. Home-schools her kids."
Deb, a professional, certified school teacher said, "Perhaps, you teach us, Jules."
Tell-us-more-bout-you looks began to simmer.
I flinched. Amused. But my face blanched, and then, froze. My tongue refused to sibilate (lisp a sound) into some prophetic utterance to my enthusiastic hearers.
These were "Uh-oh" moments. I cowered within my coat of inadequacy, inept abilities, unworthy-to-be-called-teacher, and terrible-mother. My life was daunting fire of hectic demand to near burnout. I just knew how to carry on, close to skilled look of cool perfection.
They didnít realize, that, just before I left the house, some sense of wonderful get-away seared like sizzling pot-roast. It's been liberating wannafa kind of time-out.
Country-drives have sizzled for meditative brain-restoration-- uninterrupted by questions I've force myself to interact at homeschool. I've embraced forty-mile country-drives-breeze into reverie. My plans, not necessarily evil, have cleverly wheezed success in validating my brain-- that three-hours away from home is okay.
Justifying my action of neglect has stayed in power. I've been exuberant, near to running aerobics. Brain-exercise come alive. It can think at liberty, free of disrupting noises of climbing monkeys on my back. Or on my laps when I'm sitting, for a read-me-a-book. Jumping, wrestling jacks at some breaktimes.
Leaving my fifteen-year-old son caring for his three other younger siblings and himself. "Pre-shuss" Modem for connecting to internet takes a ride with me, too. And Asa is fine with off-screen days until 6 pm, or after school hours and clean-up.
I've always come home, whole. I've survived. I've whished pass imaginary stoning-to-death on account of leaving my school-aged children for three hours. They've always turned out alright on no-Mom-Monday- mornings. Momís sizzling sausages, or tender lamb stakes, and tender love have gained profuse thanks.
"Mom wants to be a better Mom."
Other than that, I've fanned dandy breaks from home, deliciously go through my head. This is what the women didn't know about.
But Iím short of outsmarting my husband. Or God. They know.
I have hardest days of parenting. Life seems to be faced with endless round-the-clock of children.† †Endless chatter. Endless selfishness. Squeals to near death of my sanity. And they are constantly in school-- at home. I can't send them home or to the Principal's office.
Four sizzling tips to resist parent-burnout:
1. Learn to dream ambitiously. My husband trusts me with parenting-matters. My youngest child recently turned seven. So, I've started looking for postgraduate studies. My kids of ages, 7-25 have enthused me with thrill-filled life. Nothing ever scares me, I'm a parent. Writing crime, mystery, thriller interest me. Even though my body is weak, my spirit is willing to do the impossible. I've learned to seize God-exhalting, ambitious praying-time.
2. Love. We bend our rules once in a while. If it would not kill my kids. If it would not violate other humansí rights to live and be happy the right waysóthen, it should be alright.
3. Leave. Just for a little while. If my kids refused my persuasions of the sun-is-good for-you, climb trees, run Koda: I turn Christian pop music on and dance Moonwalk strut and Gangnam. They zoom outdoors.
4. Layout time. Parenting isnít easy and breezy. My kids play wrestle. They play Nerf guns. They pick on each other, leaving the weakest running to Momma. I will miss that someday.
I remind myself, with passion and delight, that I treasure every season of life and age with my children whoíre still at home.
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