The Discipline of BEing? Wait Does That Work?

A beginning parenthetical:  (I do so love folk music).

I’ve had the ‘stay at home Mommy’ blues the last couple of days.

For some reason yesterday I became totally fixated on the, “I thought I would be doing so much more with my life,” idea.

Sometimes I feel like I’m rotting.  I feel like I could be doing so much more.  I feel like I *should* be doing so much more.  I feel like I am a capable person.  I feel like a person with unique gifts to offer the world and here I sit making grilled cheese sandwiches and changing 90 diapers a day.  Sometimes I feel like all of the potential I once believed I had is draining out of me little by little.

And then it really gets bad….  Because then I start to wonder if I really *am* a capable person.  If I really *do* have gifts to offer to anyone outside of my immediate family.  I wonder if I am and was just lying to myself about that ‘potential.’  Could I get ‘out there’ again?  Could I get ‘out there’ at all?  Am I just afraid to try?   

After college I taught high school for about 2/3s of a school year.  I was dropped into a tough classroom with ‘mentors’ who seemed a lot more like overly-seasoned teachers who had long passed their ‘burnout’ limit.  All of this after I realized at the end of college that though working with special needs individuals is something that I love doing, teaching doesn’t make my heart beat the way I want it to.  I haven’t made it back into the classroom or anywhere else. 

Because, then we made our first Navy move. 

Three months later we made our second and discovered we were pregnant. 

Mom got sick.  Mom died. 

Then we got pregnant again.

It’s never been ‘the right’ time.  There have been so many other variables in my life that it seemed wisest to focus on supporting and anchoring our family by staying put.  Is that the truth or an excuse?

I was accepted to seminary last year.  I was wildly excited about it.  Then it became obvious that the time wasn’t right.  Financially it was just too crunchy.  And then life continued to be complicated. 

It felt so good to have a DIRECTION again.  It felt like I wasn’t just spinning my wheels anymore.  It felt like I was going somewhere.  But it didn’t work.

Did I just chicken out?  Am I fooling myself into believing that ‘someday’ will come eventually?  Am I afraid to try?  Could I stick it out and actually pursue schooling and then DO something with it.  Or am I doomed to forever think that I want to do one thing only to find out that I really don’t?

I want to be home with my kids.  I believe that it is a good thing for them.  Even more is the stability factor:   their little lives are so full of instability with frequent moves, their Daddy’s frequent absences, friends coming and going, and major distance between us and our loved ones, that it seems only right for me to provide them with stability by being home with them.  They need that.  I feel like I can be ONE constant for them in a sea of variables.

But then a little voice in my head says that maybe that’s just an excuse.  Maybe I’m just too afraid to try.  And wasn’t I supposed to be doing something noble with my life by now?  Look at all the other people who are out there DOING something.  I always wanted to DO something.

I believe that being a mother is a noble thing.  I do.  I believe that staying at home with my kids is a noble thing.  I do.  I just don’t want it to be all that I am.  I don’t like feeling like  ‘just a Mom.’ 

It has been posited that I spend too much time focusing on the ‘doing’ part of who I am and not nearly enough time on the ‘BEing’ part of who I am.  Despite the fact that I, at least, cerebrally love the concept of developing ones ‘BEing’ qualities….  This latest pit-stop in ‘Why haven’t I done anything yet?’ land seems to reinforce the fact that I’m still in “DO” mode.

Will it ever sink in?  Will I ever get the idea of grace through my thick skull?  Will I ever learn to fall gratefully into the grace that is God…. that is love, and just be there?

Why can’t I learn to stand firm in the holiness of THIS MOMENT. Why can’t I soak into the privilege of being home with these two amazing little girls.  Why can’t I do a better job of living incarnationally here….  right where I am?

Is “BEing” a discipline?  And do you negate the validity of BEing by striving for it? 

Well, at least I came up with another thought to chase in circles.  *grin*


8 thoughts on “The Discipline of BEing? Wait Does That Work?

  1. I just wrote a novel of a response here. Instead of clogging up your comments area, I’ll just say you’re not alone. I could have written this blog post myself.

    Hugs, girl. As for the chafing caused by being in this position, I recommend talc. Helps a lot. 😉

  2. Sounds like time for a time out. Wow you’ve got more questions circling around in your brain than sharks in a frenzy. The only person to answer the why haven’t done anything question is yourself. However, with the internet there is a lot you can do and stay at home. If you’re interested in going back to school check out the online schools, there’s tons of programs. Think about hobbies you haven’t tried but would like too, that one worked for me.

    Stay well. 🙂

  3. Though it’s not lofty, DOing something you weren’t sure you could just plain feels good. I know that’s not Christiany or transcendent, but something about it feels right. We all need to revisit our Industry vs Inferiority stage of development from time to time. I think those stages are more cyclical than linear. Sometimes I can satisfy that need through small things, like painting or sewing -just any genuine expression of self. Just don’t beat yourself up for wanting to be a DOer or not being a BEer as much as you want. I think sometimes BEing can come out of DOing, even if it’s small.

  4. Well written, Val! You have just summed up the way every stay at home mom feels at some point in time (or at lots of points in time). Hang it there 🙂

  5. (((Val))) One of the regrets that plays in my mind is the opposite of yours; I wish I could have been home more for my girl. I wish I’d stayed home and had more kids rather than having to “raise” someone else’s. Of course, had I done that, likely my regrets would have been sounding more like yours. It’s just the way I’m built I guess. I think I’ll always have that “I coulda been a contender” way of thinking.

    From the perspective of this 48 year old, you are still young (mature, but chronologically speaking, young). I didn’t even become a teacher until I was 31. And you are obviously way more imaginative and centered than I’ll ever be. The time is fleeting; your girls will grow before you know it. Mine will be 15 next month!! Where did that time go? As they get a little more independent, you will be able to do more and more as well.

    Just want to make sure that you know that this is certainly not meant to chastise or anything close to that (hard to know how it reads); I simply mean this to encourage and share some.

  6. I so understand! I sometimes feel like I should be doing something more productive with my life. Then I remind myself that raising my kids is a very important “job”. As SAHM’s, we do not drive off to work every day, but we do “work” – we am responsible for little lives and a household – that is doing something!

    Thanks for the comment on my post on life after baby.

  7. I feel ya! There are so many days when I feel like there has got to be more to life then this. There has got to be more then just coping with illness, an angry dad, taking care of kids and putting what I really want on the back burner until…well…until when? But, taking care of my kids and family is a grace filled job, a never ending life of wonderment no matter how frustrating and nerve wracking. But often I wonder when does my time come? so, like you…how do I live in these moments of grace? How do i accept this time for what it is?

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