Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Creating quiet

Does this happen naturally in your house? In ours it takes forethought and effort. Sometimes the quiet is actually very loud in volume. But there is quiet of extra noise: extra people, extra commitments and tasks.

I find that my kids, my husband and I all need this but it isn't easy. We all like the quiet and the noise in different amounts. There is balance and sacrifice to find.

In "normal" weeks Tuesday is our pajama/stay home day. We do not leave the house, we do not invite people over, we do not get dressed (except my husband who can't go to work in pjs). It was really hard to not allow life to fall into Tuesdays. Necessary grocery runs, friends we hadn't see in a while, doctor visits, etc. It seemed like a free day that I should use for some of the tasks, appointments and errands that are required. I really had to fight myself and protect the day and mess up by scheduling things for a few weeks to learn how beneficial this day was for us all. Mondays in our house are very long, very full days. We have homeschool co op and dance class which leaves us gone from 9:00a until 6:15 pm with only about an hour or two in between that to be home. Some people find that their normal schedule but it isn't for us and we need recovery afterwards.  Tuesdays where I would pack them up to return library books, play with friends, grab milk always were more difficult than they should be. Fighting them to get dressed, fighting them to stop fighting, listening to their whining over turning the tv off all seemed harder, louder and all around worse.

I had to learn that quiet and being home was something worth fighting for.

Being home for entire days can seem scary as a SAHM. What if we get bored? What if we get lonely? What if they make a mess in every room? All these questions are valid and fears we all have in moments. For me, I have found that by staying home and practicing quiet the fears are stilled. The messes are not so stressful because there is time to pick them up. The boredom is quickly cured when there are long stretches of time to pull out games, Lego, play dough and still throw in a load of laundry.

The extra time gives room for enjoyment, for work and for play.

This holiday season we have had many unscheduled days. This is easier for us not having family in town and sadly not traveling for Christmas this year. But, it still took effort for me to not invite lots of friends over for dinner, come up with a family activity for each day or fill home hours with cleaning and projects. Now being close to resuming our regular schedule I find that I am ready and also sad. The busyness and the noise makes it hard for me to rest, play and work well. I get caught up in the schedules and tasks. The quiet has been good for me, it has been good for our children and it has reminded me that my husband needs and enjoys it most of all.

In this new year I want to still cultivate community and hospitality loving our friends and family well. But I want to be intentional with how I serve my family and listen to where God leads. I think creating quiet space to live, play, explore, work and rest together as 5 is part of that. Something that is hard for me, something that will take effort and planning. It will not always look fun and will require me to say no when I don't want it at times. But, there is beauty in stillness that we won't ever experience if we run from the quiet.

Photo credit: Kate Titus

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