Anyone else notice that the more you associate with someone, the more you become like that someone? Parents are all too familiar with this force of nature ~ it’s the reason they warned us to choose our friends wisely. In junior high, I wore biker shorts with men's boxers over them in an effort to like the cool girls. Mother warned me I'd regret that. Anyway.. that whole “becoming like someone” is happening to me again.
Three years of living in Totland, surrounded by musical light-up toys, Dora the Explorer, and a two-and-a-half foot tall shadow, have taken their toll. I'm becoming more like a toddler and less like a mature adult (except for that whole gray hair thing.. read about that on my post For Every Season, There is a Hairstyle). I'm whiney. I'm needy. I need a nap, and I'm vocal about it all.
Even in something as fundamental as spending time in the Word daily, I too often spend an entire week starved of any real meat. I wait to be spoon-fed on Sunday morning. On a good week, I might get an occasional snack of truth from a song on the local Christian radio station. When I am in the Word, I’m not concentrating. I may read a bit, but do I really take it in, or do I just check the box? I get about as much from my quiet time as Tiny gets from feeding herself. She mostly just looks at it, smears a little on her face, and flings the rest on the tile.
My Tiny just turned one, and I guess that has me thinking about how I've spent my time since retiring from the "real world" to be a SAHM. It should be considered a privilege to spend every waking (and not so awakeing) moment with my offspring... but there are days I hate it. Days I hate being a mom. Not that I want to go back to the world of high heels, fancy hair, & annual performance reviews, just that I want to be around grownups ~ or do I?
A wise mentor recently asked me, “Do you spend much time with your girlfriends?” .. um.. no, not really. Who has time for friends when you have so many things to do? Let’s just start with all the things that need to be wiped: faces, hands, bottoms, counters, floors, high chairs, walls, etc, etc.. I’m behind on laundry. I have no idea what’s for dinner. My vacuum cleaner is buried in the garage (which tells you how long it’s been since I last used it). The baby is crying. And I can’t remember the last day I had a shower. Besides, while they may not admit it, my friends have it all together, and that makes me feel like even more of a loser mom. They bake from scratch, make their own cleaning supplies, their kids aren’t just dressed, they are accessorized! I’m doing good to get my princess to brush her teeth and/or hair! Even if I did want to go spend time with my friends, my self-esteem won't let me out the front door. After two babies in two years, my jeans “fit” differently, my hair is all crazy ~ what’s left of it anyway, I’ve given up on clothes that aren’t spit-up and sticky-finger proof. What’s the point, really?
For the last 11 weeks, I managed to go tag along with other women on a journey. Most of them were more gussied up than me, but on the inside, I learned that almost all of us have some dirty laundry. Being around them made me realize I’m not the only one that doesn’t have it all together. I’m not the only one drowning in a sea of primary colored plastic. It’s okay that I don’t enjoy my “job” everyday. As Tiny & the Tot get a little older, and a little less dependent on their mama, it’s okay to spend some time outside of Totland. Eleven weeks of SheLOL gave me a growing hunger for the meat of God's Word. I've also grown in my relationships through this study. The “cool girls” don’t expect me to wear what they wear, or do everything they do. It’s okay to be myself, but now, I kinda’ want to be more like the people I am around.
Suddenly, it’s an honor to be more like the ones I associate with, and I don’t think my mom would warn me that I’d regret that one day. ~ Plain & Simple As That.