I’ve been in search of quiet lately, and it isn’t easy to find.
Three busy and creative kids make for a noisy living space…more noise—physically and figuratively—than my poor momma brain can handle sometimes. It’s not that I don’t want them to be creative; as a matter of fact I’ve encouraged it. And I certainly don’t want them to be quiet (well, not all the time anyways)- that would be counterintuitive to allowing them to become the people they are becoming…the people God created them to be.
But all of this becoming gets a little noisy, and a lot messy, and momma starts to feel overwhelmed and tired because God wired me to be a person that is fueled by quiet things—things that my kids call “boring”. I am a woman who likes reading, writing, long stretches of quiet with no music on, boring card games, and intellectual movies and documentaries. I like quiet walks, acoustic music and nice orderly dinners. I like art museums, and walking tours and listening to interesting presentations on food and nutrition and crunchy, healthy, geeky things.
I know. I know. I have kids…
But the truth is that the “me” that I’ve always been doesn’t always feel like it jives with the “me” in Mommy, if you know what I mean.
So what’s a woman to do when she realizes she is wired as an introvert and 2 of her 3 children are extroverts, and she doesn’t want to squash their enthusiasm, but she also needs to be true to herself?
There is no easy answer, friends. There is no easy answer.
You squeeze in short naps. You take an extra long time in the bathroom until someone realizes you’re gone (which is never an extra long time, actually). You sneak away to do some laundry and take really deep breaths in the basement while you’re down there…again, until someone calls your name. You take rides in your minivan, picking up a coffee and driving circles through your neighborhood.
Before having kids I would have told you I had the answer to this question. I would have told you, so confidently, that of course you “just find balance”. That you should do the things you like and love and teach your children to enjoy them with you.
Well, that all sounds nice…in theory. And sometimes it works…sometimes.
I had a lot of answers to parenting before I actually became a parent.
So, I’m at the library as I write this. I found myself visiting the library, different libraries, several times this past month. Not with kids. I do that too. All. By. Myself.
I’ve been having a hard time thinking clearly at home, and I’ve been working through a lot of life things in my mind and heart.
When I left the house Ella was practicing her piano and clarinet, Aubrey was singing JoJo Siwa songs along with her Alexa, the dog was barking at the neighbors, Scott was grinding coffee…there were a few fights, there were crashing magna tiles, there was some nagging to get the kids to pick-up their bedrooms and do their homework, and all manner of other shenanigans going on.
When I go home, someone will surely be singing, the dog might still be barking. Scott may very well be playing with some other piece of coffee apparatus, or have his electric guitar plugged in the middle of the living room with the amp cranked up to volume 10. Another fight might be ensuing between two of the girls somewhere in the house. It will also be time to round the natives up towards bed, which will result in running around in half dressed variations, asking for water and bread and butter and suddenly remembering that there is a Science quiz tomorrow and a permission slip I should have signed.
Yup. All that noise will be happening.
But, I’ll be ready to re-enter the fray with a slightly fuller tank and maybe even a few of my two-gazillion thoughts processed, which will be good for everyone.
And then we’ll begin the fun and noisy carnival all over again tomorrow.
***I will be devoting each Monday in March to my meandering thoughts about finding quiet, the spiritual practice of being quiet, and what it looks like to live a sometimes quiet life (or at least find quiet moments) in the midst of a noisy world. I hope you’ll stop by again.