She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27
It is no secret that I strive to do my best at my new gig as stay at home wife/mother. I soberly accept my responsibilities within my household as if they were mandated to me by a human resources supervisor and not just optional activities that I choose to or not to do each day. It is also no secret that I don't always keep the most organized house. I clean and cook and do the laundry, but there are still piles of mail on the kitchen counter, books that need to be put away and my dining room table is covered with coupons. My to-do list never fully gets done. I attempt much but complete little. Sigh.
During my morning devotions today, I read through Proverbs 31 and came across the Excellent Wife. This woman is super woman. She wakes before her family and prepares the meals for the day, she invests her money wisely, she is charitable and kind, she brings honor and pride to her family and works really, really hard all day long. The proof is in her arms (v17). As I read about her, I compared my day to hers. While there are some similarities between us, there are far more differences. Double sigh.
Laziness is not the culprit. Time management may be a contender, but I think my major hurdle at being like the Excellent Wife in Proverbs 31 is that I have this notion that I need or deserve "me time." I love it. Every nap Beatrice takes I complete the most pressing chore, then I rush to the computer to read/comment on message boards, play on Facebook or just zone out for half an hour. Once she's up, we play and carry on like usual. And nighttime is worse. After she goes down at 7:30, it's like I punch the clock. I am done for the day. If there are dishes in the sink, I clean those but everything else waits until tomorrow. I spend three hours crocheting, reading or playing on my computer. It is glorious, but it is also a waste of three hours that could be put to good use for my family. I am also a huge nerd if all I want to do with three hours of free time is crochet, but I'm okay with it.
I don't remember my mother ever resting. She was busy all day. At night while we were watching T.V. or playing with my dad, she was folding something, baking something or preparing lunches for the next day. And she never complained about needing a break or having "her time." She was content and happy in her work.
I had a conversation with my mother in law about how unfair it is that when JD has a day off, it truly is a day off from work. He rests, he watches football, he does whatever he wants. I complained how I never get a day off. There are no weekends in motherhood. She agreed, but then told me "that's the way it is with wives/mothers Aly." And she is right. Why do my mother and mother in law get this but I do not? Why do I feel the need for all of this "me time?"
Honestly, I think it's because I am selfish. I have adopted the notion that I deserve to do XYZ (AKA me time) and if I can't do that whenever I want because of a baby, then I will do it whenever I want once the baby is asleep. And the result is a disorganized house and an undone to-do list. This is not a quality of the Excellent Wife.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think hobbies are bad or sinful. But when they interrupt the fluidity of a well maintained house I think it is time to reevaluate priorities. And nowhere in Proverbs 31 does it state that the Excellent Wife is only a blessing to her family after she has "her time." She works hard because that is the job of a wife/mother and she is blessed, revered and honored for it. And the joy in her life is not from having hours of uninterrupted time to pursue a hobby. It is from seeing the fruits of her labors at home and within her family.
I won't be giving up all of my hobbies, however in my pursuit of becoming an Excellent Wife I will be working on getting my house in order even if it means less "me time." I want to accomplish. I want to organize. I want to be excellent.