“The task of parenting is simply impossible. Any sane look at what is required of parents by God is completely and utterly overwhelming. This is why the task must be undertaken in grace, by grace, through grace, and because of grace. The grace of God in this provides two things all parents need. The first is forgiveness for this morning, and the second is strength for this afternoon.”
~Douglas Wilson, My Life for Yours: A Walk Through the Christian Home
Here’s something you will never hear anyone admit, so I’ll just come right out with it:
Motherhood is boring.
I’m serious. Some days (like today) I wake up thinking, “I am so bored.” Not in an I-have-nothing-to-do kind of way because that is certainly NOT the case. And not in a nothing-interesting-ever-happens kind of way (you should’ve smelled what I cleaned up at 7:01 this morning!). I’m talking about the kind of boredom that accompanies knowing that what you did yesterday will have to be done again today, in much the same way, and at almost exactly the same times. My family is going to need all the same things they needed yesterday–food, clean clothes & sinks, an escort to and from school, time to rest and play, a lot of some nagging to clean up–and sometimes the mere thought of the mundaneness of it all makes me want to stay in bed.
Assuming I am not the only one who battles this kind of boredom, I thought I’d share four things that help me emerge from the funk. This doesn’t work every time, but it worked today…
1. Say it out loud.
Before the kids were even out of bed this morning, I admitted to my husband, “I am so bored.” I wasn’t complaining, I was confessing, and there was power in that. Putting words on my “blah-ness” gave me an honest starting point for my day that helped me know what attitudinal obstacles I was going to have to overcome if I wanted the day to go well.
2. Preach 1 Corinthians 10:31 to yourself.
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
When “whatever you do” seems boring to you, remember who you are doing it for, and even that smelly, sticky bathroom will be more rewarding to clean. But even if it’s not, at least you’ve tried to look at things from an eternal perspective. So be gracious to yourself…and then recite the verse again.
3. Pay attention to transformation.
It’s easy to groan at the boring day in front of you and forget the hundreds of other days just like it that God used to transform your family. So be on the lookout today for the fruit of yesterday’s labor.
Two examples from my morning:
The first does not require words.
This morning my boys crossed the street to school and ever so boldly and cheerfully expressed their thanks to Carl (the crossing guard). They do this every day without being prompted, and today I was able to see it for what it really was: transformation. The hundreds of boring, repetitive hours my husband and I have invested over the years into making manners and gratitude a rule in our home is now bearing fruit outside of it, and people like Carl don’t find that boring or mundane at all.
4. Change your posture.
If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you’ve probably heard me say (more than once) to my kids, “Change your posture.” In our home, slumped shoulders and mopey attitudes are a form of disrespect and ungratefulness and are not tolerated. And yet that’s how I walk around sometimes until I remember that I, too, have a heavenly parent who is asking the same of me.
Change your posture, Kristen.
So instead of moping around the house this morning resenting the laundry and to-do list that, curiously enough, resembled what I tackled yesterday, we changed things up and did our best to combat bordedom with beauty…
“If God doesn’t rule your mundane, then he doesn’t rule you. Because that’s where you live.”