Friday, October 2, 2009

Good-bye Mountaintop, Hello Loneliness

Whereas last week I had a dear friend accompanying me all through the day and helping in the kitchen, this week I fell into a serious housekeeping slump. The contrast between this week and last was stark. It hit me again that one of the hardest parts of being a stay-at-home parent is spending my days apart from other adults.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Several women have admitted to me that a fear of isolation motivates them to work outside the home. I completely agree that it is easier to have someone working alongside me, pulling me in the right direction. Now that the "mountaintop" moments are over, I need to find proper motivation to press forward.

Adequate sleep, Bible study, a shower, and exercise are invaluable for gaining momentum. But when one or more of them are missing, I have not forged ahead as I should. Other people, like my husband, keep going regardless.

So without making excuses, I'm trying to figure out how I might implement the "two are better than one" principle (Proverbs 15). In this season of life, forging and growing new friendships is difficult, since there are so many things I need to do for my family. To have a friend I need to be a friend, but not at my family's expense. This is my challenge. If I were more faithful in keeping up with the needs of my household, might I have more freedom to befriend others?

Remembering that God is my constant companion is a solace that can help propel me and keep me from grumbling. And I should be grateful for the face-to-face fellowship I have at church, in our small group, at a playgroup, and at a new weekly Bible study. It's too easy to focus on what I don't have rather than what I do. Healthy doses of gratitude would go a long way.

And yet I can't help thinking that there must also be ways for believers to have less solitary lives--that we might encourage one another to live, laugh, and love more abundantly.

Thanks, Company Girls, for walking with me.


Rachel Anne said...

Aww, I'm sorry that your friend is gone. You must have had a great time together.

I think your thoughtful post here is something that resonates with all of us. It IS hard to balance friendships/family/home...seems like friendships suffer first but then if you nurture those, then other things fall by the wayside. sigh.

Doing the Small Things with the Company Girls has been a "small" thing in itself for feel part of something WHILE I'm taking care of the homefront.

I always enjoy your thoughts. Even the wistful ones :)

Teresa McNamara said...

I've felt very isolated in the past nine weeks since I resigned from full time teaching. My days went from being full to overflowing with people to no people and it has been hard to adjust. I start relief teaching (substitute teaching) this week and I'm hoping it will help me to have a better balance

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. It is challenging to balance everything. I'm not sure how old your kid/s is/are, but I have a 2.5yo and almost 5mo (who spits up a lot) so it's hard to get out and about, trying to get in naps, etc. It can be tough It is definitely good have a friend by your side. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

secondofwett said...

When I was younger , I craved the company of others,..but once I had a lot of kids in the house, and I've gotten older...I find myself craving solitude and quiet. I must force myself to be in the company of others because I don't want to become withdrawn...but I still need some quiet time to regenerate...yes it's hard to find the right balance.

Kari said...

I can relate to this post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.