Re-Blog Kinda Day

Hey Loves!

I saw this article and had to share. It’s makes so much sense and explains a lot of my daily to-do’s and/or stressors. How Do you handle “Kin-Keeping”?

The Invisible Burden That Leaves Moms Drained

“You put her in the wrong outfit,” I said matter-of-factly as my husband came down the stairs holding our baby girl.
He stared at me with a look of confusion and bewilderment, as if to say, But I didn’t know there was a right one.
 “Your mom’s coming over today, remember?” I explain. “So I thought it’d be nice to have her wear something your mom bought her.” 
“And my mom didn’t buy her this outfit?” 
“Nope. My mom bought her that one.” 
“Ok, well I have no idea who bought her which clothes. How do you even remember that sort of thing?” 
The short answer? Because I’m a mom.
Today many families that include a mom and a dad are challenging the traditional gendered division of labor—mine included. My household couldn’t function if my husband didn’t handle the dishes and I didn’t keep tabs on the checking account. We’re in this together. 
Even so, I—along with most moms everywhere—am still almost entirely responsible for the following tasks:
Remembering family birthdays and sending birthday cards.

Planning and organizing family celebrations.

Sending holiday cards.

Selecting holiday presents. 

Sending thank you cards.

Planning family vacations.

Keeping in touch with out-of-town relatives.

Remembering to dress the baby in the “right” outfit when her grandma visits.

The Invisible Burden That Leaves Mom Drained
In the field of women’s studies, these tasks are called “kin keeping,” and they are serious business.

Why? Because even though these obligations seem relatively small and insignificant, they actually play a very important role in keeping families connected and emotionally supported. 
Just think about how different your own childhood would have looked without birthday cakes and family beach trips and homemade gifts for Grandma, and you’ll see how valuable these kinds of tasks really are. 
Here’s the problem, though: These incredibly important kin-keeping responsibilities are leaving moms emotionally exhausted.

Why? Well, as I mentioned earlier, they almost always fall completely onto the mom’s shoulders. Even in households where there’s a fairly even division of labor, these tasks are overwhelmingly handled by women.
What’s more, kin-keeping responsibilities are mostly invisible. They’ve become such an expected part of family life that they almost always go unnoticed and unacknowledged. (Unless, of course, you don’t do them, in which case you’re likely to draw some negative attention and head shaking.)
Indeed, moms themselves often don’t realize how much time and effort they put into kin keeping. As feminist scholars Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee (2015) explain, “These tasks are time consuming and involve emotional work that is not easily quantified.” 
Translation: It’s not easy to measure exactly how much time and effort you’re putting into remembering Aunt Cathy’s birthday or calling your husband’s grandma to thank her for the baby gift or making a last minute trip to buy more paper plates for the family BBQ.
But these invisible tasks are sucking the life out of us.

They’re (one of) the reasons our to-do lists never end, why we can’t turn our brains off at night, why it feels like we’re always forgetting something. These obligations seem to take root in the back of our minds and just sit there, forever, invading our ability to truly relax or take a breath. 
Did I remember to buy cousin Emily a wedding present? Who’s bringing the hot dogs for our camping trip? Shoot, it’s been way too long since we called your Aunt Susie!
Geez, I’m feeling exhausted just writing about this stuff!
So what do we do? How do we reclaim our time and our energy in the face of these seemingly endless kin-keeping tasks? 

The first step is simple awareness. Start paying attention to how much kin-keeping work you do. I bet you’ll be surprised!
Then go ahead and ask for help completing these tasks—from your partner and from your kids, depending on their ages. 
If you get any pushback, remind everyone that while these little things sometimes seem silly and not worth the effort, they’re actually really important to maintaining family solidarity and continuity—and that having them fall entirely to one person is just too draining. 
In the end, a more equitable division of labor—kin keeping included—is better for everyone. And the best news? You might finally be able to turn your brain off at night. 

Advertisements

Encouragement Through It All

Hey Loves,

So, I’ll just jump right into it. October was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month. I was in a car accident at the end of September and that spiraled my life into a sea of insurance phone calls, rental car pick-ups and drop offs, doctor appointments, physical therapy, finding a new therapist, car hunts and car purchasing. Not to mention sleepless nights due to bad dreams from the accident and fatigue like nobody’s business.

Add starting a new job and prepping for a baby to that…right, it’s too much to even think about, let alone deal with. Needless to say, things went undone and my husband learned my laundry system…yup it got that bad…

So, we needed some encouragement. Like real, hard-core, life-affirming encouragement. Not just those friendly pats on the back with the occasional “It’ll all workout.” And where, pray-tell, do you get that kind of encouragement? The BIBLE!

Not to go all Southern-Baptist on you, but there is nothing like soul-shaking affirmation from God right to your mind and heart. We needed lots of that, continually.

Wasting time on IG, I got the idea from Jill Dillard (Duggar) to create a scripture board for encouragement during pregnancy, labor, delivery and those newborn days. (Who knew the scriptures would apply to everything else on my life)

So, we researched…verses about perseverance, verses about fear, verses about children, and came up with quite a few that we fell in love with.

To make it festive, we wrote the verses on neon note cards (like, almost glow-in-the-dark neon) and thumb-tacked then to a fabric-covered cork board.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at and been restored since we made it. Just a hint, I’m thinking of making a portable version to those moments of emotional and spiritual depletion and I’m not at home.

I highly recommend this, for everyone.

Until next time!

Super-Mom to the Rescue

Hey Loves!

So, it dawned on me the other day that I literally have four jobs…four.

Yes, two require my presence once a week and one is from home. The last, which is actually my first, takes the most time, causes the most headache, pays the least and, ironically, gives the greatest reward. You guessed it. That last one would be my home (such a short word for everything that goes into it).

So, household exec+ 3 other jobs+ leadership positions in two organizations+membership in 2 (other) organizations+church (don’t pay attention to the order these items are listed in)+ doctor’s appointments and physical therapy…yea, you’re probably tired just reading it and this is my life… Every. Single. Day.

How I’m gonna throw loving parent in that list in a few months is literally beyond me. Yes, I know the logical thing to do is cut-back and step away from things but so many other wives and moms do so much more with so much less. They just wake up, adorn their capes and take-on the world. They. Are. Super. Their powers vary and most of them have more than one super power.

Well, I’m super too. So super that I know when to ask for help. And by ask, I may mean sulkily confront my husband about not being able to do it all by myself and needing help while washing and possibly throwing dishes. The details aren’t important, right?

The point is all these super-wives and moms have super-strength…asking for help. It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s even demeaning but, like everything else, it needs to be done and we need to do it.

Until next time…keep using that super strength.

Like, comment and share.

Stupid Feelings…

You ever just do something very plainly and clearly stupid but you didn’t realize how plainly and clearly stupid it was until after you did it? (Well, for me, it was after the second time I did it-Sad, I know.)

Then, after you realize this was quite possibly the dumbest thing you’ve ever done, the Four Horsemen of the Self-Depravity Apocalypse come charging in.

Horseman 1: The act committed being stupid to YOU being stupid, like a senseless-buffoon.

Horseman 2: Doubting every other decision you’ve made or act you’ve committed, no matter how smart you thought they were at the time… Not to mention how all the other dumb decisions you’ve made just start making back-to-back cameo appearances in your mind.

Horseman 3: The guilt of it all just piles and piles and piles on top of you until…

Horseman 4: We’ll call him ‘Dawn of The Drama’. The pity parties, the water-works that start slow and steady and end with colicky moans and body spasms commence and never seem to end.

So besides curling up in a ball and letting the Horsemen above pummel you into a slow agonizing restless death-I mean sleep- although (thanks to Horseman 4) you thinking you’re dying isn’t that far off- what can we really do?

Rectify the situation? Honestly, that’s not possible many times BUT if it is take full advantage of the opportunity of possible reprieve!

Can’t rectify it? Well, I guess we have to let it go…another problem. For however many hours, the horsemen are stalking your every move and all you can think and feel is that stupidity so ‘letting it go’ seems way above your power limits at the moment. Well, if that’s how you feel, I’ve been there, and I’m there now but are we gonna give our power to 4 proverbial horsemen in our head? I mean, we invited them in so surely we can kick them out! It’s already been decided we’ve done some dumb things so how about changing that pattern?

Let’s give the Horsemen, the real senseless buffoons, the boot and get on with our lives. We already recognized our wrongs, let’s focus on what we do that’s right.

Until next time… Keep those horsemen out of your head.

Like, comment, share!

Be still…

You know that bible verse, “Be still and know that I am God”? It took me a very long time to to understand its meaning. In fact, I still have to be reminded. I am a planner. I am a strategic thinker. I am a mover and a shaker. I don’t do still…like, literally.

So, for so long, I couldn’t understand why sitting still drew you closer to Him and His plan for you. And then I had no choice but to sit still.

Let me back up and define ‘no choice’ as it pertains to me- I planned, I strategized to get where I wanted to be and I moved and shaked until I could no longer move and shake. I was left with nothing. I felt empty. I felt like a failure. I. Me.

The funny thing about those last two words (I. Me.), as powerful as they are, they don’t contain God. All the planning, all the strategies, and all the moving I did didn’t start or end with God. So, when all was gone, that’s when I understood ‘still’ the way the bible intends.

Still isn’t solely the physical nature but that of your spirit, stilling your heart and mind availing them to God and submitting to His will. I am not ruling out the physical definition of still at all, I’m just saying the stillness must start in your heart and encompass your body.

Back to what got me to stillness…I won’t bore you with all the gory details (depression, anxiety and fear…OH MY!) but let’s just say that, because I was driving myself, I drove straight into a brick wall. At the impact I said ‘Ok God. I will do this Your way now.” And just like that, my heart and my mind submitted to God and my body moved under his direction.

That’s the reason for all the words you’ve read here on hitswiththemrs.com. I’ve always wanted to write and help people with my writing. I just had to do it on His time, not mines.

What you have read and what you will read helps my life as a Christian woman, wife, daughter, sister and friend and I pray it helps you.

To The Man Sitting Next To Me In The Pew

Hey Loves!

I’m back with another post for the She Shares Truth Challenge by She Reads Truth. Today we are reviewing 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

Last Sunday, I was inspired by the man sitting next to me at church and wanted to share the following with you all. Then, God answered with the She Shares Truth verse for this week. Let me know what you think!

To the man sitting next to me in the pew, you don’t know me or I you but you taught me something that I will carry in my heart.

To the man sitting next to me in the pew, I noticed you give all you could in the collection plate. The pennies, nickels and dimes that barley totaled $1 moved me in ways you will never know.

To the man sitting next to me in the pew, I know you put on your best to come to church today. While I got up and changed my outfit three times, you put on dated hand-me-down jeans and a shirt that was too big.

To the man sitting next to me in the pew, I saw you take your old bible and be steadfast and attentive through the sermon while I used three electronic devices to follow along and enjoyed my protein shake.

To the man sitting next to me in the pew, thank you for reminding me what Jesus needs from us. Thank you for not being ashamed of what you brought to The Lord, what you wore to worship Him, and, most importantly, not letting any of that stop you from coming to church.

To the man sitting next to me in the pew, thank you for inspiring me to draw closer to God and not to things or appearances this world tells me I need. Thank you for reminding that what I give to God should only be validated by God and not what the person next to me gives.

To the man sitting next to me in the pew, what you taught me today was just that, a lesson, not condemnation. You don’t have an address and I don’t know where your next meal will come from but the joy in your heart is remarkable and God rewards the dutiful like you.

To the man sitting next to me in the pew, thank you.

20140411-083303.jpg

The Jonah In Me (and you) part 2

Hey loves!

I’m back with week 4 of the She Shares Truth Challenge by She Reads Truth. This week we are studying Jonah 3 and 4.

Have you ever been upset because something bad didn’t happen to someone? (I know that sounds terrible but let’s take a little time to look at ourselves.) Upset because a person didn’t get what you felt they deserved? Upset because you had to forgive someone for what they did to you? If not, my hat is off to you.

If you have, come join the club with Jonah and I. You see, once Jonah was spared by God’s grace and was obedient to His command, the people of Ninevah fasted and wore burlap to show sadness. They didn’t want God to destroy them so they sacrificed with hopes that He wouldn’t. They confessed their sins and made efforts and promises to change. So, God spared them and that’s what upset Jonah. It would’ve upset me too.

Get ready for some conviction…

The thing you, me and Jonah need to realize is that same grace that was shown to so many people who we believed didn’t deserve it was shown to us many, many, many times. We can’t determine where or how our great God shows His grace and mercy, but we can choose to be grateful for the grace and mercy He has shown to us.

Psalm 38: The Joy in Guilt

Hey Loves!

So I am back with another post for the She Shares Truth Challenge from She Reads Truth. This week’s post comes from Psalm 38.

Let’s talk about guilt. Personally (and sadly) it is often a motivator for me. Sometimes, I go to the gym and refrain from things I want (but shouldn’t have) because I will feel guilty if I indulge. I attend certain events because I will feel guilty if I don’t. For too many women, guilt is a common emotion and a natural response to things.

Thankfully, our Father knew that and left us great teachings. The author of Psalm 38 is my favorite king, King David. You see, like us, David knew about guilt. In fact, he knew it pretty well. He made some bad decisions, the kind where that guilt would just overtake my being. However, David’s story isn’t about his guilt, it is about redemption and praise and that can be our story too.

Psalm 38 begins with the fears and guilt we, as humans, face often. Like David, we pursue good and evil comes. We too can call on our Savior in our times of need and guilt and He will come quickly to help us. David praised God for a Savior that was to come generations after him. We have a risen King that has already come and will come again. Our Lord knows what we long for and desire, when we feel alone and deserted, when we feel guilty and He saves. He stands by you, heals the hurt, absorbs the guilt and saves.

My Take On Psalm 130…She Shares Truth

Hey loves!

So I am accepting the challenge from She Reads Truth to do a blog post every Friday of lent on a bible chapter and/or verse(s) for the She Shares Truth Experiment. This week is Psalm 130.

Let me preface this post by saying, I’ve been praying about how and when I should use my God-given talents and it is no mistake She Reads Truth came into my life and came up with this challenge.

Ok…now for my take on Psalm 130.

Out of all the great praises and pleas in the chapter, the words that stuck out to me were “Pay attention”. I think it is funny this Psalmist asked our great God to pay attention. I mean, how could He not? He is the God that freed the Hebrews from bondage and continually saved them in battles. He even paid enough attention to the future, our present needs, and sent His son as the ultimate sacrifice so we can be forgiven. Yet, the Psalmiat insists the God pay attention to his plea.

Have you ever been there? Wanting God to pay attention to you? Your needs? Your pleas? Your desires? I have and I am here to tell you He surely is. The same God that formed you before you were born and knows the number of hairs on your head is paying attention. He hears you.

In those times of desperation and pain, I urge you to pay attention to all God did for his children, the Bible and know you are no exception.

Later in Psalm 130, I guess the author realized who he was asking to pay attention and said “7. O Israel, hope in the Lord, for the Lord exhibits loyal love, and is more than willing to deliver. 8 He will deliver Israel from all the consequences of their sins.” (NET)

Sisters, pay attention.

My Life… The stay at home edition

Hey Loves!

As most of you know, one of the reasons I started this blog was to build marriages. This post is to empower wives in whatever you do. I am mostly a stay at home wife. I work part time and write freelance but my priority is my husband, our household and our family.

It took me a long time to get to the point where telling people I was a stay at home wife was ok and I didn’t feel inferior. The majority of my confidence came from growing in my faith. At the end of the day God has a purpose for all of us and all we have to do is submit to his will.

I found this blog post from kitty-ears.com and wanted to share as she took the words right out of my mouth.

“If I was working, managing a household on top of a full time job would be extremely difficult. This is not to say it couldn’t be done–it is and has been done by many people–but the way my husband and I wanted to structure our household was for me to be the primary homeworker. In order to cut back on stress and for me to have enough time to keep up with our house and prepare all meals, I needed to be a stay at home wife. He also needs me to be here and take care of those issues so he can then completely focus on work.

Perhaps the greatest factor that helped me be a stay-at-home wife is that I felt lead by God to be one. This is a touchy subject, because I know not all stay-at-home-wives are Christians, nor do I expect them to be. The truth is I feel very comfortable being at home and taking care of my husband and helping others with my time instead of being paid for clocking hours. I know that I am doing the right thing. Daily I pray that I am doing what God wants me to do–and I am not the least bit stressed about my position or embarrassed about my status as a stay-at-home wife.

Perhaps the final point of my stay-at-home status is the direction I want to take my life. I want to eventually own my own business. Right now its just a small Etsy shop, but that shop is my passion and my dream. Staying at home allows me to work towards my goal of being a small business owner and gives me time to grow creativity and plan projects. If I had another “Outside” job I would never be able to give my business the attention it needs to flourish.”