Thursday, May 3, 2007

What if ... I ran away from home?

I know the last post was What if...We didn't Complain? and I need to work at that daily but I hope you all don't mind that I am starting my What if question with a complaint? As I said, I need to work at it daily.

I don't know if you can relate or not but there are just some days that I wish I could run away from home! As moms we are always making sure we take care of everyone else and for the most part, I love doing just that but boy can my kids wear me down. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing what's best for my kids since I home school them with the whining and fighting among them that really gets under my skin. I find myself not being very nice and wanting to run away thinking we all just spend way too much time together.

I love being a stay at home mom but sometimes I need to get away too like my husband does as he works outside the home. Sometimes I wish we could trade roles for a time. Not that I need or want to work out of the home every day but it would be nice if I didn't have to referee or listen to the whining and complaining every day. I think it would help all of us appreciate one another more.

During this school year I signed my kids up for Awana at our church. My kids looked forward to going every Wednesday and so did I. It was the only time during the week that I could be by myself and really gather my thoughts and have some quality uninterupted time in the Word of God and doing things that refresh my spirit. I am grateful for the time I had each Wednesday night because I believe I needed that time for myself. Of course some weeks were better then others but it was those tougher weeks I felt like I wanted to run away and Wednesday nights are what kept me sane. Now that Awana is over though, I have to figure out what I can do at least once a week (I'd like even more time) so I can keep my bearings and not run away!



Randee said...

Now, this is a topic all mothers can relate to! As a mother of 3, I admit to the same run away from home. As the matter of fact, my kids have heard make this threat on more than one occasion!


But, let me give you some encouragement, Lori. You are a woman who walks her talk. What a treasure. You have embraced the 24/7/365 role of motherhood with little reprieve...especially as a homeschooling mom! I can only imagine the honor your children will bestow upon you as you send them out into the world fully equipped. Hats off to you, my sister.

But the fact remains...where is the time designated just for you? Even the hour a week you had with AWANA seems not quite enough.

I have often paraphrased Bernard de Clairvoix analogy of canals and resovoirs. It goes something like this...

When the water enters a canal it exits at the same time. It flows in as it flows out. BUT with a resevoir, the water doesn't overflow until it is filled up. He likens this to our lives. When we are emotionally (and spiritually) depleted, we are living our lives as "canals". Those who live their lives as "resevoirs" give out of abundance. They are filled to overflowing.

This image resonates with about you?

anne said...

Randee, you are always so wise, and so encouraging! Lori, I have to tip my hat to you as well. I cannot imagine homeschooling children AND living with them. :) In fact there are many homeschoolers around here who share classes. Kids may go to someone's house for French lessons or science, etc. There's also a big homeschooling arts program, and the kids rehearse all year for one big musical production. I wonder if there are resources like that in your community? I'm sure the mothers appreciate sharing their various areas of expertise, and having some time off, or time together with other mothers, while the children benefit from seeing other kids and learning. And no - venting is not complaining! We all need to let out our emotions sometimes...or to continue with the reservoir could explode like an overfilled dam!

Abraham Lincoln said once that all that he was he owed to his angel mother. I have no doubt that you'll be hearing similar sentiments from your own children when they're grown. And an unstressed mother is a happy mother, and a happy mother makes a happy home! Praying for some respite for you.

Shalene said...

I have had a couple opportunities to talk with you, and have begun to get to know you a little bit. I feel much the same as Ann and Randee have stated. I found for a while that getting up in the mornings to do my daily bible reading was a "pain" to say the least, since I'm not a morning person, but I found that after I got into the habit, I really enjoyed that time as time just for myself and the Lord. It became my "ME" time. Time that I needed for myself. And I don't even do the 24/7 365 day thing. I send my kids out to school. With all that you do, you have every reason to feel like you need some time for yourself. Just remember, if you don't find time for yourself, it will become easier for your family members to keep you from having it. Not that they would take advantage, but we have to remember that we are setting an example for our children in the priorities we set. If we let them come before the Lord, they will have a harder time putting Him first in their lives as well. I've learned this the hard way. I don't claim to have this practice mastered, only know that it has been proven to work. :) Don't be so hard on yourself. You are already the closest I've ever "met" to a Proverbs 31 woman! My hat's off to you as well. Perhaps you could find a childrens' bible study that they can do at home (on their own, while you do yours.) Maybe that could be an article I write, Hmmm..... Blessings,

Shalene said...

One more thing Lori, and the other ladies, have you read The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley? Chapter 6 of version 1 has some information for women like us that would like to run away from home on occasion. I'll say now that I'm a little biased, I'm a big fan of his, but anyway, the info is still good. He basically says that unless we give to ourselves, and love ourselves, then we can't fully give and love others. That's really all I was trying to say earlier. Keep smiling and know we've all been there. Wanna trade kids awhile?? Just kidding. I wouldn't trade mine for the world either.

anne said...

Shalene, I hadn't heard of Smalley's book but it looks very interesting, especially in regard to seeing the unconscious patterns we develop communicating with each other. As far as loving ourselves, I learned that lesson the hard way. There was a time when I thought self-sacrifice was the most noble thing I could do, until I realized I was teaching my children not to care about their own well-being. Humbling.

Randee said...


I've heard about Gary Smalley's book but I haven't read it. I think I'll pop over to the library and have them order it for me. I'm always looking for great books for my book club. Thanks for the referral. I'll post my comments after I read it.

Lori Arriaga said...

Randee, yes that image resonates with me too, thank you for sharing about the reservoir again. It is something that I need to remind myself of when I feel depleted.

I do pray and get in the word daily most mornings before we start home school but rarely can I find the quality uninterrupted time like I get on Awana nights where I can really focus and meditate on the Word and listen to His guidance because I can't seem to get up early enough.

Actually now that school is almost over and summer is almost here, the kids aren't couped up in the house as they are through the winter and are outdoors playing more. Now it should be easier to find more time for myself. Being able to be outdoors worshiping him with His beautiful creation all around me does wonders.

Anne, it would be great to get plugged in to a local home school co-op. We actually had one the year before but it fizzled out this year. I live in a pretty small town and need to look into other surrounding areas for a co-op to join next year.

Shalene, what a nice surprise to see your post. I completely agree that we need to set the example for our children of putting God first that is one of the reasons I chose to home school and to teach them to worship God with their whole life. When both my kids are reading better and on their own, I will definitely be teaching them to have individual quiet times to start our days. That is a day I look forward to. We do however do their scriptures they are learning in Awana most days which they both really love to do which I am grateful for.

I haven't read that book by Smalley but have read a different one that I can't remember the name of. I do remember though that I really liked his book.

Thanks for all the encouragement and compliments everyone!

Randee said...

You are a woman worthy of the compliments, Lori. Thank you.

Sheri said...

Wow, what guts it took to admit that, yes, we do sometimes think of running away. Funny story...

When my kids were very young there came a weekend that I'd just had enough. My husband was clueless at the time and my kids pulled me in eight different directions at any given moment. There was probably some PMSing going on too. As soon as my husband walked in the door after work on a Friday, I walked right past muttering something about going to get groceries. Well, I got in my car, started it, backed down the driveway and drove... and drove... and drove. I ended up somewhere in Indiana ( I live in Michigan.) I called home to let everyone know that I was alright and that I'd be home when I was good and ready. This attitude lasted until about 9:00 the next morning. Tail between my legs I relunctantly dragged myself in the house. Nothing was said about my little tyraid. Mommy had just gone on a little adventure. A few sticky hugs later I knew I was where God wanted me. Home.

I really don't think I accomplished anything. And I'm pretty sure that my husband was still clueless and my kids still pulled me in eight different directions. But, driving along with the wind blowing through my hair and the radio cranked to whatever was popular at the time sure felt good. I was a rebel.

Do I recommend this? No way !! It was very immature and stupid. But, my fight or flight kicked in and I flew.

Now that I have a little more wisdom and maturity (gray hairs)I know it was the wrong thing to do. What I would advise is this. Hire a babysitter and meet a friend for coffee or an afternoon matinee or both.

Friends are truly a gift. True friends will rescue you when you feel like you're sinking. There will be no judgement or condemnation. We've all been there. We can offer an understanding smile, a word of encouragement. We can pray.

God has created women in the most wonderful way. We are relational. We need to connect on the deepest levels. Our desire is to be lifted up by the loving touch of a friend who doesn't expect something in return. When these needs are fulfilled everything else falls into place. Our loads, our burdens are made lighter when we can share them with each other.

Make a point to connect with a woman whom you respect. Is there someone you feel drawn to? If your resources seem limited, go to the nearest playground or McDonalds and notice the mom who looks ready to fall apart (as we all have.) Remember that she's feeling the same way you are.

God bless you !! You are serving in the greatest ministry God has created. You are molding your children to be followers of Christ. What could be better?

Randee said...

Wow, Sheri. Well said.

I love your story about running away. Can I relate or what?