Archive for the ‘Craziness’ Category

The Mom-Heart Connection

Caryn: So a couple weeks back, I became That Mom. You know, the one who gets screamed at by another mom because she did something horrible and irresponsible and caused a huge commotion? That one. That was me. I’m still reeling from what transpired. Here’s the story:

Our dog hates other dogs—or most other dogs. And our dog escaped the back yard by slipping past my son who was closing the gate and she ran down the driveway. My son caught her, but she ended up seeing another dog across the street and slipped out of her collar and went after the other dog. A dog that was being walked by a nice couple and their two preschoolers tucked into a jogging stroller.

We discovered this all happening when the entire neighborhood erupted into screams. So, my husband and I busted out of the house (yes, we were inside while the kids played outside) and dashed across the street. Rafi tried to grab our bitch by her scruff and I somehow remembered learning once that to break up a dog fight, you grab a dog by its two back legs and pull. I did that and it worked.

My husband took our dog back to the house while the other mom screamed at me: “Why would you have your dog out without a leash?” “Why would you let it be out there with the kids?” All these sorts of things flying my way.

I stood there and kept saying “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” And tried explaining that the dog escaped, etc. But she didn’t care. It was terrifying. Her kids were scared. Her dog was potentially hurt (she wasn’t thank God. My dog apparently just likes really rough play). And I got why she was screaming at me. I would’ve been screaming at her had the tables been turned.

After she finished screaming, I did something weird: I hugged her. It was either that or ask her if we could pray and I thought hugging was the least weird. She hugged back and I could feel her heart racing against my chest. I’m sure she could feel mine too.

It turned into an actual sweet moment shared between two moms. It was like—at least from my perspective–our hearts beat together, almost understood each other.

Maybe that’s too dramatic, but after the hug and after my husband went out to help find their dog (who had run away, of course), and after we paid for them to take their dog to the vet to make sure he was okay (totally fine, just shaken) and after I wrote a big apology note and sent flowers, we’ve now had a couple of nice email exchanges.

We’re not friends now or anything, but I like what’s transpired—we both related to each other as mothers—understanding each others’ mom hearts and we’ve come to a place of peace out of chaos.

Anyway, it sort of gave me hope for the future of the world—if we put moms in charge and all try to solve problems from our mom hearts. Maybe some day we’ll find it, the Mom-Heart Connection? The lovers, the dreamers, and me…. So to speak. Whatcha think? Ever had this weird connection?

Revolutionary Reads: “Rest”

**Freebie Alert!**

A month of so ago, author Keri Wyatt Kent asked Carla and I if we’d be interested in reviewing her newest book, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity
Since Keri’s a friend of the blog and a Revolutionary Mom herself, we said sure. While we’ve never tackled this sort of thing here before, we thought we’d give it a go. Besides, she offered to thrown in a free book to one lucky commenter (see, Obama hasn’t even been president one whole day yet–and already your fortunes could be changing!).

So, here’s our go at this. It’s not so much a “review” (though we did like the book!) as it is a quickie Q&A. Consider it how the Mommy Revolution does books (at least this time around!):

Caryn: The day your book arrived was one of the craziest I’ve had in a while–though it wasn’t entirely atypical. Just a busy day trying to wrangle the kids, rushing here and there, trying to meet some last-minute writing deadlines, all on about 5 hours of INTERRUPTED sleep. I remember looking at the cover (at a stoplight–because I intercepted your book from the UPS guy on my way out the driveway), hearing two of my three kids snap at each other in the backseat, and seeing the words “rest” and “simplicity.” In that moment those ideas seemed like more of a joke than a reality–or at least something that was not attainable in this stage of life. What do you say to other moms who might think these concepts are just out of reach?

Carla: I love Caryn’s question and it echoes mine. Keri, I LOVE the ideas behind your book and I so want rest and peace and calm and balance. But it does feel so out of reach. Even finding the peace to read about how to find peace feels out of reach. So what are some “in the middle of the chaos” secrets you can share with moms who might not have or know how to make the time to get time to themselves?
 
Keri: I guess I would answer those this way. Living a life of Sabbath Simplicity doesn’t mean that you are always resting. There will be times when you are busy or even overwhelmed. God told us to work hard for six days, and then rest for one. So that means we fully engage in the work we are called to do–whether refereeing squabbles, doing laundry, running errands, doing our jobs (such as writing those articles). But we set aside one day to rest from all of that.

It’s a rhythm of life. But what does that look like? It looks different in different seasons of life. I encourage people to build their Sabbath practice slowly, one step at a time. I imagine that as you were in your car, you were off to run errands, with your little ones in tow. You sometimes have to do that. But what if you decided that on Sundays, you won’t run errands? Sabbath is about freedom, and you can set yourself (and the kids) free from that stressful experience on that day. Choosing not to do things like housework or errands one day a week will set that day apart. And it’s hard to explain, but that experience will provide a peace that you can hold on to that during the stressful times.

You mentioned sleep, which is huge. For some of us, the first step on a Sabbath Simplicity journey is to get enough sleep one night a week. You can endure a lot if you know that one night a week, you’ll get enough sleep.

Caryn: Cool. Thanks for stopping by, Keri! So what do the rest of you Revolutionaries think? Do you like what she has to say about rest and sleep and “Sabbath Simplicity”? If so, she says a lot more in her book, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity. You can buy it at bookstores or at Amazon. OR you can try to win it by leaving us a comment!

Maybe tell us what how rest or sleep or simplicity or Sabbath observance has revolutionized your life. Or tell us how you think it COULD revolutionize your life. Or tell us a revolutionary way to find rest or to get sleep or live simpler or observe the Sabbath… You get what my own tired, tired brain is saying here.

Carla and I haven’t decided how we’ll pick the winner, but we’re certain it will become obvious. So we’ll tell you how we decided, after we decide. Comment away!

Radio Free Revolution

Carla: So I was on the Internets radio with my dear friend Doug Pagitt yesterday. Caryn and I are going to be regular Thursday morning guest hosts on Doug’s blogtalk radio program. So mark your calendars for 10:30 every Thursday between now and forever!

Yesterday I talked primarily about what we’re up to with all this Revolution business. You can listen to our conversation here. Doug blathers on about some other stuff for the first half of the show. So the real action starts at about the 24 minute mark. In the future, I’ll cut these files down so you only have to load and listen to the part featuring Caryn and me.

We are still trying to figure out how we’ll use our time but we’d love to talk to some of you on the air when you tune in–there’s a call-in portion at the end of the show. But you can also join in via live chat while we’re on the air or send us questions or topics you’d like us to cover. We’re up for anything!

On another note, who knows how much posting we’ll get done next week. Probably about as much as we get done every week. But just the same, I want to wish my dear friend Caryn a blessed Christmas and all of you as well. May you overcome expectations this season and have the kind of Christmas you want to have, not the one you think you’re supposed to have.

Caryn: And don’t forget, my radio-sensation friend, that the Mommy Revolution is going to be on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection on January 13 from noon to one! Really, can Oprah be far behind?

Thank you for that lovely Christmas wish, Carla. Of course, today has already been a day for the crazy record books so I won’t tell you right now the kind of Christmas I really want to have (clues: me, husband, fire, cabin, Northwoods, glogg…. Notice anyone missing?) But of course, if ever there were a time of year where I could support the expectations placed on moms (in this case, that they don’t ditch their children for Christmas just because the kids get a bit wild and take down her Christmas card display tree–again!–and keep running that darned Christmas train and pressing that stupid All Aboard! button…), it is now.

And really, that dream of me and my husband spending a peaceful, cozy winter-wonderland kind of Christmas is just that–a dream. And those fleeting, wistful things usually just signal a need for me to chill—take my life and my expectations down a notch.

What I really want–and I suspect most of you want the same—is some actual peace (both globally and locally–like in my basement and in my heart, soul, and mind) and some joy now and again. Of course, at Christmas we celebrate the birth of the One who can deliver those things.  Which rocks. So, Jesus, would you please deliver those things? Pronto? I can hear the kids fighting over that stupid huge Hershey bar I bought them—which I told them they couldn’t eat until AFTER lunch anyway—and I’m starting to dream of a lonely Northwoods Christmas again…. Amen.

Okay. So, yes, Merry Christmas to you too, Carla and all our fellow revolutionaries! Peace, joy, and hope to you all!

Nothing to Look Forward to….Really?

Caryn: So not long ago, I spoke to a MOPS group in south suburban Chicago. Incidentally, they had THE BEST brunch of any MOPS I’d ever seen. Like good Lutheran cookbook fare–egg casseroles, stuffed French toast, muffins. Not a healthy thing in sight. Even the fruit either had caramel dip or was dipped in chocolate. I loved this group. Totally my kind of women. I’d say who they were, but I’m about to write about one of the women there, so I thought I need to keep it vague. But seriously, if anyone from MOPS International is reading this, email me. You need to award these women for food.

But anyway, this was a great group for more reasons than just food. So after my talk, I stuck around to join in the discussion (okay, and to get another serving of egg casserole) at one of the tables. Since this was one of my Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. talks, a couple of the discussion questions were identity-tapping ones: What gets you jazzed or all fired up? And what gets you out of bed in the morning?

After we all joked that it was those darned kids who got us out of bed, we went around and spoke seriously of what sorts of things we look forward to in our days. Until we got to one woman. She said honestly, she couldn’t think of one thing that she looked forward to about her day. It wasn’t that she disliked her days—and she said she wasn’t depressed or anything—but that they just sort of streamed together. Nothing great, nothing terrible.

This made me very, very sad. I can’t stop thinking about her. Because I gotta say, as crazy as my life feels most days and as much as I’m NEVER ready to get out of bed in the morning (those darned kids!), on any given day, I have plenty to look forward to (and I lot that I don’t). Honestly, I think my days are filled with a lot of great, a lot of terrible, and some “bleh.” But I like my life like that. I mean, I whine a lot about it, but really I think the wild ride is half the fun. And I guess I figured most other moms lives were like that too.

Now I wonder how many women there are out there who wake up with nothing to look forward to. And how can the Mommy Revolution help?

 

Carla: I can absolutely relate to this woman. I have that same conversation with my hubby all the time. He’ll ask me about my day and I’m like, “It was exactly the same as yesterday and the day before that and the day before that.” There are many, many days when I run to Target or bake cookies or get stuck on Facebook because at least then I have something to do. I kind of like the days when something dramatic happens–the kids have a big kerfuffle, the washing machine freaks out, the dog eats someone’s favorite Hot Wheel–because it breaks up the monotony.

At the same time, that’s just how life is. I felt the same way when I went to work every day. Some days were stimulating and fantastic and productive and other days were all about the “bleh.” But why shouldn’t it be that way? If every day was thrilling, that might get a little boring–or at least exhausting–too.

The boredom and sameness of motherhood is definitely one of those “secrets” that the Revolution needs to uncover. There’s nothing wrong with saying that the wonder of motherhood is often tempered by the dullness of motherhood. Not every woman finds joy in the little things–at least not every day. There is a lot of boring routine involved in parenting and it’s okay to admit that. I think we set ourselves–and other women–up for grave disappointment when we perpetuate that myth that mothering is always amazing. It’s not. (I know that’s not what you’re saying, Caryn). Sometimes the days really do run together and it’s hard to get ourselves through each one of them. But we do it. And before long (at least before the kids are 18) we get one of those days where we are reminded that the boredom isn’t all there is, that there are some astonishing moments along the way, too.

Caryn: Oh, yeah. I didn’t mean to say that motherhood isn’t boring plenty of the time. Honestly, when I talk about things I look forward to in a day….ummmm….I wasn’t thinking about kid-centered stuff. Sometimes, that’s what it is, but usually it’s some worky thing. So I guess I just hope that moms out there have something—a good run, talking to a friend, a work or hobby project, something at church, whatever—to look forward to in their days.

But lest I made it seem like my life is all thrills and frills, tomorrow I’m looking forward to going to Trader Joe’s after I drop my son off at a friend’s house. Whooopeee!