Typically Sunday nights I post my weekly pics of my kids & they are coming…tomorrow.
I snapped this picture of my ‘sweet’ Liv this last Wednesday & I’ve thought about it all week. I had decided to take pictures that day of all of our comings & goings so I could write about a ‘day in the life…’ for two reasons. First, I have a lot of people ask how I get so much done in a day — just ask my husband, he’ll tell you it doesn’t feel like I get a lot done & he actually does a lot to help. And second, I wanted to have it on film for myself. These little comings & goings; the nuances of our day to days. The whats, whos, & hows that make up how our family ticks.
Halfway through the day I realized I had chosen just about the busiest day of my entire existence & even with the pictures to help me, I’m not sure I can recall every which way I was going that day. Annnnd I’m pretty sure mean mom made an appearance by about 6 pm. I’ll be sure to document that part.
Anyway, most mornings start like this — I’m in my pj’s with bedhead & my glasses on the other side of my scriptures. The kids have usually already debated about what to eat & negotiated upon who will sit where. And then we read scriptures. I was messing with the settings on my camera, after my photo class this past weekend & was trying to figure out how to take a decent picture inside with crappy light. You can get a good glimpse at how well our scripture reading was going based on my thought process & the subject on film.
It made me giggle the second I knew I had caught it. It reminded me of one of my favorite talks by Elder Bednar, More Diligent & Concerned at Home. In it he says:
“As our sons were growing up, our family did what you have done and what you now do. We had regular family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Now, I am sure what I am about to describe has never occurred in your home, but it did in ours.
Sometimes Sister Bednar and I wondered if our efforts to do these spiritually essential things were worthwhile. Now and then verses of scripture were read amid outbursts such as “He’s touching me!” “Make him stop looking at me!” “Mom, he’s breathing my air!” Sincere prayers occasionally were interrupted with giggling and poking. And with active, rambunctious boys, family home evening lessons did not always produce high levels of edification. At times Sister Bednar and I were exasperated because the righteous habits we worked so hard to foster did not seem to yield immediately the spiritual results we wanted and expected.”
I can’t tell you how many times those words echo in my mind as I look around my own home. This tongue sticking out is permanent proof of a teasing older brother & a feisty little sister & I love it.
That next day I read this article that was written in response to Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. I’ve never read the book nor do I plan to, but the article gave me a broad idea of what the book was about. The over-arching theme was, you guessed it, lean in. Sandberg suggests women lean in more towards their careers — focusing on what they can do & being willing to take it on. I’m sure it is sound advice & I really have no criticism for it, seeing as how I haven’t read it. Rosa Brooks, who wrote the response & took the advice indicted her struggle to keep her family life balanced once she started leaning in more towards her career. I can see her quandary & it made me wonder what if instead of us leaning more into our careers, we, as women, as men, as kids, leaned more into our families? I’m not saying at the expense of losing our jobs, but to the extent we can, what if we all leaned in to our families?
What effect would that have on our work/life balance? How would it strengthen our relationships within the four walls of our home? Would our children do better in school? Would dinner be more organized? What would we have to sacrifice to do this? What would it actually look like? Would we be happier? More fulfilled?
This year, I’ve really put my focus there & I could tell you some of the things I’ve sacrificed. Initially, some of those things felt like a big deal. But now? I’m ready to give up more stuff….and lean in.
Try it & let me know how it goes…
Who knows, maybe I’ll even read Sandberg’s book & apply it to my family.