Thanks to Jewels, I've just discovered this treasure of a website, called Hands Free Mama. I've only read several posts from it so far, but fully intend to continue exploring it, as time allows. Basically it's about something I've discussed here as well: simplifying and slowing down, in order to make time and space for the most important things in life.
Many of us are stay-at-home mothers, in order to be available to our children as much as possible. I feel it's cruel that society expects mothers to be out there working for money - which may mean looking (oh the irony) after other people's children, anyone's but their own - instead of nurturing their own families. The feminine nature, on a general level, is gentle, quiet, introspective, non-competitive; perfectly suited for keeping the hearth and home.
But even without paid work, there are other things to consider. Screen time - internet and TV, phones, volunteering, extracurricular activities, social obligations, relationships, hobbies - all of this can be a drain and a distraction, not because they are bad things, but because, together, they can sometimes turn into too much. Several times, I've been asked to join committees, to volunteer on a regular basis, but I simply feel it can't work in a non-stressful way, at this season of my life. Even housework, while necessary, and important, can be put on hold at times of need. People are more important than dishes.
Yesterday, I took Shira to ballet class for the first time. I really wasn't thinking, up until a week ago, about such activities for children so young, but she enjoys music and dancing so much that we decided to give it a shot. She had a great time, and we can afford to be out and about one afternoon a week. But when I see mothers of four or five children, each of whom is engaged in, say, 2 different extracurricular activities per week - which may, or may not, coincide between siblings - it's obvious nearly every afternoon is spent in shuttling children back and forth. And that is in addition to school. How do they do it? I honestly have no idea.
Here is a highly educative post to begin with, from Hands Free Mama:
I do have that disease. I'm not perfect. But I'm trying, and I'm learning.