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Archive for January, 2017

Spinning plates

Have you ever seen one of those shows where a man is spinning a plate balanced on a pole, and he keeps adding poles and spinning plates atop them. He runs crazily back and forth to keep them spinning lest they fall, and has to keep an eye on all of the plates from wherever he stands amidst them. If one falls it will break.

I know that all of you who are parents understand how that plate spinner feels except that your feelings are exponentially magnified by the fact that your plates are human and definitely not replaceable. Many moms out there and dads too probably feel life’s frenzy, trying to keep all of their plates spinning in the various roles undertaken. And, you probably know that sometimes you have to prioritize which plates to keep spinning, and which you have to let break.

My most important plates are my children and husband. (I know all of you Christians out there are saying, “what about God? We are supposed to put God first.) Well, God is not a plate, nor does He require me to spin Him. He is the one who gave me the plates, or the gifts that turned into jobs that are plates metaphorically. By working hard to keep those plates going, I am doing His will and putting him first. And, my priority among my many occupations is my family.

Many moms out there who work in the home or out of the home will understand the guilt that is imposed upon us by the world for not striving to be successful according to the world’s standards. The world glorifies wealth and success, but that doesn’t mean much to me. I once worked in a nursing home and took care of some elderly women who were successful according to the world’s standards. Most of them had no visitors, and would comment with remorse that the success and wealth wasn’t benefiting them in their old age. There is nothing wrong with success except when it is out of perspective. Another illustration that I once heard was that you never saw a moving van full of worldly goods following a hearse.

My point is, fellow parents, it is ok and right to put your family above the world, jobs, money, and success. Stop letting the world make you feel guilty for choosing your kids. I will add that if you are superwoman or superman, who is able to give your children all of the quality time they need and still be beyond successful in a career, bringing in riches , then wow – you are amazing and better than me.  I just can’t do both consistently. I have to pick a priority, and it is always my family. Everything else is attended to when I have the time. I juggle, and try to keep everything going, but sometimes some unimportant plate will break. I might get back to that thing and glue the plate back together at a later time if I can. I think most people are like me, and it is ok. Don’t feel guilty that you are not one of the super humans. Let go of the guilt, and enjoy your family.

Disclaimers: Yes, people have to work to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. I am not talking about being a responsible provider. Also, sadly, some people are single parents and don’t get much choice about which plates to spin. My heart goes out to them, and I feel blessed in comparison. Hats off to single parents and prayers for them too. And, there are some people out there who amazingly can seem to do it all.

Saying all of this, I will add that at present being a mom is taking priority, so being an artist happens when it can happen. I hope that my art followers will keep following me even with the time gaps.

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