Hi. I’m Eileen.
I live with my husband and five young children in a small rural town in New England where we do chaos. I also have a few babies who live in heaven. I am a writer, an artist, and so many other things that it’s just plain silly. But I also homeschool and cook and change diapers and do laundry (oh my word, the laundry!), let the dog in and out too many times a day, and, well…let’s just say that’s a current picture of my kitchen counter up there, folks. I’m just keeping it real, here.
I’m a creative person who is figuring out how to make room for my own healing, growing, and creating while also navigating the chaos of life with littles. For a long time, I put my own creating aside so that I could care for these amazing little people who call me mom (or mama. Oh how I love mama.), do the housework, the cooking the cleaning and all the things that come with a house full of little ones. But that just was not working for me. I felt like I wasn’t able to be my true self. And the laundry and dishes and mess never stopped no matter how hard I worked, which I suppose could be a factor of the babies we kept adding to the equation. I was busy and sacrificing and giving of myself, as moms are supposed to do, but I felt like I was always running on empty.
I had some healing to do – from wounds that have been around for a lifetime, and from some that are relatively new. I knew that by not making time for myself to do some things that I love and to do the hard, hard work of healing, I was probably going to be passing along some of those same kinds of wounds to the very people I love the most.
And so I learned to say no to some things. And to say yes to others.
I say no to keeping the house clean in a way that stresses me out and makes my family miserable. I couldn’t keep up with it either way, so I said no to making us crazy trying. I say no to doing things out of fear or imagined obligation or guilt trips from others. Our family is our number one priority and we do what we need to do (or not do) to keep it as peaceful as possible around here. I say no to going for weeks without taking the “mom” hat off and getting out of the house for a while.
And because of those “nos” I can say “yes” to so many things. I can say yes to being emotionally available for my children. I can say yes to making space for my own creativity so that I can recharge myself. I can say yes to being present with my family in a way that allows me to see the everyday chaos as a blessing and an answer to my lifelong prayers, and not a curse. (I’m still needing to remind myself of this one sometimes.) I can say yes to being an example to my children of someone who takes care of her own needs, too.
And I can say yes to chickens. (Chickens!) We are getting some baby chicks soon.
I have found that the secret to being able to do so many things for my family is to add in a few of the things that are important to me, too. If you can relate, I hope you’ll share your experiences and ideas for how you make it all work. It’s a work in progress over here.
I make time for things that I love and by doing so, feel like I’m able to be my authentic self – the one God created me to be – and nurture the passions He gave me. And it’s making that time – to create, to pray, to heal, to grow – that lets me see the blessing in the everyday chaos.