Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quiet time and the wedding quilt

I've been spending all my free time lately working on my brother's wedding quilt, which isn't as much time as I would like considering my free time occurs only when my wee ones are sleeping. It's been a long haul on a quilt that at one point seemed so simple (how hard could a whole cloth quilt be, right?). I hit a major milestone yesterday when I finally finished up the quilting. Hooray!

I spent Master W.'s nap time today unpicking my grid (the pink stitching) and it felt so good to sit in complete silence with a project that required absolutely no thought and little concentration.

What a rare, treasured afternoon.

I rested against a few pillows and sat in the quiet for a good hour before my little guy awoke, enjoying the peaceful silence. It was a perfect time for saying a few prayers and reflecting on how life is about to change once again.

I read recently that we Americans often so get caught up in "being busy" that we fear the quiet, the down times of the day. So we fill our days with television shows, web surfing, activities and other "must-dos" that keep us busy to the point of exhaustion.

Where do I fall in all this? I'm a homebody. I know many people who thrive on being busy, but it makes me anxious. If truth be told, there's no place I'd rather be than home with my husband and kids. I love the laughter, the wild antics and the general warmth my children's very presence brings to my home. But I also love the quiet times when I can peek in my kids' bedroom door and see them sleeping like little angels (don't kids always look like perfect angels when they sleep?).

How do you handle the quiet times? For us mamas, I know they are few and far between. Do you embrace them? Do they make you want to find something to do to fill them?

16 comments:

  1. What a lovely post Michelle! I fill my quiet times with reading or napping :) My mama's much better at soaking in the quiet and enjoying the peace. I'm a doer who never gets anything done! HA! I am also a homebody though... I don't know, I'm going to have to think about how I fill my quiet moments.

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    1. I should be napping, but I love to use my free time to sew or read. I love your comment about being a doer that never gets anything done! I'm often very much like that too. :)

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  2. OH and CONGRATULATIONS on getting the quilting done! THAT IS WONDERFUL! And you look absolutely lovely in the picture, so glad you included it!

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    1. Thank you! It was epic. Can you imagine if I'd done it all by hand? That would be INSANE! And thank you for your sweet note about my photo! :)

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  3. I like the close up in the quilting and I so need to get some of that fabric!
    I rarely get quiet time, living at home is always crazy busy! =D

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    1. Hi Cherie! It's a great fabric, so very pretty. And the color is gorgeous.

      I understand how you feel about the craziness of home life. My quiet times are very rare, but it's nice when I get them!

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  4. I love quiet time, relish it and actually appreciate it more because I don't get enough!! Sitting still in quiet is the best! Beautiful picture :)

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    1. Thank you, Lucy! I'm with you; I think I appreciate it so much more now that I hardly ever get any of it. :)

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  5. Oh darling Michelle, how peaceful and lovely you look in this photo! What a charming post. I am SO with you. I love being at home more than anything in the world.

    I do find this issue of being able to be at peace with being still a bit of a problem for me, and I'll tell you why - it's because I'm a SAHM now. There is a part of me that feels guilty for not being out there being a wage-earner and I feel like that when I'm home, I should be doing something, cleaning or cooking or organizing or putting away, you get the drift...every single moment! My husband often tells me to go sit down and relax for a moment, so that he doesn't feel guilty for taking a nap on the wkend :)

    But it really is hard for me (not b/c I'm so high energy -- if I had my way, I'd sit reading most of the day!) to combat the feeling that I should be doing Something Productive all the time when I'm at home.

    (also I really do like it when things are neat and tidy so on wkends, I'm like, Hey let's organize the garage! Or clean toys! I am often met with blank expressions..)

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    1. Melissa, this is such an awesome comment. I'm guessing there are many, many stay-at-home mamas who feel as you do. Not because they want to, but because they can't help but feel a wee bit guilty about their "job".

      I guess I try to look at this way: I spend my entire day cooking, cleaning, picking up, helping with homework, wiping peanut butter off of cute little faces, changing diapers during the baby years, teaching manners and good behavior and all sorts of other wonderful mommy chores. I don't mind any of them, in fact I love them all. Okay, well... maybe not cleaning the bathroom. If I'm doing that all day long, then I am also entitled to the occasional break just like anyone else who works at a job, right? There are months, years even, when my break time is super short, irregular and sometimes non-existent (I know that time is coming again very soon). And then as my children get older I get a longer break here and there.

      But no, you shouldn't have to be doing all those things every single moment. You should never have to justify – especially to yourself – your job as a stay-at-home mama. Without sounding too dramatic, I really do believe that motherhood is the most important work anyone could ever do. Whether you stay at home or have a job outside the home, it's a tough job. And we all need a little time just for mama every now and then. I think those tidbits of peaceful time are good for our bodies and our souls - it rejuvenates us and readies us for the next mama task.

      You're doing great! Never, ever doubt yourself! ((((Hugs))))

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    2. Aaaaand, I feel so much better reading this! I'm a stresser, a worrier and am very anxiety prone. I do believe that being a mama and taking care of a home is one of the most important things ever. I think also b/c I was an attorney, I also struggle with the fact that my father thinks it a total waste that I'm at home and while I disagree with him totally in that regard, it does make me sad knowing he feels that way.

      But no sadness! Here's to your beautiful quilt and the lovely new baby on the way!! And to mamas everywhere!

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    3. Many hugs to you, sweet Melissa. We love our parents ith our hearts and souls, and never lose the desire to please them. And our parents love us with their hearts and souls, and never lose their desire to see us living our best lives. Sometimes when you combine those two deep (and very well-intentioned) desires, things get difficult because they don't always match up. Our parents have dreams for us but can forget that we may have different ones for ourselves. I don't know your dad, but I'm guessing that he loves you deeply and completely - no matter what.

      xoxo

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  6. I love that there are still young stay at home mamas that do what mamas all over the world should be doing; loving, caring for and raising the next generation to appreciate and value life. That can never be a bad thing, nor is it anything anyone should ever feel guilty about. Bravo to all stay at home moms.
    And, by the way, I hope you will post a picture of the wedding quilt when it's done. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Elizabeth. I completely agree with your sentiment! :) And yes, I'll most definitely be posting a photo of the quilt. Your advice was incredibly helpful and I hope that you enjoy seeing the final result. :)

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  7. What a lovely post. And wow, your belly has grown! I've been thinking of you a lot and know I owe you an email or call. xoxo

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    1. You're right, it's enormous! We laugh because sometimes it seems to have grown again overnight. I hope you and your little family are doing well. I think of you all the time and enjoy seeing all of the photos of Miss I. Call or write whenever you get the chance - I'm most available after 8:30 p.m. xoxo

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