To maintain is defined as to keep in existence or continuance; to preserve or retain.
As busy parents, maintaining is sometimes all we can do. We keep afloat so many aspects of life, hoping to hold its existence long enough to try again tomorrow. It can be a slippery slope. When I maintain too long, it is easy to get lost in that mediocrity.
I feel that parents, moms especially, have an image to maintain. We should look put together, but comfortable. We should stay at home with kids, but we should work to show them a strong role model. We should take breaks and have nights out with friends, but we really shouldn’t leave our kids. We should have experiences to teach them about life, but we should also save money for the future.
I mean, seriously? With all of these expectations, how are we expected to even maintain? Much less thrive?
Listen, I am good with maintenance days. Maintenance days and I are solid! I feed the kids a fruit roll up for dinner, let them pick out their clothes for the next day (Are the clean? Maybe? Maybe not?), and fall asleep with an iPad rather than a book. I have rocked all of these scenarios…in the same night. #comeatme
On better days, however, when I am totally rocking this mom gig (obvs), this is when we can break the mold. If I am intentional, I can teach them that maintenance days are a harsh reality and a healthy place to visit, but not a place to live. We do a tour, we pack up and we head back to a sunnier place of building gracious leaders.
- Where we volunteer at church and school, not out of obligation, but to truly give back. This isn’t maintaining, it’s restoring.
- Where we travel to beautiful, far off places, not to judge other cultures, but to learn and appreciate them. That’s not maintaining, it’s gaining.
- Where even when people disappoint us or we fall short of others’ expectations and we are hurt or sad, we learn a lesson, hold our head high and keep stepping. That’s not maintaining, that’s forgiving.
- Where we send a note and a $5 ice cream card to a sick friend. That’s not maintaining, it’s loving.
- Where we meet our small group from church and have a meal, talk and build each other up. That’s not maintaining, that’s worshiping.