Productivity redefined

One Tuesday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I was driving home from visiting my sister and her baby. It was quarter to five when I was coming off the Harbour Bridge and I glanced at the tinted glass buildings which surround the freeway. Beyond the glass, a myriad of desks, black-suited people and computers. The same scene on repeat in building after building, floor after floor all around me.

After having worked in an office for the last nine years, I was struck by the fact that I wasn’t sitting at any such desk. Eva, our baby girl, was quietly sleeping in her capsule on the back seat. Looking after her may be a full-time job, but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. It’s a privilege to be on maternity leave for 12 months. I’m very thankful for my daughter, very thankful that I get to be a mum and so happy to be in this current season of life.

But I don’t feel thankful all the time. Just that morning I’d been feeling overwhelmed. There seemed to be so many things on my to-do lists. Writing another post on here was one of the items.

I always expected that having a baby would challenge my task-driven tendencies. I love ticking things off my lists. I also knew that looking after a baby would keep me pretty busy, although I didn’t fathom just how much time caring for a baby actually takes. This is not a complaint. I suppose I thought that being home all day most days, that there would still be time in between to do other things. I was wrong. At the moment our little one has a maximum of three short naps a day, so in between having a shower, doing the washing, preparing dinner, there is only the tiniest bit of time on the side. If I’m feeling motivated I can be quite productive in half an hour. I made a muesli slice during one of her naps last week. That was my major accomplishment for the whole day!

I started writing this post four days ago. I’m learning that other things are possible but they just get done slowly. I still write a list each day, and I have an ongoing, long-term list called “Things to do in the little moments” – so that when I do have moments, I don’t get stuck wondering what to do next.

I am gradually trying to redefine ‘productive’. The value of my days can’t be measured by items ticked off a list. Loving Eva – from feeding, cleaning and clothing her to singing, reading books and playing with her is an incredibly worthwhile way to spend my days. I have a precious and unique opportunity to invest in her life. If I get some washing done and dinner on the table, great. But the dreams of sewing things, blog posts and various other creative projects whirling around in my head – well they are on my long-term to-do list – I will do them if I get a chance in the little moments.

And since I don’t have to meet deadlines or account for my days to my employer, some of the questions I probably should be asking at the end of each day are instead – What can I be thankful for today? Have I honoured God with my time? Have I loved and enjoyed my daughter? Served my husband? Invested in relationships with others? For those things will count in the end.

Advertisements

One thought on “Productivity redefined

  1. You are so right! It’s hard to explain the time challenges of parenthood completely. You have to live it ! I had a friend who, when she didn’t have kids ask me (in a nice way) why so many mums of babies say they don’t get to have a shower until midday. I actually couldn’t really explain why, I’m sure a few babies later, she gets it now! The time challenges shift as they get older, but they are always there in some form. Eva is blessed to have a mum who thinks about these things and in everything aims to “give huge honour to our awesome God”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s