If you don’t develop the art of ignoring, you will crash and burn as a mother.
Oh, yes, I believe in keeping a neat house, of doing things ahead, and of making life simple, but if you looked deep into my psyche and tried to learn the secrets of how I have handled life with my 15, homeschooled children, I think you may be a bit surprised to find that one of the best things I ever learned was how to ignore.
It’s really a beautiful place, here where it seems as though I sometimes bury my head in the sand like an ostrich being chased by an enemy. In reality, I am following a prescription for mental and emotional health written for me by God Himself:
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
…people don’t like me–I ignore them.
…my children are noisy–if I have taken care of them and they are happy, I ignore.
…my house is fairly clean but there are a few closets messy and I need to cuddle my baby–I close the door and cuddle away.
…I have unpaid bills, and I’ve called and communicated, but the thought nags me in the back of my mind–I cast that one up on to God’s shoulders and allow Him to carry it for me.
…it’s almost Christmas and I haven’t baked cookies yet because I have morning sickness/have a new baby/all my children are sick/there is a family emergency–I ignore the Pinterest photos and buy some from the store!
…I had every intention of folding the laundry today but one thing happened after another and the books I promised to read aloud are calling to me from the kitchen counter–I put the clothes baskets in one of those messy closets I mentioned above, close the door, and ignore them while I read to my children.
…there is pressure on me to be involved in everything from soccer to the Christmas pageant, but I am already so exhausted I can barely find the energy to brush my teeth–I throw the flyers away, lovingly ignore my church family, and go home and take a nap!
Thankfully, saying “no” is not a problem; it has been survival for me to know my limits and keep them! It stems from the very real understanding that I do not have to hold the world together, that my God is indeed pleased with me when I take what He has given me and use it to my best ability, but refrain from trying to be god-like and thinking I can possibly please everyone all of the time!
Besides, it would be the greatest shame to me if I tried to do everything that looked good on the outside to everyone else, and yet neglected the most important things; kisses for a job well-done, oohs and aahs for a lovely drawing, a listening ear for an account of joy or sorrow, time spent sitting and watching all of the priceless pictures of my family members as they live around me.
Of course, I don’t ignore the important things, but tackling these is much easier when I haven’t been spinning my wheels and angsting over things that just-don’t-matter!
Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?