Hi! In a funny scheduling fluke, I ended up on Kindred  Mom with the last essay of January and the first essay of February. 

Double feature! 

You can read the whole piece here or continue on for an excerpt.


“So… dinner tomorrow. Any allergies? Restrictions? Strong preferences?”

“Nah. We’re pretty low-maintenance.”

I’ve had this conversation dozens of times over the years. In this case, we’d had this family over once, decided to make it a regular thing, and were about to head to their house for the first time. We both have relatively large families, but aside from sheer volume of food, all fourteen of us are easy enough to feed.

***

I’ve tried to be low-maintenance in as many areas as possible for as long as I can remember. It has its perks—I like being easy-to-get-along-with. It’s nice to be able to go with the flow, to be free of strong aversions. (Except scary movies. Hard pass.) But it has a shadow side, too. In the name of being low-maintenance, I’ve served others’ needs while completely ignoring my own.

Baby’s crying? I’ll go get her. No sense in you waking up when I’m gonna have to feed her anyway.

MAN, I’m hungry. Did I eat lunch? No, I don’t think so. Do six cold, half-eaten nuggets count?

Wow, it got late. But there are still chores to do. No biggie—I’ve been sleep-deprived since 2010. What’s one more hour folding laundry and washing dishes?

As I say it, I realize I sound like a martyr. I didn’t know, though. I thought I was being kind. Selfless. Serving. Those are good things, right? But I missed the growing resentment and the toll it was taking on my physical and mental health.

There were a lot of things I missed, actually… (read the rest here.)

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for KindredMom.com where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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2 Comments

  1. This is AMAZING!!! I was just thinking about how you’ve been thoroughly typed the “Golden Retriever” since we were kids reading that book. Glad you’re starting to realize that Gods kindness isn’t just everyone else, but to you too.

    Btw I feel like the enneagram saw this coming from a mile away.

    How can I pray for you? When are you going to l’abri?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

    1. Yeah, it TOTALLY called it. We leave Wednesday. There’s lots to do (she says to the sister who’s moving across a country) and I’m feeling unsettled about the leaving the kids for so long (particularly the little two, especially Lilly.)

      Like

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