Saturday, October 23, 2010

How to Be a Proverbs 31 Wife (or something like that) During a 50-Hour Work-Week

I have two great ideas for blog posts - one an analysis of Matthew Chapter 10 and the parallel passages; the other a discussion of a certain aspect of the Incarnation we were discussing at Don's blog this week. Only trouble is, I haven't had time to write them...or do any other writing, for that matter, in several weeks. With a trial in Superior Court coming up this week, as well as an inpatient and a Macedonian chemo patient (at two different hospitals), I've been driving and interpreting so much I've barely kept up with my e-mails. (Incidently, I live 70 miles from Boston...a commute I make every day). That averages out to four hours per day in the car.

I'm guessing from my Sitemeter traffic that a good number of my readers are women (statistically it is improbable that you are all male); and most likely some of you work outside the home. How can you balance a hectic work week with being a "Proverbs 31 woman" or "1st Peter wife" or (insert biblical cliche of your choice here)? Somewhere, deep down inside, you just know there is a gentle and quiet spirit just dying to break out.

I'm here to give you some tips; not because I'm so vastly more spiritual than those stay-at-home, bread-baking homeschooling fundie-mamas...but because I can multi-task checking homework, getting a meal on the table, and taking a page from the ICU who wants to know if the patient has to pee without breaking a sweat.

And so can you. Here are some pointers:

1.) On your day off, go grocery shopping. Buy a chicken - a very large, meaty one. (Don't ask questions. This will all make sense by mid-week).

2.) Night before you leave, season chicken; put in one of those fancy oven-bags; whatever floats your boat. SET OVEN TIMER for mid-point of rush hour.

3.) While sitting in traffic, call home and make sure 10-year old has unloaded dishwasher. He probably hasn't; so remind him.

4.) Caffeine. Lots of it. Caffeine was the secret of the Industrial Revolution.

5.) Just when you thought you were going to get home in time to drive daughter to skating, they will decide to give your patient another unit of blood. Remember that large, meaty chicken you bought three days ago? You're going to be glad you did, because....

6.) Soup is amazingly easy to make, when you have a pound of leftover, nicely cooked chicken. Besides, carrots and stuff are good for your kids. They don't know how well off they really are.

7.) Besides emergency chickens, make sure you have at least 1-2 fully prepared meals in your freezer ready for your husband to pull out and stick in the oven (I have Martha Peace to thank for that one; "Becoming a Titus 2 Woman").

8.) While kids are at AWANA, do the laundry.

9.) Never leave home without your Bible in your briefcase, especially if you are going anywhere near the hematology or oncology floor. Time loses all meaning in that world.....

10.) Not going anywhere for a while? Talk to your patient. Use the word "church" in a sentence. If he takes the bait, share the Gospel with him. If he doesn't, talk to him anyway.

11.) Older Bulgarian and Macedonian ladies are a great resource for easy, economical recipes. it too late to start drinking?
12.) Teenagers are a great source of cheap labor. Use them, if you're lucky enough to have them. There is no law saying 13-year-olds cannot learn to fold laundry. 10-year-olds are perfectly capable of toasting their own waffles -- and their younger siblings' waffles, as well.

13.) Make sure you have the local pizzaria's number in your phone, but refuse to use it - on principle.

14.) When you don't have time to properly clean the bathroom surfaces, use wet wipes. No one will notice, if you're that pressed for time. And if they do, they won't dare complain.

15.) Have to be up at 4:30 am? Make it 4:15. Spend at least that long reading a short passage from the New Testament, and praying that God will help you glorify Him in the upcoming day. Your body won't notice the difference of 15 minutes, but it can make the difference between a Christ-centered focus and a really, really stressful day.

16.) Asking your husband to drive your son to soccer (or stick supper in the oven) is NOT being a feminist. So stop worrying. You can still be a respectful, submissive helpmeet and ask for help yourself when you need it (even if you're not wearing a denim jumper).

17.) Homemade pizza takes less time to make than take-out takes to arrive, if you defrost the (regular bread) dough in the pizza pan when you leave for work in the morning. Think about you just throw some stuff on, and it bakes while your changing from your work suit into your Eeyore jammies. Clever, and economical!

18.) Bribery is unneccessary. Kids enjoy helping when you ask them to do important jobs, and they appreciate that extra trip to the library to get books (so they won't wake your husband up by watching TV too loudly). Ulterior motives are not always sinful, especially when they are in your husband's best interest.

19.) Do not keep junk food in the house if you are working outside of it. Kids are funny like that -- the more that's there, the more they'll eat...without restraint. Never a good thing. They will not eat their dinners and then your husband will start yelling at them in both languages.

20.) You will make mistakes. You will stress out, lose your cool, and forget to model Jesus to children and co-workers alike. Recognize it; confess it and repent right away. Tomorrow is a new day.

Now go get the laundry out of the dryer...if you leave it in too long it wrinkles, and then you'll have to iron, on top of everything else! (If it's too late and it's already wrinkled, throw it back in the washer and start over).


Ma ~ said...

Love it! I lost my cool the other night..I don't like it when that happens, but it does. Great tips:)

Marie said...

Happens all the time, and it would whether we work outside the home or not (I did the SAHM thing for a few years between my boys, and it is very demanding). The important thing is to recognize our failure, and keep pressing on -- and having a sense of humor helps!

Ma ~ said...

A sense of humor really does. You seem to have a great one!:)

The Piper's Wife said...

Thanks for the giggle break. I am a SAHM and I still can't keep it all together even with our children all grown up and gone. We must just keep going as we learn to seek His face though it all.