Monday, June 28, 2010


This post is inspired by my dear mother. When we were young and would inevitably say those whiny words that are fingernails on a chalkboard to a mother, "I'm bo-red!" my mother would stop her task, raise her eyebrows and say, "I'm so glad to hear that because I have things for you to do."

A few window washes, car vacuums, or toilet scrubbings later we would vow to never say "I'm bored" within earshot again. Ironically, it taught me that if I'm listless or have completed my regular tasks I should start a project, clean something, or invest time into whoever is sitting in the kitchen.

I am observing that perhaps other people's mothers weren't so wise. I say this because in the last month or so I have heard a handful of mothers say "I'm bo-red". The first time I heard it I stopped in my tracks. The second time I thought, "That's strange." The third time I saw it broadcasted on facebook.
I am miffed.
How can you be a mother and be bored?

It's a good thing my grandma didn't hear them say that. My Grandma is a different level of a work-hard mom. Her spring cleaning involved removing every item from every drawer. She initially washed things by hand (and I complain about the pile in my living room after an automatic washer and dryer completed it within an hour?! I should be embarrassed!). My Grandma canned her own vegetables from her own large garden, made her own applesauce, and made 3 hot family meals a day because Grandpa was a rancher who needed lunch for himself and his ranch hands. Of course in between meals there was a pie in the oven, bread cooking, or fresh cookies for coffee time. She pressed clothes for all 6 members of the family every week (uh...doesn't 10 min. in the dryer cut it?). Quick trip to Wal-Mart? Yeah right, she sewed the holes in the clothes, people. She ran tractors, helped with calving, raised 4 kids, did all the yard work/house chores/bill paying because farming took all of my grandpa's time. And she did it while looking great. I, in fact, have 2 friends (they shall remain nameless) who have crushes on her because they've seen her "younger-year" photographs. She did it all. I don't think my Grandma has any idea what "bored" even means.

I'm not even going to speculate what "bored" would have meant to my Beppe when she was a missionary in Nigeria with 4 and 5 small children; mentoring natives, caring and supporting a husband who battled malaria and poured his life into the natives there.

After contemplating bored moms I thought "Maybe as a mom in my generation being bored is justifiable. After all, we do have 5-minute recipes, close grocery stores, appliances, and far less kids than generations past. Maybe moms today really don't have enough to do." We really are wimps. Over-committed, over-scheduled, probably over-primped, over-indulged... wimps. I mean, let's be honest. Most of us don't have to stress about frost that will take our crops which will in turn take our livelihood. Most of us stress about the matching Easter dresses we want for our daughters.
We are so used to having our events scheduled, and our work/school micromanaged that we have a hard time when no one is instructing us or structuring our time for us. We lack work ethic and discipline, an ability to self-start, the desire to truly train up our children (We honestly leave it entirely up to public education? Eesh.). We aren't researching health options for our kids, providing healthy meals at home, playing, teaching, deep cleaning or maintaining what we could replace down the road. I suppose cutting those corners has allowed for more time on our hands.

But no matter how hard I try I just can't imagine being a bored mom. I don't know how it happens. My problem is the opposite. I sail through a room with laundry basket in hand and see 10 things to do as I go.New handprints to wash on the window... should have Darla practice reading aloud with that book... argh, still haven't returned that e the coffee pot still on? Not to mention my children beckoning for band-aids, help with legos, and "Mom is it snack time yet?!"

By the time I have a cleaning day, a running errands/grocery day, a paying bills/paperwork day, an outside/weed garden/clean up/wash windows day, a Bible study/ministry/see a friend or sister's time to have another cleaning day! Of course laundry, meals, reading to kids, baths, squeezing in my own quiet time and workouts are daily tasks.

However, if I ever wake up and think "Huh. What should I do today?" I have decided to make a list. My mother will be happy. I am prepared for the occasion that I may plop down on the couch at a time other than 9pm and say, "I'm bo-red." If that day happens I just might:

* sand and paint the picnic table
* have Logan Gage make me a reading list and actually read my way through it
* work on letters and numbers with Hudson (even if I'm not bored this needs to get done.)
* organize my laundry room
* more family bike rides
* fix the wallpaper border in Everett's room
* have coffee with any of the people on my list that I haven't had time for since moving back to Lynden (there's at least 12 people on this list and yes, if you are reading this and have wondered why I haven't called you back- you're on the list).
* paint my nails
* clip coupons
* sit in a lawn chair and take out the crows and squirrels that are nabbing my cherries
* do some science projects with the kids (there are some really cool things you can blow up in the name of science).
* Write love notes to my husband
* balance the checkbook on time instead of the next month
* sew the stack of ripped stuffed animals that Darla has been patiently waiting for

I also asked my family what they would do if they were bored. Here are their lists:
* projects!
* read
* lay in the grass and stare at the blue grass through the a stream, even better,
* learn an instrument
* build a fort for my kids

Darla's ideas:
* Play barbies
* Sit and talk to Jesus, like I do if I have a time out.
* Write (ahh yes, this tops my list, too.)
* Make a list of things to do (oh, a woman after my own heart! Is this my daughter or what!?)

Hudson's ideas:
* Swords
* Play polly pockets with Darla
* Watch movies
* do nothing

Everett's idea:
* Daddy! (Me: play with Daddy? Everett: "Yeah.")

If boredom ever threatens the Taylor family...we are prepared.


  1. I think you also need to add to your list to have a bottle of wine at sunset and thank God that you are a mom that chooses the gift that God has given you. I am so proud of how you are choosing to be a participant in your families lives. You ROCK! Love Erika

  2. Very insightful and challenging! I can honestly say since that Halle came into our lives I have not a moment to be BORED! I too, often get side-tracked on my way to do/get something. The laundry, folded...ummm...sometimes not for a day or so. I have lots to do, and...if not, trust me, I can certainly find something at my house...a bathroom that needs scouring, closets that need a good name it! Can we be added to your coffee list? :)

  3. If you know anyone that is bored, you can certainly send them to my house ... I could find plenty of things for them to do. :)

    I cannot imagine a mother saying that they are bored. So sad. So very sad. I dream of having more time in my day to just spend with the kids. They already take up all day every day of my time ... but oh what I could do without the laundry, cooking, bill paying, house cleaning, etc... Bored? Never!

    Great post, Shilo!

    Laurel :)

  4. Yes Erika! If we're bored on the same day let's meet up for that wine & sunset :). April- you guys are definitely already on that list! (and Laurel too for that matter). Love getting encouragement from you moms that I respect and love!

  5. Some day, you could also add: go back to school, get your degree, work 2 or more part time jobs, volunteer at the kids' schools, Women's Ministry at the church, Youth Ministry when and how you can, keep some semblance of order at home, taxi driver, ... WAIT! That's my list. Sorry.

    I"m learning that each of our lists are designed just for us and we are not given the grace for anyone else's list. Nor should we attempt to judge theirs. If in doubt, turn it over to the Lord in serious prayer and intercession and leave it in His capable hands. He is ready and willing to take us on!

    I love you, Shilo. Thank you for continuing to be so open and honest and bringing us with you before the throne of grace! What an honor and a privilege to be a part of your family's life! And, yes, add me to your "coffee list". :-)

  6. Sweet Shi! Been awhile since I stopped by and I must say, I adore this blog! Makes me wish we were next door neighbors and could be "bored" together :) Love you, lady!
    PS Love the description of your grandmother. Maybe it's my farmin roots, but I haven't been bored a single day of this motherhood thing!

  7. Hi,
    While searching for a picture to post with my blog entry I was led to your blog. I did find the photo I needed (didn't get it from your blog, though...), but the truth is, I discovered something much more...

    Been back to visit a few times...

    Many silent visitors, "lurkers" they are called. (What a creepy term!) But I don't want to be one of them. 'Want to be polite and let you know how I feel after reading some of your previous posts. You are young, at 30... but your spiritual maturity is not - you are wise and mature beyond your years.

    Have loved reading your heart. Belated happy birthday, may this year draw you even closed to our Lord.