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In the middle of the workday, a text chimes through on my screen. It is from my husband asking me if I have logged all my purchases on our EveryDollar app. I wrack my brain, going through my Amazon and Target buys as of late. I have missed two. I audibly groan and text back I have missed a couple and will log them as soon as I can. His reply is nice enough, but I can see the annoyance seeping through his stilted words. “OK, but please remember to do this” easily probably translates to, “How many times do I have to remind you to do this one simple task??” 

Dear husband, please give me grace. 

For years, the budget has fallen on my husband’s shoulders. After taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, it was determined through a number of quizzes that he was the “nerd” and I was the “free spirit.” I didn’t spend recklessly, but the budget was of no concern to me. I jokingly would say I preferred to leave it in God’s hands, “He won’t let me ever go hungry.” My husband, on the other hand, was a lover of data and numbers. He was a stickler for having everything accounted for. Finally, after completing the course and paying off all our debts, it was agreed upon that I would willingly participate in the budget.

But I was not the only one with a job. His job was to give me grace. 

I have upheld my side of the bargain going from never having logged anything to almost always typing in my purchase right after it happens even when my brain is doing everything it can to try to convince me, “Oh, you can do it later.” However, sometimes I forget. I am a mom and have a lot on my mind and adding what I spend is one more thing on my ever-growing to-do list. I know my husband is busy too and his mind is filled with how to provide for our family. But still. Dear husband, please give me grace. 

RELATED: A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry The Mental Load

I am a teacher and a coach. I think about my students and my athletes and eternally wrestle with the classic guilt of am I spending too much time with my job or not enough now that I am a mom and have other priorities. I sign up for National Boards and think about that. I think about IEP meetings, staff meetings, department meetings, mentor meetings, school improvement meetings, and PLT meetings. I think about grading papers, planning lessons, and making sure I am helping my students succeed and become their best selves. 

I am a writer. I think about story ideas and SEO and linkbacks and all those analytical terms necessary to writing. I think about promoting and email marketing and how to use social media to better showcase my work. I wonder if I should make writing a full-time business, so I could stay home with my son more, but then balk at the idea of ever leaving teaching.

I am a wife. I think about date nights and spending quality time with my husband.

I read relationship books. Since my husband is the cook in the house, I make sure I am doing my fair share of the work by cleaning and straightening up. I wash the dishes, scrub the counters, unload the dishwasher, wash our sheets every Sunday, and really, really try to get to the bathrooms, floors, and dust on the furniture as much as I can. 

I am also Lauren. A lover of reading, running, traveling, listening to podcasts, going to church. I try to remember to nourish all of those things and take time for myself while remembering all the things that make me healthysleep, eating right, exercise, my twice daily Thyroid medicine, prayer, family time, going out with friends, and rest. 

I am a mom. On a given day, I think about nap times, bedtimes, snack times, mealtimes, playtimes, screen times. I think about routines and schedules and remind myself to be flexible, not rigid. I think about brushing teeth, giving baths, clipping nails,  giving medicine, changing diapers, and restocking wipes, lotion, butt paste, and diapers. I make sure the laundry is done, folded, and put away. Outgrown clothes are swapped for new clothes. New supplies are replaced for used ones in the diaper bag.

RELATED: I Am The Keeper

I make sure my son has outdoor time, independent playtime, reading time, and distraction-free mommy time. I think about am I teaching my son how to share, am I teaching him about God and Jesus, am I teaching him the ABCs, numbers, colors, and animals enough, am I teaching him about his feelings and how to be a good human being, and am I celebrating diversity in our household. I pore over articles to make sure I am being antiracist especially since I am raising a black son as a white mom.

I drag my son and his toys and books to church and pray he will sit through it.

I think about birthday parties and showers for friends and family. I think about buying cards and gifts. I sign him up for swim lessons and take him on a weekly basis. I wonder if he is progressing and simultaneously wonder if I should perhaps be signing him up for other activities as well. I schedule hair appointments and doctor appointments and make sure I talk about and prep him for these events before they happen, so when I take him to these appointments, he doesn’t try to run out of the building screaming (which might have happened before).

I read books, research the internet, and scour Instagram pages on the latest toddler discipline, eating, sleep, and speech and communication practices. I buy books and find videos about potty training and try my best to talk about and point out all things potty training as we prepare for the actual process. I put him to bed at night and go up to my room sometimes to stare at the monitor, wishing time to slow down.

So, dear husband, please give me grace and gently remind me from time to time when I forget because, as you can see, I have a lot to remember.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Lauren Barrett

My name is Lauren, and I was born in New Jersey, grew up in West Virginia, went to college in Pennsylvania, and now live and work in North Carolina. I'm a high school teacher of the deaf and hard-of-hearing by day, a cross country coach by the afternoon, and a writer by night. I love my faith, running, watching baseball, chocolate, scrapbooking, pretending I would actually do well on the Amazing Race, re-watching The Office, listening to Bobby Bones, inspiring young minds, and as of recently momming it! 

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