Since becoming a stay at home mom, I have tried to be aware of what's running in the background noise of our home life. J's first few weeks at home were mostly spent in one of his parent's arms, catching zzz's whenever we could. "Deadliest Catch" (Discovery Channel) was our background noise because they were showing a marathon. Once P returned to work, I found a few tv shows that I liked to watch during J's feedings and naptimes. Mostly old school favorites like "In The Heat of The Night" and some newer shows like "The Closer."
But, once J stopped nursing at 3 months, TV was just noise. It was too difficult to get engaged in a plot and the last thing I wanted was him to become accustomed to it always being on. So, we started to save our TV viewing until after J went to bed around 9pm. This worked in the sense that one or both of us had some uninterrupted time to concentrate on the story line or catch up on the news. But, it also meant that the time P and I had to ourselves was becoming even more limited.
I'm kind of embarassed to say, but we finally realized this about two weeks ago and decided that something had to be done about that. So, 9pm is the new "date" time. Even if it means that we're folding laundry together, cleaning the kitchen together, or getting ready for bed together, it's our time to talk about our day and touch base before the next day is upon us. It's been really nice to save up things that I want to remember to tell P about and then actually be able to watch his expressions and interact with him face to face instead of sending text messages throughout the day.
The other thing I have decided to do today is to change the background noise during the day. We stopped having the TV on during the day several months ago, so what I would end up doing is loading up my iPod playlist, hit shuffle, and we would listen to whatever popped up. Now, I don't have anything that I consider to be "bad" on my playlist, but I do have quite a bit of music that's from my college era that I work out to when I'm at the gym. And, because I associate that music with a time in my life, I would find myself completely lost in memories or thoughts about the past. I spent HOURS thinking about my life back then and what I would do differently if I had the chance. I reconnected with friends from the past after hearing a song that reminded me of them. While this wasn't "bad" for me, it wasn't the best use of my time with J.
So, today, I found a gift we received from J's baby shower, an audio recording of the Bible. We spent the morning listening to Psalms while we went about our day. We cleaned the kitchen, tidied up the office and guest bathroom, started some laundry, and when it was time for J's nap, we snuggled into the armchair in the living room and listened to Psalms 23 while he fell asleep. He slept for almost 2 hours this morning which is very unusual for my busy little boy. Maybe it's a coincidence, but maybe it's because the atmosphere in our house is much more peaceful than it has been. And as for me...I found myself listening intently and thinking about how that particular passage was applicable to things. And my heart opened up a line of communication to my Father that hasn't been opened on a regular basis for quite some time now. And I found myself praying, asking God to help me focus on what I need to fix in my own life instead of being so consumed with things that I have no power over. The past, other people, other people's problems...but to help me see the things that need cleansing from the inside out in my own heart.
I am hopeful that J and I will both continue to benefit from the changes being made.