Balancing Mary and Martha

My life since college has been Martha. I take pride in how my house looks for guests and the nice meals that I serve them. I like to put special touches on everything I do to let the houseguest know they are important to me. I prepare ahead of time, and much of the time they are here, to make sure they have a pleasant stay. If I had a sister like Mary, I think I would feel resentful of her, thinking “Doesn’t she think I want to just sit around with our guest, too? But someone has to put the meal on the table!” (If you’re unfamiliar to the story to which I refer, read it here.)

Now suddenly have this amazing little person in my life (Pardon the comparison to Jesus, I certainly don’t mean to be blasphemous!), who needs nearly constant attention. She changes every day by developing new skills, continually enthralling me. I love to sit with her and watch what new thing she can do. I take pictures like crazy so I never forget what it feels like in that particular moment. I just want to be Mary and the Martha in me gets thrown out the window.

Unfortunately, along with the Martha in me, a clean house, clean clothes, healthy, home-cooked meals all get thrown out the window as well. A part of me says, “Well, it’s OK because a baby does need nearly constant care!” It’s good to spend so much time with her, investing in our relationship and in her life. But then I have to remind myself that it’s also OK to let her have some alone play time in her jumper, her playpen, or watching a little Baby Einstein!

So now my life is a balancing act between Mary and Martha, and I haven’t quite mastered it. (And sometimes I want to be neither and just flounce in front of the TV and rest! And that’s OK, too.) But I will continue to try.


~ by Amy on October 20, 2011.

3 Responses to “Balancing Mary and Martha”

  1. Wow – I totally resonate with this post. I am a Martha by nature, but parenting has called me to become a little bit of both. I definitely let my kids play by themselves some (especially as they are getting older – its so good for them!) But my struggle lies when I am JUST about finished the kitchen or have JUST started it for that matter and Madison toddles up to me and says, “mom can you come play with me” or “mom could you read this book to me”, I really have to fight my Martha nature and say, “sure honey” –it’s so hard for me to do, but I’m always glad I did 🙂

  2. Julie, I think you make a good point. Even though it’s good to balance our Mary and Martha instincts, I think the point of the Bible story still stands: Our Mary instincts should take priority! Our time with our loved ones is so precious and fleeting, we should take advantage of those type of “Mommy, play with me” moments!! =)

  3. […] Balancing Mary and Martha – This is a post that I should read every so often, just to remind me of what’s important. […]

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