To say I’ve been stretched lately is an understatement. For some reason, I’d imagined that as my kids got older, I’d have more time to myself. I’m now learning that my expectations of “older” need to be adjusted. Yes, that is a truth that will at some point happen. As I’ve heard, there will come a point when I may have more time, but…not yet.
Truth is, I didn’t need to actually be told this, since I have been living it. In living it, I first struggled with unmet expectations, and then began to accept reality. For months I’ve been going at it hard. Pushing and pushing, sailing through some days and then getting.through.others. Barely. I was going at life so hard that I hadn’t really a moment to breathe enough to think. To evaluate. Only recently did I actually pause long enough to be like: “Wait a minute. Why do I feel like I’m even busier now than when my younger was a newborn?? Isn’t it all meant to get easier? Why do I feel thinned out, stretched out wider than the widest pancake?”
In stopping to think, I went to a sad place. I felt lost. Lost in my role. Lost in the busyness of life. I felt like I was being there for everyone (and have loved that!), but hadn’t any space left for me. I wasn’t feeling selfish, nor was I in a self-pity mode, but just lost for figuring out how to fix things. There has to be a way to live, love, be a mum, woman, friend, daughter, wife, on and on and on. And I couldn’t figure it out just then. Still haven’t. That was the source of my sadness. For someone who likes tidying things up, having a way forward, I had come to a still-stop. With all my best time management techniques so far (and I still have lots of room for improvement!), I found that I still was crawling into bed at night not even near done with my to-dos. And weeks keep rolling into months, and the year is racing to an end. Pressure.
Then I went and met with some ladies. It turned out to have been the best outcome for me. It wasn’t just a casual girl hang out. This had purpose. I was turned in the right direction. First, by the destruction of myths I’d been living with. One had to do with the need to be “super mum” since, goodness me, I’m home most of the time, right? Another to do with a great feeling of guilt fueled by fear. How does it manifest in a mum? According to the following thought-pattern: “If I choose to do such-and-such now for my child, what is the impact it will have on him or her? How will he turn out at age 25? It’ll be my fault if he’s a mess, so I need to make the perfect decision now.” And indeed, on a given day, that turns out to being the need to make, ooooh, I dunno…at least 20 perfect decisions? Who can live under that pressure? Yet, I’d been doing it to myself – very much unconsciously up to this point. Scary, right? It was very therapeutic to have these myths, these lies, identified, to have them labeled. I could see my problems right there in black and white. Very good. So, I’m a mess. Perfect.
Now what? Good thing is, I was turned onto truth that day. No, I needn’t live out the myth, the lie. There most certainly is no such thing as wonder woman. There are zero perfect kids. There’s no such thing as a “non-working” mum, and on and on. I now had to face truth. Which is what? I’m not to strive for perfection, as it isn’t my standard anyway. Jesus handled that and did it well. He is perfect so I don’t have to be. Above all, and this was great, He makes all our mistakes good! He turns them around. Which is why many parents only did the best they could (translate: made a ton of well-meaning mistakes!), and their kids are model citizens still! They committed their children to the capable hands of the One Who made them, then did the best they could on this earth with His grace! Liberating! Whew! I needed truth. Thing is, I need it every day.
I need to constantly combat the lies, the myths that come at me from society on a daily basis. To do that, my entire mind has to be changed by thinking and thinking and thinking some more (translate: meditating) on what is actually true! Only when I get the truth deep into me do I experience a real sense of enduring peace that flows into every aspect of my daily life.
I walked away from that community renewed, revived. Feeling…super. I’m ready to feed on truth and, yes, grace.
Does this all resonate with any of you? Needn’t have to do solely with parenting, but just the idea of being super overwhelmed in life and needing someone to hand it over to.
Talk to me about yours, then!
2 thoughts on “Not good enough, eh?”
Your insight about trying to make “perfect decisions” really helped me. I relate completely! Parenting is a tremendous responsibility and I definitely fall into that trap of pressure. Sometimes I wonder if I’m actually sabotaging my chances to rest and enjoy moments in my day by taking a free moment and insisting on using it to “accomplish” something. Thank you so much for sharing!
I can sooo identify with what you said in the second to last sentence! And when I do said task, I feel even worse by night time. Completely beat and no use to anyone. So I too have been learning that is ok to shut it down. Shut it all down. Nothing matters more in certain moments than my recentering. Remember, “He restores my soul.” Let’s give Him those moments when that (restoring) can actually happen. Love you, friend. Thanks for your comment!