The other night I was at my wit's end. The girls were bickering, Jackson was throwing a tantrum, and I was simultaneously folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, and picking up the trail of hats, coats, and mittens that the kids had left behind. I then switched gears and started dinner prep, a task I usually love, but couldn't find the energy to smile. Why? Because the aforementioned chaos was still happening except now complaints of starvation were thrown into the mix. By the time dinner was done and the kids were put to bed, I wanted nothing more than to stuff my face with chocolate while watching something -- anything -- on Netflix.
Here is a snippet of her book that resonated with me the other night:
Sister, what could be crazier than a woman who wakes children up before dawn, feeds and waters them while listening and affirming all their chatter, gets them dressed and off to school with signed folders, then perhaps heads to a job to put food on the table or stays home to raise littles who cannot even wipe, completes one million domestic chores that multiply like gremlins, breaks up forty-four fights, intentionally disciplines 293 times a day, attends to all emails/correspondence/deadlines, helps with math/writing/biology homework, serves dinner while engineering a round of 'High-Low,' oversees Bedtime and Bath Marathon, reads lovingly to lap children, tucks them in with prayers, finishes the endless Daily Junk Everywhere Pickup, turns attention to husband with either mind or body, then has one last thought at the end of the day: I am doing a terrible job at everything.
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. This is beyond unreasonable. It is destructive.... Meanwhile, we have beautiful lives begging to be really lived, really enjoyed, really applauded -- and it is simpler than we dare hope.
The awesome thing about social media is that we can share ideas and implement the ones we like. The down side can be summed up in one word: comparison.
Why do we constantly feel the need to measure up to other people? It's unfair and unkind to do that to ourselves.
My life is far from perfect. I stress over things like screen time, after-school snacks, and the holes that seem to be in every.single.pair of my girls' leggings. I obsessively analyze, update, and tweak the family budget to accommodate five people's needs and wants. I regularly bribe my two-year-old with suckers just so he won't throw tantrums in public. Our cars are old and I worry about when/how we'll ever be able to replace them. My kids fight. I lose my temper. I don't use my time as wisely as I should.
I have to give myself credit for the things I'm doing well. I have to be thankful for the things that are going well. I have to be proud of my children during the times they love each other well.
I don't have a blog that showcases fancy crafts and projects. I'm not well-traveled, I don't have a career. Heck, I don't even have a set schedule half the time! But within the walls of my home I'm a teacher, a mentor, a scriptorian, a listener, a friend, a wife, and a mother. Perfect? Absolutely not. But in my own way I'm setting a standard that, I believe, will continue long after I'm gone.
Maybe your best thing won't draw a paycheck, but it is how you shine and glow and come to life and bless the world.
This is your place. These are your people. This is your beautiful, precious life. #forthelove