Last week I fed my child hot dogs three nights in a row. Granted, I did include fresh fruit with the less than stellar meal, but I still felt guilty. Without sounding like I am making excuses, it had been one thing after another for several weeks. I got a stomach bug Christmas night and then caught a cold after school started back in January (a cold… not the other dreaded thing). My husband works shifts so sometimes I am the lone parent at home for a week or so. May I also add “Mom of the Year” status because I allowed too much television time as well.
Lately I have just been feeling as if I am not enough. Too tired. Too stressed. Too scheduled. But at the same time… Not patient enough. Not young enough. Not good enough.
And I say this, not complaining or trying to get anyone to feel badly for me, but I see this all the time on other women’s social media. Maybe not in so many words or all at the same time… but enough to know that I’m rowing this boat along with MANY other mothers. Whether it is a funny meme about having kids and never being able to sleep late again, to posts I read about another mom who looked for her phone while holding it (guilty) and searching for sunglasses perched on top of her head (guilty)… I understand.
A couple of months ago, I started using the phrase, “hide the candy.” One day I actually bought myself some candy and hid it, only eating it after everyone was in bed. Women do not regularly receive encouragement to take care of themselves… especially women with families. Think about it. When I was in high school and college, I regularly slept in, shopped for myself, actually completed a Bible study or book…and now taking care of myself is a five minute shower or a rendezvous with a Reese’s cup while hiding it from my kids. Yes. I know it comes with the territory. What’s that? Yes… I am having a hard time. I deleted this blog once and it “magically” was still here so maybe someone will relate or be helped in some odd way. You are not alone. The title of Mother is the greatest blessing ever bestowed on me and so maybe times the weight of my title is sometimes too much to bear. I have never been the most confident of women.
I am a 47 year old woman with a college student, high school student, and preschooler. I am trying to juggle making it to my son’s college baseball game at least once, helping with all the high school activities that come with the territory for my daughter, and making sure I read/play with my youngest. I can easily feel stretched to the limit. Sprinkle in a full-time job and making/keeping appointments for at least three of us, and the mental load gets heavy very quickly. I also struggle with anxiety. But that is for another time.
Do you ever feel as if you go through phases in your mom life? I can keep a decent-looking house and car, but then I go through a phase where nothing seems to get done. Many times it is due to crammed schedules, but for me the more common reasons are the need for perfection causing me not to start a new task because it will not be up to my standards (cleaning out closets) or anxiety that I cannot “keep up” what I have just accomplished (the clean car). And how do I balance keeping up with letting go and resting?
There is not a perfect answer just like there is not a perfect life or even a perfect mom. And for someone who carries their own weight in guilt about her own failures…. imperfect is hard to accept. Luke 12:7 says, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear. You are more valuable than many sparrows.” And I have to believe that He knows my name, my fears, my insecurities… my struggles. I will never be enough, do enough, love enough… but I am not expected to be everything. You are not either.
Sparrows by Cory Asbury is my jam right now.🤣 “You take good care of me… you know what I need…” If you are struggling, this song is a good reminder of God’s provision. And I am sure this includes the wisdoms and resources we need as mothers.