I’ve always said I wanted to be honest and “real” here. But I’ll think who wants to read that? and stop myself. Then one day I’ll write something anyways and you all respond like you did to my post about feeling isolated as a stay at home mom. And I’m reminded that us moms have one huge thing in common: we love our children but it’s exhausting!
How many days do you get up and feel like your to-do list is endless? And then the kids won’t cooperate – whether it’s simply getting through chores & breakfast & starting homeschool (like my family) or you’re rushing out the door for school and work. (Input your scenario here.) And the end of your list gets that much farther away. Do this day in and day out and you have a recipe for discouragement and frustration.
The expectations that are put on moms these days – by others, and more likely just ourselves – are often completely unrealistic and setting ourselves up for failure. And who wants that?
Can I really be a good mother to 4 children, homeschool, keep a perfectly clean house, laundry done, cook homemade dinners each night, make sure the kids get socialization (heaven forbid that doesn’t happen as homeschoolers!), volunteer at church, go to the moms’ group, do regular play dates with friends, be a super couponer, and be an awesome blogger who gets tons of page views each month?
Of course there’s everything in between – kissing boo-boo’s, cleaning up spilled milk, writing a letter to my grandmother who has Alzheimer’s, brushing the dog, giving haircuts, reading stories, doing activities like play-doh, baking cookies. And it would be nice if I got a few hours of sleep at night, took a shower, read my own Bible.
You add your own list.
Is it possible? Maybe. But at what cost?
Perfectionism has a very high cost: our peace and happiness. Our joy.
We are human. We make mistakes. We can’t be perfect and be supermom. I’m sure we would all like to be, but the sooner we accept that we’re not, the sooner we can start really living and learning to enjoy today.
As moms, we have one of the most incredible, joyful blessings at our fingertips: our children.
If we are so busy trying to be perfect, we will miss that. And those small moments will slip away. When my daughter brings me a drawing she worked so hard on, do I look at the crayons all over the floor that the dog is chewing on and the baby is now using to draw on the wall with? Or do I hug her and thank her for that special artwork she made for me and remember what really matters?
I admit I have a hard time with this. I’m really quite a perfectionist, but of course kids have a way of inadvertently bringing the flaws of perfectionism to light. And my kids put that up front in my face everyday. I’ve recently become aware of how much joy I’ve lost in my life because of this.
Philippians 4:4 is a well-known verse but I think it’s meaning is often passed over because it’s so simple. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice!”
Have we lost our joy in trying to be perfect?
I’m trying to let go. To live for today, for this moment. And be happy and joyful. I know this will make me a better wife and mother, more than any amount of homemaking skills I have (or don’t.)
Will you help me with this? What’s one little moment that rang true to you this week? That made you say THIS is why I do it?