I’ve always been a pessimistic person. I tend to view life as glass half empty. I worry about everything. I tend to think of the worst case. I’m too much of a perfectionist. And I’m definitely too hard on myself.
My days are full of laundry, spilled milk, dirty diapers, gross toilets, Scentsy candle wax spilled over my dresser and onto my favorite boot, gum stuck to the stairway wall, running the washing machine for the third time because I forgot to put it in the dryer yet again, making an extra trip to the post office because I left three boxes at home, finding bird seed dumped all over the kitchen floor because my cat climbed on top of the fridge and threw it down, yet another load of dishes. It goes on and on.
And that’s without adding any blogging into the mix.
Now you add your own list. I bet it’s pretty similar to mine.
Life can be pretty chaotic, can’t it?
My habit has always been to get down on myself when I don’t get my to do list finished. To look at all I didn’t accomplish. (See? Glass half empty. Or 1/8 empty.) Failure.
Last Monday, I decided to take the day off from homeschooling and clean the house. I also had to finish mailing some boxes for eBay auctions. But the kids were cranky because we had been gone the entire day before and stayed out late with our community group at church.
By the time I put the kids to bed Monday night, I wanted to cry. I had only mailed the eBay boxes (which took much longer than I planned), made dinner, and barely finished the most basic of chores, like the dishes. I had not done a single bit of cleaning. Really, what HAD happened with my day? I felt like I was on the hamster wheel again.
It was then that I sat down and prayed. I opened up my favorite little app – YouVersion Bible – and saw this verse from Galatians: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal 9:9)
And I thought about my day differently.
While it didn’t seem like I had accomplished much on paper, I realized I had. Getting the eBay boxes out was huge. It was a project I had been wanting to do for almost a year. And the rest of my day? And I spent time with my kids. To cuddle. To talk. To listen. Not that I didn’t have my moments of frustration, but I did what really matters.
My children will never remember if the laundry waited for another day. Or if I didn’t vacuum the floor for a whole week. Or that Mom wasn’t in shape.
But they will remember if Mom was happy. If I stopped to dance with them instead of rushing to do the dishes. If I sat and cuddled with my grumpy-little-Luke after his nap instead of trying to sweep the floor.
Showing my children love and living a joyful life is so much more important.
I’ve been trying that all week, friends. Something I’ve never done before. Ever. I’ve been looking at how much I DO accomplish. It’s pretty neat. No more glass half empty – I’m trying the glass half full perspective now.
My friends, let’s stop being so hard on ourselves. Motherhood is hard enough without us beating ourselves up. Those unfinished to-do lists, messes, and yes blogging can wait.
Stop worrying about what you didn’t do. Think about everything you do. It matters. It does count.