Today I have been wondering to myself, "Is there any mom out there who actually gets all the things done that she thinks should be done each day?" I mean, is there anyone out there who can work quickly and efficiently enough to get the groceries, make a meal each night, clean (which is a never-ending task), do laundry, start and finish any crafty/fun/home makeover projects they have been wanting to do, and THEN have time to feed, diaper, play with, read to, entertain, calm down, hug, kiss, dress, undress, pick up, put down, sing to, and bathe her children as much as she'd like to? And then there are those other things that, for me, also "should" be done each day or at least things that I want to do: working out, having a devotional/reading the Bible, going through mail/paperwork, keeping up with friends' phone calls, e-mailing/blogging, eating well, spending quality time with my husband, doing fun things that I just like to do every once in a while. The list could go on and on. I have come to the conclusion that, no, there is no such supermom. There just literally isn't enough time in the day. I do realize that as my girls get older, I will probably have a little more time to do some of those things, but even still, there is no way anybody could accomplish that much every day. And if there is somebody that does, I am sure they are EXHAUSTED. Sometimes, I look around and try to decide what I am going to get done while the babies nap, and then, I get overwhelmed by all there is to do, so I do NOTHING! Ha! I think that is okay sometimes. I think it is okay to just be still and rest and think. But most of the time, I feel like I should be doing something instead of nothing. I was reading a blog today, which may have become my favorite blog ever, and was cracking up at this excerpt where she is describing how "Mommy Guilt" has stayed with her both as a working and stay-at-home mom:
“Did you go to all three of those college classes just so you could
clean the kitchen and play Candy Land all day? And how is it that you
don’t even do those things very well? Can you concentrate on nothing?
Look at this mess! A good mom would clean more and play less. Also, a
good mom would clean less and play more. Also a good mom would clean
more and play more and quit emailing altogether. Additionally, I’ve been
meaning to ask if you’re sure you feel comfortable spending so much
money when you don’t even make any. Moreover, when was the last time you
volunteered at Chase’s school? What kind of stay at home mom doesn’t go
to PTA meetings or know how to make lasagna? Furthermore, nobody in
this house appreciates you.”
My favorite, though, is that when I finally do sit down, concentrate
on one of my kids, and read a few books all the way through… instead of
saying “Good job!” Mommy Guilt says, “See how happy your daughter is?
You’re home all day…why don’t you do this more often?”
She has totally captured the guilt that plagues me and I am sure other moms from time to time. If I am cleaning, the girls are usually whining for my attention, so I think, "I should play with them more." But as I am playing with them, in the back of my mind I am thinking, "When am I ever going to get to ____ task?"
So, I have come to a conclusion. This is only an idea that God has given me. I have yet to really put it into practice, but I think it would work well if I did. God continues to place this verse on my heart and mind, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33. I believe that God is interested in the finite details of my day, that He is with me through it all. When the girls are playing sweetly and I am sitting there in wonder of them, He is with me. When they are both screaming and upset, He is also there. I believe he cares about how I spend my time. Not that He has a "perfect schedule" for me in mind where I accomplish all kinds of things and am super productive, but that the way I spend my time can glorify Him or not. Also, my thought life can glorify Him or not. He doesn't want me to feel guilty as I read to Sophie because I think I should be reading to her more! But I do! As I go through my day, I want to have that verse on the forefront of my mind. I want to choose activities that bring Him glory, which means prioritizing some things on my list in a different order. And then, whatever I choose, I want to enjoy it fully without thinking about what I could have/should have done instead.
What about you? Do you/did you ever struggle with the balancing act of being a mom? How did you come to terms with it? What encouraged you through it?