Feb 17, 2014

Let's Get Real: To the Mom Who Thinks She's Not Doing Enough

Some people look at my blog and think, "How does she do all that?" But ladies, let me assure you, I do not do all that.

You may think, "She homeschools, and works from home, and cans, and gardens, and does her own housework, and does fun projects with her kids, and cooks from scratch, and reads her Bible every day, and has a great prayer life, and, and, and, and..."

But the truth is: 

I struggle to keep my prayer life strong; it's hard for me to have deep conversations with God when I have noisy children running around me.

I do read my Bible almost every day, but some days, I'm so tired, I can't concentrate long enough to really understand it - and sometimes all I can read in between calls for "mama" is a single paragraph.

I do mostly cook from scratch - but not always. And we don't eat a lot of foods (like crackers or yogurt) because I simply don't have the energy or time to make them.

I do sometimes do fun projects with my kids - but my Pinterest boards are packed with projects we will never get around to, and my kids always wish we did more fun projects than I find time for.

I don't have a maid, to be sure, and my husband doesn't do housework. My kids do help some (though probably not enough), but mostly my house is not guest-worthy. My kitchen floor is often more brown than it's original cream color, my fridge isn't spotless, my counters are usually a mess, and the carpet always seems to need vacuuming - even if I did just vacuum it a few hours earlier.

I do garden, but it's something I often have to force myself to do. I love that gardening saves us money and gives us healthy food...and that's what keeps me gardening every year. But my garden doesn't look like something from a magazine, and I never, ever do everything I wish I could do in the garden.

I do can food, but it's often a sacrifice - especially in the summer, when I'm canning large amounts of produce. I wish I could home can everything, but I just don't have the energy or time.

I do work from home, and while I'm thankful I don't have to send my children off to daycare, it's very, very, very difficult to work with young children underfoot. What should take an hour to complete takes several hours instead. It's exhausting and frustrating. And then I'm mad at myself for feeling frustrated that my kids want their mama.

I do homeschool, but it's definitely not all sunshine and roses. My five year old fights me at every turn, and my eight year old struggles to concentrate on anything during the winter months.

Often I'm less patient than I wish I was, often the days seem so very long, often I feel depressed, and have trouble keeping the big picture in mind, and cry out to God but don't hear his voice, and sob on my knees to Him each evening, and wish it was all a whole lot easier.

But being a mom isn't easy - especially in the 21st century. Modern women have set themselves up to fail. We expect ourselves to raise children, work for money, maintain a home, get just a handful of hours of sleep each night, and still be happy, cheerful wives and neighbors.

That is a fairy tale. No woman can "do it all." No mom completely has her act together. And the more stuff we do outside of raising children and home keeping, the more we have to let some things slide. We can't work from home AND have a spotless house. We can't read the Bible for hours each day AND give our children and husband all the attention they need. We can't sleep a handful of hours AND be healthy, cheerful Proverbs 31 Women.

It's time we started admitting to ourselves - and to each other - that that's okay! Real life mommyhood is tiring, difficult, and messy. It's time we started saying to our friends and acquaintances who are moms: "How are you doing? No, how are you REALLY doing?" It's time we started admitting to each other that we are struggling. And uncertain. And sometimes - even often - think we are failing.

It's time we started supporting and validating each other. It's time we got real.

I will start: I am Kristina, an imperfect wife and mom whose floor needs mopping and who struggles to keep her priorities (God, husband, children, others) straight.

Who are you?

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this, Kristina! I definitely need to hear it. Now if my husband could accept that things like a clean house are not as important as happy kids. ;)

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  2. Amen and amen. Sometimes I just break down and cry and tell my husband that I can homeschool and have a clean house OR homeschool and cook meals. LOL I can't seem to manage all 3!!! When kids are home all day, you can't keep floors or carpet clean! There are spills of drink and food to contend with all day long, toys that get strewn around during free time during the school hours, and then there's the kitchen. Don't even get me started. LOL I so wish I had a dishwasher!!! I have been trying to lose weight for 14 years of our 15-year marriage and only succeeded in that one time two children ago. I love being a wife and mom, but I almost get a wicked little smile on my face when someone is either getting married or becoming a parent for the first time because it is def a wake-up call and not like you imagined it to be. Hehe Crazy, crazy, crazy!!!! :)

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  3. Today I cried my eyes out in church. This whole past week has been so hard. Using a regimented curriculum/ school schedule with my kids is driving me nuts. My husband finally told me to let go. "Just unschool like we were doing before and trust in God." I think I am doing that. I will let go slowly so I don't shock the kids, but I will let them decide on their learning course and studies. I cook most meals from scratch and my husband loves to eat out so he is always ready to take the burden off my shoulders. I don't mind the cooking. I hate the cleaning. Cleaning is done by all of us, so mostly my house is clean. But my kids are self learners and hate to have an imposed curriculum on them. Mom is a control freak and is afraid they won't measure up. Or they will have gaps in their learning or they won't know math or they will fail in their spelling/ writing. Today I realized that perfect love casts out fear. I can't let all these fears take over my life. So I am letting go. Yes, I am letting go and letting God. I can trust Him. Abba, I am trusting you with my children for they are your children too.
    Thanks, Kristina, for writing this and sharing your heart. :)

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  4. Love this. So true!! We all need to admit it more and embrace one another with it. Thank you for boldly sharing it.

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