I just finished reading Jen Hatmaker's "For the Love" and she nailed my feelings on the head. Reading her book was validating, freeing, and a wonderful encouragement to me. PLEASE do yourselves a favor and read it. I have an extra one you can borrow!
The unrealistic pressure we feel these days to be PERFECT AT EVERYTHING is insane. Even things we don't like. She pointed out that NO ONE has everything all together, although social media would tell us otherwise. The clean house/ Pinterest crafts/ organic cooking/ business woman/ perfect yard / manicured nails/ washed hair/ Lululemon Pure Barre fitness/ relationship with their hubby/ Bible study leader at church. It REALLY IS NUTS that we feel like if we are not ALL OF THESE THINGS, we are NOT A GOOD MOM. WHAT IS THIS?!?!? She goes on to point out that we all have different strengths and gifts and we should just focus on trying to excel in those 1-2 areas and leave the rest to those more suited. We are hand picking women we see online (or in our real life). One is an AWESOME cook and prepares her organic meals from scratch, a different one who is CRAZY SUCCESSFUL in her career, a different woman who takes her kiddos on fun, creative outings every day, and a different one who has a home that looks like it walked out of Restoration Hardware. BUT THE CATCH IS… Each category has a DIFFERENT woman with different strengths and situations. SO WHY would we expect OURSELVES to be that ONE PERFECT WOMAN in EVERY single area? It is NOT possible or attainable and we are setting ourselves up for failure every time.
THANK YOU, JEN.
Thank you for giving me permission to NOT host dinner parties every week because cooking and hosting gives me the cold sweats. Thank you for giving me permission to NOT have a spotless home because that is not something that is feasible for me with 2 littles. Thank you for allowing me to NOT be leading a small group or Bible study right now because my schedule in this season just literally cannot handle another thing. Thank you for releasing me from feeling guilty about putting my 2.5 year old in front of a movie while I return my work emails. Thank you for allowing me & my girls to consider an outing to IKEA as our "fun" and very stimulating activity for the day. Thank you for giving me permission to NEVER do a 25 Days of Christmas Family Advent Calendar. EVER. (ANXIETY OVERLOAD)
Instead of this MOM GUILT, I am going to start feeding myself and those around me with TRUTH. WE ARE AWESOME. Moms. People. Friends. Wives. Humans. What if we could live from a place of confidence, love, and acceptance instead of plagued by insecurity, loneliness, and defeat. I want to LIVE in my strengths instead of trying to acquire skill sets or gifts that just aren't feasible or natural for me. And if you want to play Mommy Wars… You win. Because I forfeit! :)
I am a GREAT Mom. YOU are a GREAT Mom. Lets identify those areas in our lives where we are NAILING IT (and dare I say ENJOYING it) and keep at it!!! As for the areas where we feel we fall short… We probably do. AND THAT IS OKAY. Release yourself from that unrealistic expectation. Use YOUR gifts. Play YOUR note. Our world would be terribly boring and uninteresting if we all had the same strengths and talents.
Man that felt good to put down in words. I don't know what my future holds, but I do know that I get the pleasure of parenting these 2 precious girls and that is enough for today. And every day. I am the perfect Mom FOR THEM. God chose ME to be their MOM. Easy Mac and all :)