a mom’s work

Last Saturday I sat down with bryan and started giving him The List of how I was really doing a pretty terrible job with everything—I hadn’t managed to get the bathtubs cleaned this week, or work with Zu on her kindermusik homework, or write anything all month, or teach Zu letter recognition and memory verses which I really should’ve been doing by now, and bryan was like, hold on—this past week we were all sick, you were worried about things with your family, AND you are pregnant–I didn’t notice any of this or expect you to have any of this done.

And I realized that complaining about what I haven’t done is pointless. What am I looking for, sympathy? I set these goals mostly for myself. these are things I want to get done, no one is keeping tabs on me or grading me on whether or not I accomplish them.

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so instead I decided to not really complain about those things to him (or to friends) unless its to ask for help with getting them done or advice on how to accomplish them. (“do everything without complaining” Philippians 2:14)

Instead of complaining, I’m going to tackle the List by taking away things that don’t really have to be done This Week (writing can wait a week if need be) and by prioritizing things I want to get started on sooner (alphabet scripture memory verses!), and just getting them done.

Sometimes I can get really firstborn must-excel-at-everything about things and feel like a failure when I’m not keeping up with things that I’m not passionate about. I love being a mom and wife—it is my calling and blessing for sure!—but I’m not as “in” to some aspects of it as other moms I see.

Like I love reading to the girls and taking them to the library, but I’m not so into cooking completely organic/gluten free/etc, my mostly(with cheating)-from-scratch method is fine enough for me. I love painting and dancing and drawing with the girls, but I’m not very good at putting together my own set homeschool plans and sticking to them every week, doing worksheets here and there and learning from what pops up in life has been good enough for me so far.

Some things I think its ok to lower my expectations—like with cooking, as long as it is healthy, I think its ok if I don’t always cook organic or grow my own vegetables. Some things I plain need to work harder at and get better at. Like party hosting—I am not one for big parties, but my kids and husband have extrovert personalities, so that means I need to work a little harder at my party-throwing skills.

What I think is also helpful is instead of looking at other moms who are doing an awesome job at something I’m doing a C- job in and getting intimidated/jealous/depressed about it, I can ask them how they do it and maybe learn a little bit from them on how to do it better.

And then when they want to learn how to write a poem, I can help with that, for sure, right?

Ultimately God has given me some good work to do and its foolish for me to complain about any part of it, especially the parts of it that I’m not perfect at yet. its sometimes overwhelming work, not so easy work, stuff I’m not good at or don’t love type of work, but it is always really really good work, and I’m thankful for it.

4 Comments

  1. I hear you! As a first-born who used to get great grades, I sometimes wish I had an A to aim for – both to keep me motivated on the more hum-drum parts of house keeping and child minding, and confirmation that it matters when I do well with the parts I love. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), there’s really no curve to mark on in motherhood. There’s just too many factors that change how well a person can do, be it family by family or even week by week. I guess we’ll all have to settle with “E” for effort and lots of hugs 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that is so true! i try to remember that my husband is happy with what i prioritize, so i don’t need to try to make my family like someone else’s family (or like what i idealize!)

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  2. I totally relate to this! I’m always putting so much pressure on myself and then realize that it’s all coming from me. Stephen has very low standards when it comes to the cleanliness of our house, and yet I’m continually stressed by the condition of our floors and feeling like I’m a terrible homemaker. I’ve always been bad about putting pressure on myself that is internally-driven. My parents used to tell me when I was in high school to just relax and make a couple of Bs, but no way, I wanted to be in the top of my class. ( tied for 15th, which irked me to no end, but does that even matter now? Of course not! Anyway, I think it’s so helpful to think about what things have eternal value and what things don’t. The laundry will one day pass away (praise the Lord!), but the souls of our children are forever.

    Liked by 1 person

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