In the busyness of everyday life, have you ever stopped yourself to realize you’re doing a good job, Mama?
A couple days before Mother’s Day, I caught myself in a particularly frazzled moment.
As I was loading recyclables in my trunk to drop off on my way to the bank and post office, I was running through my to-do list in my head … if I could just wrap up a couple of homeschooling lessons and prepare a quick lunch for my kids, I should have time to get a few work assignments accomplished – before switching over the laundry and starting an early supper so I could take my son to a three-hour acting rehearsal.
And in it all, I felt defeated as I realized I’d never have time to squeeze in exercise for the day or cleaning my pigsty of a junk room.
I wanted to sink to my filthy garage floor and cry, just thinking of the weight and exhaustion of all the juggling.
But I didn’t cry.
I laughed instead, realizing how utterly ridiculous it all was.
Since when did I begin to measure my days by my to-do list?
When did I start to feel disappointed if I didn’t get to fit in exercise or cleaning into an already busy day?
And when did life get so utterly crazy – not just for me, but for moms everywhere?
What a family really wants
All my children really want is a mom who is there for them. My presence and willingness to play with them, read to them, and listen to their thoughts is really all they long for.
- They don’t care what’s for lunch or dinner.
- They don’t care if all of their clothes are washed and neatly put away.
- They don’t care if the house is a mess. (In fact, since they’re the main mess makers, I know they certainly don’t care about that.)
And truth be told, even though a fairly picked up house is one of my husband’s love languages, all he wants, too, is me.
My family doesn’t care if the recyclables are sorted, rinsed and dropped off. They don’t care if my meal plan is detailed. They don’t care if the stack of clean dishes that are air drying on the counter are put away. They just want me – the heart and soul of our family.
Yet it’s so difficult for me to set aside what seems to be urgent – the pile of dirty laundry in the hamper, the groceries that need bought, the work deadlines I’ve given myself – for the important.
What moms need
Somehow, in all of the busyness that I seem to have brought upon myself, I need to step back and give myself a break.
I have a feeling that most mothers do.
While the work does need to get done (think of how Ma Ingalls and most pioneer women worked so hard and showed their love through their work), it’s so important – both for our families and for ourselves – to step back from so many responsibilities and forget about all the running.
Granted, some responsibilities are absolutely necessary. And sometimes, you’re faced with inescapable life situations that weigh you down, like sickness or the need to care for a loved one.
But if something isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s time we as women need to step back and examine where we’re devoting our time and energy.
It’s time we realize that we’re doing a good job without a jam-packed schedule.
It’s also time to realize if our families just want us, we can let go of the weight of all of the things that are holding us back so we can be the unique, lovable wives and mamas that we are.
We are the havens our families long for. Not the stuff in our homes. And not what we do.
We’re doing a good job, just being ourselves.