Something’s Gotta Give

It’s the age-old mom question: Can we have it all? This dream of having the family, the dream job, the great house, the relaxing vacations, the life-enriching hobbies and extra-curriculars, and intimate and meaningful relationships with our spouse and kids seems doable, doesn’t it? Not to mention a clean house, home-cooked meals, and a super fit body are all ours if we just take the time, get organized, and work a little harder.

I’m exhausted just reading that list. Aren’t you?

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Who has time to have it all, when you feel like your barely surviving? Yet, we are surrounded by an unending parade of of examples of moms who seem to have it all (thank you, social media): the great bod, the awesome vacation, the dream kitchen, well-behaved children, exciting hobbies and adventures, throwing their children creative and inspiring birthday parties. And we feel we need to keep up. All. The. Time.

And we fall short. Every time.

It’s quite the hit to the “momming” self-esteem, isn’t it? We feel like there must be something wrong with us that we can’t keep up with what everyone else seems to be doing.

I’m going through my own personal struggle right now. Between teaching, running, and trying to keep on top of all the little things in the house (especially the floor around the toilet. Any other boy moms? Seriously, how hard is it to aim?!?), I feel like I’m failing at everything at the same time. Runs are cut short or skipped. Laundry piles up (and with 3 kids, a husband and and endless stink of running clothes it piles up about every thirty minutes or so). Dishes are left in the sink. Kids outgrow their jeans. Grades need to be tallied. The list goes on and on.

I’ve been struggling these past weeks to find the balance between running, teaching, and house and family. It seems like in order to accomplish one thing, something else has to go. In order to run, I have to sacrifice house cleaning. In order to get schoolwork done, I have to sacrifice time with the kids. In order to just read a book, I have to sacrifice time with my husband. Does any of this sound familiar?

We are mothers. We multitask and divide and conquer. We try and balance twenty-seven spinning plates at one time, and refusing to let one of the plates drop.

Until suddenly it does.

Because when we cut to the deep, we are nothing but imperfect messes striving for the impossible perfection.

And so it’s tempting to compare ourselves to the moms who seem to have it so much easier than we do. It’s also tempting to rely on ourselves for everything.

When that happens, time and time again we are brought to our knees in weakness, shame, despair, or frustration. And ┬áthat’s a perfect position to pray from. Because ultimately, we will find the only source of strength in trying to balance the chaos of our lives is in Christ. That’s it. He doesn’t care if you clothes are dirty or you haven’t showered in three days. He doesn’t care that you royally screwed up at work. He doesn’t care if you had to hide the dirty dishes under the sink before company came over. (True story.) He doesn’t care that you’re still carrying baby weight or have stretch marks.

He’s crazy about you.

And he’s standing beside you, just waiting for you to stop trusting in yourself and ┬áhand everything over to him.

So let him take it! Give up those pesky things that don’t matter. Turn again and again to the Word for those comforting promises that echo throughout every page.

“Do not worry about what you will eat or what you will wear.”

Don’t worry about the mess. Clean it up if you need to, but don’t let it become a source of distraction.

Don’t worry about dinner. Kids can eat grilled cheese and carrots sticks.

Don’t worry about work. Give your best, but remember that God has promised to provide.

Don’t worry about the run. Run if you can, but it doesn’t define you. Rather “run as if to get the prize,” that is, heaven.

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We might not be able to have it all, or do it all, or be the perfect mom/wife/runner/party planner/teacher/cook/housekeeper, but we have something far greater.The comfort of Christ’s grace and love, the assurance that heaven is ours, and the knowledge that no matter our struggles, Christ is by our side, helping us through.

Sounds like we already have it all, doesn’t it?

 

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