I’ve been dealing with an inner battle for a while.
I always want to be better. I want to improve myself. I want to be more in shape. I want my house to be organized. I want to do meal-planning or at least figure out a way to not have to scramble to figure out dinner while starving children hang on my ankles. I want to do so much.
But I’m limited. I’m a mom to two young children. One of them is hitting the obnoxious stage of childhood and the other is getting exponentially curious and explorative. By the end of the day I’d much rather binge-eat popcorn and watch Netflix than work out or go to bed at a decent hour. It’s exhausting to do this day in, day out. No sick days, no vacation days, just days filled with whining and crying and breaking up fights and yelling at them over and over again after vowing not to yell anymore, concluded with me in this zombie-like state where I literally “just can’t even.”
When I share my experiences, I often hear things like “Give yourself a break,” “Motherhood is chaos, you’re doing great,” “Don’t put too much on your plate, this is all that matters right now,” “Messy house, happy kids,” and other such advice. But internally, I’m not so sure those are the right answers.
There has to be some kind of balance between being realistic and still striving for greatness.
I see “mom boss ladies” and women who seem to have/do it all, and wonder why that isn’t me. Why can’t I handle working AND being a mom? Why can’t I be a saleslady or something from home? Why can’t I make myself get up early? Why can’t I be consistent, like these other moms who get it all done?
But then my head fills up with excuses. I need sleep to handle my life. I don’t want to workout because I’m too exhausted. I can’t do things other people do because of my anxiety/OCD. All my mom friends struggle like me, so this is normal.
But is it? Where do we draw the line between setting our expectations realistically, and justifying our unproductive, inconsistent, sometimes lazy behavior?
I’ve been told I put too much pressure on myself, but maybe I don’t put enough. I don’t think I’ve ever really pushed myself. I never felt any pressure to push myself growing up, and now I feel like I’m stuck in this rut. I want to believe I’m capable of anything like all those inspirational pinterest quotes say, but believing the general idea is possible and really believing in YOU… it’s tricky.
Maybe we shouldn’t give ourselves an easy way out. Give ourselves credit for what we do right, sure. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up because we aren’t perfect. But I don’t think we’re supposed to just throw our hands up and surrender to our faults and failures. The whole point of this life is to improve and progress, isn’t it?
Motherhood is tough. And some days it takes all I have to just make it to bedtime. But I bet I’d enjoy this stage of my life more if I stopped making excuses and filling my own head with negative ” i can’t do this cause blah blah” and rather prayed for strength to improve. Prayed for an attitude change. For some alone time. For some perspective. Prayed for grace to help fill in the gaps where I’m not quite getting it right.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. It’s just been on my mind.
This talk from last October’s LDS General Conference came to mind as I was thinking of all this, so if anyone is struggling with balancing perfection like I have been, take a listen.