There is something about life that upsets me by the sheer fact that it is. And, even more, that it is unavoidable. This fact is that for everything we choose to do, we must choose NOT to do a hundred other things. Even when I choose to do something good, something positive and beneficial, I must choose not to do something that may be equally good and equally beneficial. For example, tonight I found myself Skyping with my best friend. During the time I was spending with her, my children wanted my attention. One wanted to read to me, another wanted me to rub her back, and the third just wanted to talk. Investing in my friendship with Moron is wonderful and necessary for my sanity but there is definitely something to be said for spending quality time with my children. Blogging is also something I enjoy, but is currently being done instead of working on my portfolio for school. Likewise, this evening I spent 20 minutes reading my Bible and journaling about it... During this time, the kids were heading off to bed and, again, wanted my attention. There is something to be said for finding the right time in my day to fit in certain activities, but this reality still applies - no matter when I choose to do something, something else has to give.
I don't want it to sound like I don't pay attention to my children. Most people say I'm a pretty good mom. As a matter of fact, most of my day was spent playing miniature golf with the kids and on the ride there, we had some very special moments... We talked about scripture (we learned a new verse today), about rock climbing, about their times in the hospital and other things that are important to the kids. The amount of time I spend with them never seems to fill them up - their hunger for my attention is voracious, seemingly unquenchable.... It seems almost inevitable that I end each day with at least some regret about some need or request I didn't meet.
For me, this may be the most difficult part of being a mother... I can never seem to be enough, to love enough, to give enough, to help, teach, support, encourage etc.. enough. That little voice starts nagging me about what I could've done, should've done... And with my perfectionism, I can never be the "best" mom or even live up to my own standards. Its exhausting trying to be everything to everyone and I'm completely aware of how detrimental it is just to try -- both to myself and to those around me!
This year, I've set my mind to learn how to let "enough" actually be enough. I've resolved to have my focus be on the positive instead of the negative - with myself, my husband, and with my children. I've resolved to do more encouraging and less nagging. To appreciate what gets done and whatever positive may exist in a situation instead of what is lacking or sub-standard.
I know these perspectives are learned and so I am also going to try to let myself off the hook for whatever failures I'm sure I'll experience during this process too.
I'm beginning with prayer. (A good place to start any journey!) Prayer that God will change my heart because this is not something that I want to do with my own strength but through His transforming power. God's plan is always to conform me more and more to the image of His Son; in this case, into someone who is compassionate and forgiving -- even of myself. I'm confident this is a prayer He will answer.
I'll keep you posted... And feel free to remind me about this if you think I should need it in the future!!! I believe in being held accountable and supported by those who love me. (Since you're reading this, I'm assuming you love me -- otherwise, why would you bother? :) ) I know that God's timing is rarely the same as mine, so I'm going to be realistic and not believe that these lessons will be learned overnight but I'm going to be positive and try to encourage myself with each little success I notice. That's a good first step, don't you think?