Exasperated, I text messaged my husband while he was at work, "I don't think I can handle anything else today. I have so much to do. The kids are so LOUD. I feel very overwhelmed!"
My husband's job takes him away from the home for at least 48 hours every few days. During his absence, I am the mom, the dad, the enforcer, the comforter, the chef, the good guy and often the bad one. The demands of motherhood can be exhausting. I am blessed to have a husband that may not be there to balance this thing we like to call parenting, but even in his absence he is very supportive and my strong tower when I am about to crack. But for whatever reason, life's demands almost got the best of me. What was wrong? Why did I feel so overwhelmed?
I had the love and support of a great man. I was lucky to be able to stay at home with my children all while pursuing my passion for writing. My family was healthy (though LOUD) and the relationships with them strong. I had no reason to feel overwhelmed. So I sat down and made a list of the reasons. After I made my list, I decided to quit.
Maybe you should consider quitting too. Here's what I decided.
I will quit allowing my emotions to lead me
During the chaotic times of life, being emotionally led can make you feel isolated, insignificant and inadequate. Instead, when hardships come, I will hold strong to what I know to be truth: I am loved, I am valued and I am needed.
I will quit neglecting myself
It's OK to sit down and read a book, have prayer time, head out for an adult only lunch or take an exercise class. I must take care of myself or I am useless to those I love. You cannot give from a love tank that is empty.
I will quit striving for perfection in my day to day and be happy with my best
I don't have to whip up three Pinterest-worthy gourmet meals. My kids are happy with a simple turkey sandwich and so should I. No one is expecting perfection from me. I should not demand it of myself nor from my family.
I will quit comparing my life to the depictions I see on social media
It is very easy to get engrossed with everyone else's perfect life on Facebook, Instagram, etc. What I must remember is that what I see is not always reality. No one tweets when their kid wets the bed.
It wasn't my kid's rowdy behavior or the multiple other things that were happening that day. It was the expectations I had placed on myself to be the perfect mom specimen. Well, I have news. The perfect mom does not exist. Much of our day-to-day stress could easily be eliminated if we would just allow ourselves to quit trying to be everything to everyone. It is OK to hang up a few hats once in a while.
Sarah is a Christian Author and Speaker. She wrote the parenting book, "Walking the Talk: A Parent's Guide to Intimacy and Healthy Relationships" and maintains the blog A Life Inspired. Her passion is to equip the next generation of families to speak boldly and walk confidently in their faith and charge as parents. You can stay up to date with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.