I don’t know if this will hit anyone else like it did me, but I am honestly sitting here bawling as I type this!
Have you ever read something that was so timely that it seemed like the person saying it is somehow inside your brain? This exact thing happened to me this morning! Hence the reason for my tears. I realize that I am probably not the only one feeling this way.
I need to be honest with you for a minute to help you understand where I’m going with this post. I am a mom to two beautiful little girls who I truly love so deeply that I cannot find words to explain it. However, I am also a busy entrepreneur and leader. I have really been struggling with this lately. I feel so many dreams deep within me coming to the surface. God has really been revealing some things that I feel led to pursue. But there just doesn’t seem to be time for any of it. I have this burning passion for women’s ministry, for this blog and other ways to really connect with women who are lost and hurting; to remind them that they are loved and valued and created in God’s own image. But, my average day just doesn’t have time to fit that in ANYWHERE! (Hence the reason it’s been a month since my last post). You see my husband and I own a gym, a nutrition store, and a barber shop. And while I don’t work staffed hours at any of them anymore, I still do all of the bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, billing, etc. Plus I run a busy and thriving network marketing business that keeps me busy. And on top of that I am a caregiver for my grandfather, which requires me to spend 3 nights each week at my grandparents home helping with his care. Add all of that to being a mom and I feel like I am stretched so thin that I’m on quick tug away from breaking.
Being a wife and mom has been especially hard in this season and I have caught myself not giving my best to my family. Our girls are currently 8 and 2. So there are almost 6 1/2 years between them. If I’m being honest, I have never really recovered from adding a second child to the mix. We had reached a season of some independence with our oldest. She was in school every day and I was finally feeling like I could get things done and catch up on the mounds of work that was surrounding me. But then our sweet little surprise happened. And it rocked my world. Yes I love her! Yes she brings me so much joy! But she always has brought out this longing pain deep inside of me that can’t wait to have that freedom I am missing so much. I feel like a part of me had to temporarily die and be buried until she reaches a more independent stage. And the guilt I feel for having those feelings is so strong! I look around at the other mom’s in my friend circle or my small group, or within my company and they all seem to enjoy motherhood so immensely. While I feel like I’m over here just drowning and wishing it away. I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing wrong and why I feel this way. And then there are those women who mean well, but constantly remind you that it will all be gone so soon. And while I appreciate their input, it doesn’t take away the frustration I am currently feeling. In fact, if I’m being honest, it often just makes me angry. Then I feel even more guilty for not caring that it will go by too fast.
Fast forward to this morning. I was catching up on a book that I am currently reading for my women’s small group at church and I came across this section entitled “Motherhood and Leadership”. (The book is called ‘More than Enchanting’ by Jo Saxton). In this section, Jo lists some personal stories from other women leaders and the first one just spoke so deeply to me. I felt so strongly that I needed to stop what I was doing and share it with you as well.
This is written by a lady named Ali Herbert who is a church leader in London.
” … Any person can stand up and lead people, but I’m the only one who can be Mummy to my kids. It won’t be like this forever; I can see them growing up so fast, and I need to remember that now is the time my input is most important – and also remember to savor and delight in my role as their mum. The hardest thing I find is the feeling of rushing from one thing to the next, for instance trying to get the kids to bed before I rush (unprepared) to a meeting where I’m supposed to be cool, calm, and holding things together. I’ve probably got spaghetti hoops on my top and it’s highly likely I haven’t brushed my hair – so it can be a humbling experience at least! The most important thing I’ve found is to try and create a balance. So sometimes it’s really important to say no to things. I’m starting to get better at this now, even though sometimes I worry I won’t be asked again – well, so what?! Hopefully my identity doesn’t rest in whether I’m asked to lead things or not. And if it does I probably need to do a little heart searching. … We need to be realistic about how many hours there are in a day, and know when something life-affirming has become something life-draining. It’s not fair on the children to only leave them the exhausted parts of us!”
In another story, Kate Smith reminded me of this very important fact: “I have had to learn to submit to God’s process in me and learn that I am not missing out from his hand or his blessing in my life.”
I don’t know where you fall on this topic. Or if it even affects you like it does me. But I was reminded this morning that this season of life is just as much a part of my calling as the rest of my passions and dreams! I am shaping two beautiful lives and that is so much more important than any blog post could ever be!
I’m sure I won’t escape this struggle overnight, and you won’t either. But day by day, relying on God, we can become women who appreciate the current season He has called us to, no matter what that looks like right now!