Friends, how many of you have had a moment in the past week where you felt frustrated with your current reality? I would venture to say that was every single one of us has felt that way at least once this past week. (Unless you spent the last week in paradise, at the beach or some other amazing escape from reality.) But for the rest of us, life is challenging. Especially for those of us who are moms. That is the main focus of who I am writing to today. I am writing this for you: The mom who feels guilty because you wish your life looked different. The mom who is tired of changing diapers, wiping faces, cleaning up toys, and running on little sleep. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom, a working mom, or something in between. Life is HARD for all of us.
I am so not exempt from this. I’m not writing this because I have finally figured it out. I’m writing it to you because I literally just got off the phone with my husband, having a melt down to him about how frustrated I was. He quickly put me in my place (lovingly) and reminded me of this truth. And it needs to be shared with all of you.
You see, lately I have felt like I am torn between the reality of where I am and the dreams that God has placed on my heart. Some of you can probably relate to that. Others of you probably have no idea what that feels like because you have completely forgotten how to dream. You just accept whatever life has thrown at you and you feel defeated because you don’t know what else if possible. Either way, we are both struggling with this place we are currently in. It isn’t what we pictured. Even though there are beautiful moments throughout our day, there are hard ones that we wish we could escape from.
I get it friend. I have been there. I have been a working mom, a stay at home mom, and now a business owner. And every single one of those titles is equally as challenging. It is so easy to think the grass is greener somewhere else. But if we took a moment and broke down the walls around us, we would realize that the mom-friend you envy struggles just the same way you do.
I can’t answer for anyone else specifically, but I can tell you everything I have struggled with and let you see that you are not alone. So here it goes… the list of everything that has been on my mind this past week….
I feel drained by the little people who need me at what feels like every hour of the day. I do get to be home with them right now, which I am truly thankful for. But I also have to try to work while at home and I don’t know how to balance that. I enjoy my work and I just want the time to do it without a million distractions happening around me. Because of that, I snap more often than I like to admit. I always have a to-do list a mile long that I feel like I will never be able to conquer. My laundry is always piled up. My dishes are currently overflowing in my sink. My dogs are terrible and I have threatened to get rid of them at least a dozen times this week (which makes me feel like a terrible person). I cannot wait for this “season” of life to be past. For my youngest to be more independent, entertain herself, and not tear apart my house every time I turn around. For my kids to be old enough to fend for themselves so I can actually go on dates with my husband at the last minute, just because I want to. And then I feel guilty for wishing this season away. Because all of those things I am saying I want right now, I know when they are gone I will regret not taking more advantage of this time with them.
Sound familiar? Even if you specifics are different, I guarantee you there were parts you nodded at or said Amen to! I know I am not alone in thinking this. It doesn’t matter if you work and wish you could be home to be with them more. Or if you are at home and wish you could get away to a job. Or if you are somewhere in the middle like me. We all wonder where the balance is in all of it. We all struggle to make it through the day sometimes.
Lets be honest for a minute. We all feel judged from time to time (or all the time) and we are all guilty of being judgmental sometimes. We don’t make it easy on each other, ladies. Being a mom is the hardest thing any of us will probably ever face. It’s exhausting, thankless, and causes us to sacrifice so much of ourselves. We often have to give up dreams for a season or put them on hold, or work at them slower than we would like. We feel like we lost a part of who we are and can wonder where we belong. We struggle to know if we are making the right choices for our families. And we doubt whether or not we are hearing God’s voice and following it accurately. But guess what? YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
And this season will be gone sooner than we think, and it will drag on longer than we expect. How it will do both, I cannot understand. But it’s true. We can let life drag us along, we can go kicking and screaming, or we can just embrace where God has us right now. Because no matter which of those we choose, life will continue to go on around us. The only thing we get to choose is our attitude toward it.
I don’t know about you friends, but I do not want to be remembered as the miserable mom who let life drag me along. I do not want to wish away the blessings God has given me right now. I am going to try every single day to breathe in all of the amazing things happening around me. And I am going to commit to helping each of you see them too. Because when we commit to doing this mom thing together, it becomes a whole lot easier. And I don’t know about you, but I am soooo not able to do it on my own. And I would venture to say, you aren’t either.
If we work together and help each other, we can make this season so much more enjoyable. I guarantee you that mom you gawk at on social media. The one you secretly envy, if she is reading this, she’s feeling exactly the same way you are. So instead of comparing ourselves to each other. Let’s shout out praise to each other.
I encourage you to reach out to at least 3 people today and tell them what you see them doing right. Instead of being jealous … Let them know you love the way they always come up with fun activities to keep their kids entertained. Or let them know that you love the way their kids always have adorable hairstyles and matching outfits. Or make sure they know that you see the hard work they have been putting into their health and taking care of themselves lately. Because you know what, they are human just like you. And while you envy them for one of their strong areas, they probably envy you for one of yours.
So who is it? Who are you going to reach out and encourage today? I’d love it if you reported back here and let me know what you learned from this exercise. Did you discover that Jen next door isn’t as perfect as you thought. Maybe you two have more in common than you realized and you are beginning to break down walls and build a beautiful true, authentic friendship. You never know what might happen. So take a deep breath, and send the messages friends. Be the encouragement someone else needs to hear today.