I see you- trying to juggle it all. You are trying to knock it ALL out of the park, exerting all of your energy, only to crawl to the finish line at the end of the day feeling like you failed. I’ve been there! No matter what you are doing, it never feels like enough, does it? I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I should be doing more. Focus on the housework? Well I should have been playing with the kid. Playing with the kid? Well I should have been working on dinner. Paying attention to your husband? Well, there are a million other things that you should be doing. One of my FAVORITE things to say is “Don’t should all over yourself” (Bwahahaha I giggle every time I hear that). But it’s true! Don’t we put pressure on ourselves for all of the other things that we should be doing?
You see the problem, don’t you? You can’t EVER win! No matter what you do, you are going to feel like you should be doing something else. It comes down to a math problem. If you are trying to give 100% of yourself to your kids, 100% of yourself to your husband, 100% of yourself to your house, and 100% of yourself to your job, you’re going to come up in the negative every time. I’m no math-whiz (math makes me cry...literally- we are not friends) but I don’t think that adds up. And if we expect it to, we will absolutely feel like a failure. As someone said to me just the other day, “It’s like having 3 bosses who have various expectations of you. It’s impossible to please all of them.” So true!
So, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that has helped me tremendously. It’s a mindset- a new way of thinking. Repeat after me... “Wherever you are, be fully there.” That’s it. No magic potion. No formula. Now, I will warn you, it takes discipline and practically preaching that to yourself at times, but it slowly sinks in. Here’s how it works- the next time you are playing with your child, tell yourself, “There is nothing more important than what I am doing right now.” The next time you are tackling housework and that guilty feeling starts sneaking in, remind yourself, “I am going to stay the course, finish this up, and THEN I can go play hide-and-seek for the ka-gillianth time”. Or, “I’m going to put this on pause, play with you for five minutes, but then I have to get back to my chore.” The next time you are talking with your spouse, give him your undivided attention and try to push that to-do list out of your mind (or facebook- because sadly that is often what is distracting me). Whatever course or order you choose, please remember that you can only do one thing at a time.
I love the example that Jesus gave when He honored Mary’s decision to just sit with Him instead of worrying like her sister, Martha. “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42). It’s hard not to feel bad for poor Martha (someone had to make dinner). But when we break things down moment by moment and we give our 100% to that moment, suddenly we won’t feel like we are failing at everything else.
So, sweet friend, take it easy on yourself! Remember, you can’t make everyone happy- you’re not an avocado (ain’t that the truth!). Whatever moment you are in, give your 100% to that moment and that moment alone. There will be plenty of other moments to “even out the score”. And it all ends up balancing out alright in the end, now doesn’t it?