Maybe I’m just a little slow on the uptake.
Maybe my BS (Bachelor of Science) didn’t actually give me any CS (common sense).
Maybe my Pottery Barn catalog world just doesn’t exist.
I feel overwhelmed a lot of days. I mean, come on… I have five children six and under. I’ve been mistaken for some kind of Supermom.
Please let me dispel that myth once and for all.
Do Supermoms raise their voices? Hide in the bathroom with the fan on? Call their husbands in tears two or three times a week? Have puddles of spilled milk on the floor… from yesterday?
Well, if they do, sure I’ll go pick up my Wonderwoman uniform from the cleaner’s.
Spanx don’t fail me now.
I admire the Mommas who always have clean houses, home cooked meals, pretty blogs, Gap models for children, and a smile to boot.
I aspire to be like her (she’s not a myth, I met her). I want shiny floors, homemade whole wheat bread, a cupcake blog, children whose shoes are on the right feet, and a shower at least every other day.
But I don’t always get what I want.
This hit me awhile back when I let my son watch Blue’s Clues after he got home from preschool. I told my husband because I was so excited by this revelation;
When my patience runs short and my to-do list is long…my kids can watch TV.
Told you I was slow!
I know many of you have lived by this principle for years. I, however, am eating my typed words. I never wanted to be the Mommy who sits my children in front of the television as a way of avoiding them because I don’t want to interact with them.
On the contrary, I love my children and I wish I had the energy to keep up. Instead, I find myself losing it because…I can’t keep that many plates spinning.
We all have them. We all have plates we keep spinning.
Clean floors. *spin*
Hot meals. *spin*
Complete Pinterest projects. *spin*
These are not bad plates. But whose plates are they? And where did they come from?
Let’s call these plates what they really are: unrealistic expectations.
I have a few plates from being an oldest child.
I have a few my mom handed down, others I borrowed from my mother in law, a few more from girlfriends, and I just picked up a couple more from that lady with seven kids at church who homeschools and has it all together and even looks cool.
I stopped spinning my “no TV” plate and it hit the floor and shattered. Now, my kids watch TV three or four times a week. Sometimes, I nap while they watch The Man with the Yellow Hat (you know, the negligent one with the mischievous primate).
And that’s okay. I am letting go of unrealistic expectations.
I remind myself often that…
- Studies show that dirt builds immunity.
- Meals from a box won’t kill anyone.
- It isn’t a sin to be angry. Be angry but don’t sin (Ephesians 4:26).
- Kids are simple.
- Don’t pick up everyone elses’ plates.
Here’s what I’ve found about myself… when my unrealistic expectations aren’t reality, I’m disappointed. When I’m disappointed, I get mad. When I get mad, I get loud and I don’t want my children to be afraid me.
I also know that God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). If having trouble spinning plates is messing with my peace, God probably didn’t give me those plates to begin with.
Besides, God didn’t send His Son to die for a plate-spinning circus seal to entertain Him. I’m a dearly loved, adopted daughter. I guess that means I can stop performing (and teaching my children to perform) all together.
I am thrilled to introduce Clara Danielson as the first regular contributor to Generational Womanhood!
Clara is a Texas-raised transplant living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and 5 children (6 and under- no multiples) in a 2 bedroom 100 year-old mining house. She enjoys blogging, cooking, couponing, and garage sale shopping. Visit Clara at her blog Letters From the Amory.