Sunday, March 08, 2009

on the other side

It feels so good to be where I am today. I can't describe enough how freeing it was for me to take this blogging/facebook/internet break. I highly recommend it to anyone who is starting to feel bogged down by all that is out there. I told my friends that I hoped blogging and I would come out of this separation stronger and better balanced. Today, I feel that way.

A very sweet friend of mine called me Monday night after reading my post and wanted to check on me. Thank you, girl. I needed it. Even though the post was about feeling called to lay off the computer time she read between the lines and caught on to some other areas I was struggling with. Isn't it funny how it sometimes just takes one perceptive person to make you face the things you've been pretending were okay? Sometimes it hurts, but man it is so good for us.

I'll just share a little bit of what I have been feeling and what she felt led to chat with me about.

I love staying home. Absolutely LOVE it. I wouldn't change what I am doing right now for anything. Not a bigger house, not a new car, not the money a job would give me. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what I was meant to do. Ask me any day and that is the answer you will get. The problem, you ask? Well, I hope that I can explain this clearly. It probably won't happen so I apologize in advance. The problem is me. Me! The problem is the unrealistic expectations that I put on myself. If you could only hear the inner dialog I keep with myself you would be embarrassed for me. I am my absolute worst critic. One of the reasons I was finding blogging to be so draining was that I would read all of these wonderful blogs from stay at home moms and working moms. Oh their ideas! Oh the things they got done in a day! Many times I would read them and then automatically place the same expectations on myself that they had for themselves. I know, isn't that crazy! Suddenly I would think that I must have a hot meal on the table when Shawn got home from work, the laundry caught up, my exercise done for the day, and a craft completed while Lauren napped just because so and so could do that. So when that didn't happen, which was more often than not, I would beat myself up over it. So and so could do it so what was wrong with me? I especially beat myself up over the little bit I could accomplish in a day even though I stayed home! I mean what about those moms who work outside of the home? How do they get it all done, have a clean house, and still look beautiful and well rested?

This was going on for a while before I even recognized it. I was a comparison freak! I compared myself to everyone and ranked myself against some unseen and unforgiving scale. Friend, thank you so much for calling when you did. Thank you for recognizing my cry for help amidst my "everything is okay" facade. Thank you for showing me that Satan wanted me stuck in that rut. He wanted me to focus on my flaws instead of opening my eyes and realizing this is my life and that this life of mine is going to look different from everyone else. And thank you for reminding me that God speaks to me in gentle nudges and not in the form of guilt.

One of the things she said that really stuck with me was something like this... You only have one March 9, 2009 ever. When you go to bed tonight you are closing the door on this day and you can't get it back so enjoy your life and your family. Don't waste any time.

I am getting there. I am working really hard to not compare my life and my mothering abilities to others. We are different people. Things that are important to other people might not be on my top 10 list. That is okay. The choices another mom makes may not work for me or my family. That is okay.

If you have ever struggled with this area like me, I hope you will take away from this what I took from my friend... your life is your life. It is beautiful, crazy, and brilliant. It is not a cookie cutter version of someone else's. Now there is freedom in that!

Thank you for bearing with me as I did some soul searching this week. Thanks to all of you who knew that I needed prayer. Love ya!


  1. I am so glad you are back. I missed you. I am also thankful for that wonderful friend in your life. We all need that same reminder. You have done some soul searching and sharing your thoughts and feelings will help us all. Thank you so much for letting us into your heart. I love you!

  2. Way to go Jen - I just know you're going to have a wonderful week.

  3. Thank you for your post! You really hit it home for me because I go through the same thing! I get stressed out when I think about all the things I have to do in a day and then don't get them done. Then I think about my friends who seem to have it all accomplished. I'll have to remember everything you said when I start feeling down. You go girl!

  4. Great post, Jen - I think most women struggle in this area. Your friend gave you good advice - let it go - you get a new day tomorrow. So much easier said than done!!! It took me years to realize that dirty dishes in the sink were not a failure, and if my bed did not get made today it was not the end of the world. I do sometimes wish I had learned those lessons while my kids were still little.I am so thankful I get the chance for a do oer with my granddaughter!!

  5. I wish you knew how amazing you are! Thank you for sharing your struggles and thoughts. Even though I'm in a different situation than you, it was something I needed to hear. I'm so glad you're back. I love reading your posts!