encouragement

29 Oct

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs, facebook comments, and emails, along with having numerous conversations with friends about the toughness that is motherhood.

Mommas, you know what I’m talking about, right?

I don’t know what it is about this particular school year, but I find myself falling into bed daily with a huge pile of regret weighing on my chest.  It is the worst feeling.

I know I’m not alone here.

As is becoming our nightly or weekly brainstorm session, last night, my hubbie and I spent an hour discussing all that we’d like to change in our current schedule to make life feel a little less like a ticking clock that is wrapped around our necks, reminding us of the 8,346,529 to dos.  We had a good conversation; we always do.  But nothing was solved other than we both agreed to take it to prayer.  That has been our weekly discussion for the past few months.

There has been a lot of talking and reflecting, but not a lot of changing.  This is in part because I overcommitted myself this semester with too many teaching responsibilities, leadership roles at our church, and necessary (but time consuming) therapies for Jonah.  It has been a terribly painful balancing act and most days have ended in utter frustration, disappointment and discouragement.  Plans are already in place for a different commitment load next semester (praise God!).

To put it plainly, these kind of feelings suck.  And more than anything, I’m tired of them weighing me down.

Interestingly, I saw this video yesterday and was encouraged.  I know I’m not the only one trying to find the elusive balance that is parenting with grace and patience.

So during my morning prayers and walk, I took this to God (for the millionth time) and prayed for love.  Nothing more.  Just to love my kids and my husband.

And somewhere in my chaotic stream of thoughts, I grabbed on to the idea that today I am going to take time to focus on what I did do, and less on what I need to do or even worse, what I should be doing because most of the time, those shoulds are just unrealistic.

This thought process is a bit foreign to me, I have to admit.  I got all twitchy thinking about trying to hash out an “I did” list instead of a “to do” list.  None the less…

*  I prayed for myself, my kids, my family and friends and those who have asked for special intentions.

*  I made three home cooked meals for the kids and provided two healthy snacks.

*  I spent a number of hours educating my kids in a wide variety of subjects.  This one?  Kind of a huge time commitment!

*  We took time to pray as a family, like we do every morning and night.

*  I helped with the unending atrium planning at our parish.

*  I spoke with a parent about how their child is growing in the faith during my atrium session.

*  I helped the kids come up with saint costumes for our All Saint’s party.

*  I took time to write this post (that is huge for me).

*  I invited my parents over to dinner just because.

*  I took a walk down our driveway to check the mail—mainly as an excuse to catch my breath and regroup for a few minutes.

*  I did my afternoon prayers before our afternoon school got started.

*  If all goes well, I will snuggle with a kid (or two or three) as they settle in for bed.

*  I will plan my atrium presentation for the upcoming session.

*  And, if the night ends well, I will have a bit of time to catch up on the day with Jason.

Darn, see the last 3?  Those haven’t happened…they are on the “to do” list, but these things happen on a nightly basis and they are an important part of my day.

So I guess what I am trying to do here is to use some of my energy being mindful that I am doing some things just fine.  And that darn to do list?  It can kiss it.

How’s that for a new way of thinking?

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