Yesterday was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. For the past few weeks, things have been getting more and more wrangy around our house. I can blame the weather, I can blame the kids getting sick again, I can blame us keeping too many long hours, I can blame too busy weekends. But if I peel back each of these layers of blame, I think I can see what the root problem is.
We are weary. The winter has been long. The spring has been wet, dreary, filled with illness. Our days have been non-stop, our attitudes and nerves worn to the core. Our time in the word – piddly at best. Oh, we still have our daily devotions as a family, but I’ve slacked off in keeping up with our bible studies during our school day, starting off on the wrong note of tension and frustration. Though I’m reading daily on #SheReadsTruth, and leading my Hello Mornings group, I haven’t been to small group in a month, maybe two. I’ve caught one full church service in 4 weeks.
I’ve been feeling like I have to keep it all together. Have to keep the house tidy. Have to keep the meals healthy (oh boy, did I maybe start this change in lifestyle at the wrong time?!). Have to put everything away at the end of the day. Have to do all our normal schoolwork. Have to fit in all the extras too. (Remember my series about that?)
Finally, I’d had enough. Yesterday I sent out an S.O.S. to some dear momma friends who have been or currently are in the exact same trenches I am wallowing in right now. I laid it all out there – the crying, the yelling, the collapsing in despair, the mess, the distress, the 3-day unwashed hair. And what I heard back was soothing, ointment for my soul.
They told me I am not alone. Even those who look all kept together all over the blogosphere, you don’t know that the same day they’re battling deep. That you don’t do it all when you have a 4 month-old and 3 others that you’re homeschooling. Over and over I heard that on the best days you snuggle on the couch and read, and on the worst you just pray and try to smile. Mackenzie showed me pictures of mismatched socks and told me how she’s still trying to figure it out with a baby, 9 months later. Cindy told me to suck it up when I don’t feel like spending time with my kids because they’re acting like aliens from some planet other than earth (love ya girl!).
They were real with me in the struggles they’re experiencing, showing me THIS.IS.NORMAL, and no, I’m not crazy or delusional, I’m just sleep-deprived and trying to DO.TOO.MUCH. They showed me it’s ok to not have it all together, and in fact, cheered me on into making the decisions to let things go.
They told me to give up. Not everything. But to find some things I could give up that were causing me stress. My hubby helped me to realize that I needed to turn those darn Facebook group e-mails off and just check the notifications in-app (Can I just tell you how FREEING that is?!?!). Jodi told me to unsubscribe from some blogs (sorry!) because though they are encouraging and lovely, they are sucking time I don’t have, and have the potential to make me jealous of their food :D and I would be constantly comparing myself to them (not knowing what else they’re going through).
Sweet Rebecca told me to give myself time on here. That just because others were writing, didn’t mean I needed to. Christin wrote yesterday about the ground being dry, forgetting to pray, praise, and needing to let some distractions go.
My time is so limited, so precious, and I need to be better prioritizing it. I’m going to pare down our school days to the absolute MUSTS (math and reading), and if anything else beyond that gets done, it will be a mighty victory! I’m going to let go the need to have everything tidied every day and leave those messes for the moments of fun I have been missing. I’m unsubscribing from blogs and putting them in my Feedly, disabling my Facebook notifications and checking less. Spending more time in the word, soaking in the strength and wisdom that can get me from surviving to thriving again.
Things are going to be pretty slow on here for a while. I still want to be connected, but what good am I to encouraging and uplifting others if I can’t even keep a joyful spirit and a happy face before my own children? While I’m not giving this up, I’m stepping back so I can get my head on straight. I need a reset! I have some obligations still to fill, but after that I’ll be assessing what and where my time is best spent.
I am so grateful for this space here, and for those who read and leave such encouraging comments. My encouragement to you is if you feel like you’re drowning, you can’t get it all done, it’s ok! Take to heart some of the words of the wise women above and see pray about where you need to make some changes.