I often have people ask me, how do you do it? how do you do it “all”? Those are weighted questions, that deserve thoughtful answers. To be honest, I don’t always know how to answer them. The easiest response is to say, I don’t know. I don’t know how we do it, we just do. We sleep, we eat, we pray, we cry, we fight, we forgive, we work, we play. And we do it over and over again. The things that keep me going are to focus on caring for my family, pursuing Jesus, pursuing the things and people I care about and listening for God’s voice amidst it all. The other end of that is we do not do it all. Lots of things get missed, mistakes made, and balls dropped so to speak.
I must admit I cannot do everything. There is also a fine line we walk, of being “busy” and “living full lives.” There are many things that I don’t do that I wish I did (such as call my best friend more than once every 4 months!) And there are many things that I do, that I wish I didn’t waste my time on! When I embraced the fact that I would be a recovering people pleaser and perfectionist for the rest of my life, I gave myself space to breathe and space to receive God’s grace on the parts of my life which are really not that glamorous. Or even pretty. Actually, there is some stuff that is downright ugly.
Take for example this journal entry I wrote the date after Halloween:
I had a deadline for work. I decided to limit the amount of distractions by hiring a morning babysitter. TV, yes I did. The day after we indulged ourselves in way too much candy, I figured, why not? Let’s just add one more thing. SO I frantically wrote a newsletter and my children sat, so well behaved I might add in front of the television…for way too long.
Finally, the letter was written, we were behind schedule with our morning school routine, Ezra still had not finished his homework packet due that day, and there wasn’t much in the way of breakfast food- so apples and peanut butter [and halloween candy] for breakfast it was. We rushed and ran and did the best we could and made it to school on time. Mission accomplished.
So there it is. My confession. Someone asks, how we do it, and that is how it’s done. And I am okay with that.
The “judger” (Myers-Briggs reference) in me says, really Katey? You’re okay with that? My nice self says, don’t be so hard on yourself. You are not the only one. My compassionate and hopeful side says, tomorrows a new day, it will get better!
There is a movement in the blogging world and facebook from what I’ve seen, to show your more true authentic self. Not just the pretty parts or the inspirational life quotes, but the messy and real, honest, hard to share parts. Sometimes they get categorized as #fail or #parentfail. I get it. We all fail and part of being real, authentic and genuine is not hiding that stuff. But what happens if ALL our lives or our parenting amounts to is its successes and failures? Do we just start adding it all up and hope that in long run we end up in the positive? If I could make a change I would change #parentfail to #reallifeparenting.
I am learning that each family is going to look different and some can do more things than others, but one of the ways that we can tend to ourselves and our families is by making sure there is movement toward healthy relationships with each other, relationship with God, and a heart of compassion and love for others. If these 3 things are not clear, I would advocate for a family meeting. Let’s bring together our #reallifeparenting and our #healthyboundaries and our #lovejesusloveothers all together for a work party.
How do you deal with your parenting struggles?
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed by all there is to do?
What are ways that you give yourself a break to combat busy-itis and overbooked syndrome?