Saturday, March 24, 2012

Supermom? Not really.........

Rushing around makes me crazy.   I lose my temper.   I lose my train of thought.   I lose my patience.   I lose my kind words.   I lose my happiness.   I lose my sanity.    And in the midst of all the losing, my children lose the most.   I hate to be too busy, with too much on my plate, and not enough time to finish it all.   I do not do well under certain types of pressure.


And under that pressure I forget that my children are a blessing and that my husband is a gift.   And that God has so graciously provided us a comfortable home, a way to go, clothes, and plenty to eat.   Much less all the unneccessary 'things' He has given.

Can anyone relate?!

So with that being said, why do we as women/mothers believe in order to 'be somebody' we have to live up to the so-called supermom title?   There is no such thing as super-mom.   We are all humans.   We all fail.   We all get tired, worn out, frustrated, overwhelmed, and frazzled to our wit's end.


But today, in order to be worthy of holding a place in our society, we aren't allowed to just be the mama.   Or just be the wife.   Or just be the piano teacher.   Or just be the secretary.   We are pushed over the ledge by pressure to be more.   To actually "be somebody" we must do it all.   Be it all.  A mother, wife, secretary, classroom volunteer.   Work in the nursery, teach Sunday School, Children's Church, sing in the choir and never miss a Wednesday night service.   We must have the best house, drive the nicest car, wear the best size 4's money can buy.  Keep our houses spotless.   Dress our children in the finest and by all means be sure they are involved in every activity there is trying to ensure their popularity and status in life.


Wipe their snotty noses, clean their stinky hineys, feed them the best foods, dry their tears, scratch their backs, play with their toys, and all the while, do it with a smile, plenty of energy, and looking like we just stepped out of a magazine.    And........don't forget about daddy.   Gotta make time for him.    Uhhhhhhhhhhh, I feel exhausted just thinking about it.   Is there an answer?    A way out of the rat-race.

I came across a post from one of my favorite blogs called Clover Lane.    In this particular post, she addresses these same issues.   I was so happy to read and learn from a seasoned mother of five {with #6 on the way}.   I have included some of her words here in this post, but be sure to check out her awesome blog and read the whole story.   Sarah shares wonderful advice on just about every issue a mom could face.    And the best part about her story is she's 'been there - done that', so she's speaking from experience.

*Words in italics are from Clover Lane.....
Once a year I feel a deep need to write a post like this one. Usually there is a trigger or triggers that prompt me to feel the need to do so. One of the triggers this time is that I've had a couple letters from young moms that have said, "I'm awful at keeping my house clean, how do you keep yours so nice?" or "How do you have patience with so many children? I sometimes lose my cool with just three!" or "How do you find time to do all you do?"
See, I'm 43-I've been a mom for 18 years and I've raised five children so far. I know what kind of work it takes to make a home, to strive to have children who get along with others, and who are "nice" kids-who have some semblance of manners, who respect adults and are good, respectful students-it is constant, never-ending work. Work where I need to be present-physically, emotionally, mentally. It takes up almost all my time! It does honestly.

To give you a glimpse of how I spend (or don't spend) my time:
-I don't do much volunteering at my church or school. My husband has coached basketball for our church/school for 8 years and will continue to do this for a long, long time-I count that as our family time-contribution because it does take up hours and hours a week in season. I sign up to bring in a treat or a craft for a holiday party for each of my kid's classrooms yearly. I have found that my family needs my time and energy and presence more than any other organization right now.

-I know that with a big family we live best with simplicity and organization and I feel like I've accomplished something worthwhile when I manage to keep my home relatively clean. Hence my cleaning schedules and chores, that I've adapted over the years out of pure necessity. Do we all blow these off now and again here? Sure do!

So that is ALL I do. Care for my family, try to keep my house clean and straightened and try to prevent it from falling apart, fix lots of food, scrapbook less and less, and blog. Oh, and read. I love to read but I go in spurts depending on the season. There is LITTLE time in my days, weeks, months and years for anything else. There are only so many hours in a day and we are all doled out the same! And honestly, I can't IMAGINE fitting in anything else and still be present for my family.

I know my family would be stressed if I added much more than this. I know this not because I was BORN knowing it, but because I've tried doing more, being more, keeping up with what it seemed everything else was doing and I hated that stress!

There are times in my life when I said yes to too much. When I said, "Well SHE seems to do it all, I'm going to try it too!" But I saw things deteriorating little by little-maybe it was the feeling in my brain of being too scattered or being resentful of the neediness of loved ones because I felt torn in too many directions by my OWN hand, maybe it was my children's behavior from being too rushed or brushed aside or not having the consistency of a present mother that I think is essential to raising good kids, maybe it was that annoyance of never finding what I needed or having what I needed in house that was running on empty without organization...maybe it was all of those things. I also think my marriage would be stressed by doing much more than this. I feel like with Jeff working, and us raising five children together, we hardly get to talk more than a few minutes without interruption as it is!
I've had 18 years to learn how to manage my household and I did so by trial and error-that means trying new systems, making mistakes, falling behind, thinking I've had all the answers only to add another baby into the mix-which required me to rethink all my answers. Even now, I have to constantly readjust what works with us-which usually means something here is NOT working till I figure out what needs to be readjusted. (And sometimes that is just my attitude!) I am NOT patient all the time. No way. I don't have ALL the answers to raising children, I know there is no perfect recipe we must all follow but I do absolutely know this:

There is no debate in my mind on quality vs. quantity time when it comes to parental attention. It takes BOTH. It takes both constantly. It takes both in the infant years, it takes both in the toddler years, it takes both throughout childhood and definitely into the teenage years. It is the one constant. It is what constitutes good parenting. It is what makes good kids.

You young mothers-you must not be tricked into believing what is sometimes presented to you today in some blogs, in shiny magazines, in false witness from others. There are no tricks for raising children that let you get away with anything less. Choose wisely and choose carefully what you spend your time on and notice signs of distress in the family-and take them seriously. Developing an accurate "balance barometer" is essential to good mothering. Your children NEED you. They need your presence, they need you unstressed and not exhausted from trying to do too much outside the family, they need your attention and your love to grow to their full potential. Today I think we are told being a mother is something to "fit in" among many personal and professional pursuits-I can assure you, there is nothing fun, rewarding, or pleasant that will come out of "fitting in" children as a side of life. I think those that choose that way of life, will pay for it (and sadly so will their children) down the road in many different ways, if they aren't already. Approach bravely (by going against the grain!) the need to make changes-say no often, don't be fooled by those that seem to do it all-they aren't, I promise you. If it sounds or looks too good to be true, it is.

I am learning to not buy into the world's way of thinking.   To stand up.   To follow my own convictions.   There's such freedom in that.   And to read stories of other people walking in their own paths gives me so much encouragement.


"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  Romans 12:2

Hope you are LOVING this weather!!!


Christi said...

I love this, Beth! Thanks for turning me on to clover lane also. I'm going to need to read and reread this!!!

Tara said...

Just what I needed to read right now! Thanks for sharing such wise words!

Nancy, Jeremy, and Jack said...

Great post Beth. I have beaten myself up a lot this week so this was a blessing to me.

Anonymous said...

Good post and love the pictures!

Beth said...

I'm thrilled this was such a blessing to y'all! I know it was for me, so I prayed that someone else would be blessed as well from my sharing;) I love her blog and always enjoy reading what she has to say! Thanks girls!

Anonymous said...

Well you actually seem to be one of those mothers that can do it all while still looking like a model. It makes me feel better to know that other people actually struggle too. I thought it was just me!
Rebecca T.

Beth said...

Rebecca, you are NOT ALONE! But you are funny:)