Confessions of a Tired Mama

24

January 19, 2016 by mamacravings

There is this unnecessary pressure that I put on myself. I’m not sure how much of it was formulated from what society expects of me or from my own twistings of the definition of mama, wife, and woman. Either way, the expectations are relentless and impossible.

The feats to be conquered in a twenty-four hour period by only one person is unrealistic: excel at my growing career, have a sparkling house, prepare a gourmet and made from scratch meal which also must be organic (that will obviously be re-purposed into pinterest-worthy, cookie-cutter shaped lunches for the next day), sweat myself into a banging bod, write the next best-selling novel, market the blog, write articles and distribute said articles, keep up on current events and pop culture, meditate and pray, nurture friendships, write “thank you” notes, be thoughtful enough to warrant my own “thank you note”, complete a research-driven and sleep-enticing bedtime routine for my son, pick out an all-together outfit that’s both trendy and classic and modest (but not prudish) for the next excellent work day, have mind-blowing sex with the husband, and still remember to take my makeup off before bed.

Twenty-four hours. One person.

If anyone else confided that these were the expectations for herself, I would bless her heart and tell her to get a clue (in my sweetest southern way, of course). Yet I ask the impossible of myself, and then feel like an utter failure when I can’t deliver.

What if I focused my energy on who I am instead of what I have/have not accomplished? What if my mile-long to-do list was no longer the yardstick with which I measure my worth? What if I gave myself a break?

What if my mile-long to-do list was no longer the yardstick with which I measure my worth? What if I gave myself a break?

Today I have crumbled up my neatly organized to-do list into a tightly wadded ball. Once I moved past the initial panic in doing this, I feel relieved and even free. I am not defined by how much I can get done from sunrise to sunset. I am me. It’s as simple as that, and I will celebrate me as such.

I have scrawled out a new to-do list.

  • Laugh with my son
  • Say something to make my husband know that he’s loved
  • Read.
  • Make a co-worker feel important
  • Have time for myself (**note: Don’t apologize for it.)
  • Pray.

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The dishes may pile up. We may be eating cereal for dinner. But it’s okay. The world won’t implode. My world won’t implode. In fact, my life will be more balanced and even more fulfilled because I am living as me and not as an impossible version of a suped-up idea of what I should be.

It’s all about that proverbial four letter word: Balance. I strive for it daily. I seem to keep missing the mark. But I know one thing today, I will be counting what I got to do and not what I didn’t get done.

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24 thoughts on “Confessions of a Tired Mama

  1. What an important message…and a good lesson we can all incorporate again and again. The mantra I’ve heard from successful – and peaceful! – moms over and over again is “lower your standards”. And I think when we lower our external standards, we can more clearly hear the internal ones.

    • mamacravings says:

      Yessss! I completely agree. We have such ridiculously high standards for ourselves that don’t make us better mamas but actually tear us down. Lower standards can actually make us better parents and happier people.

  2. whitneymaeve says:

    I love this! We NEED more of this.

  3. Tales of a Twin Mombie says:

    These are the things that *truly* matter. I agree with this post! What’s the point of seemingly having it all together but missing out on the special moments! My house may be in disarray before 8 (I have toddler twins who are 2!) and I definitley don’t have the whole cooking a five course meal down every day, but I know my family has a mom who loves them, my husband has a wife who adores him, and I would say we are h-a-p-p-y. Great post! Forget the expectations of society!! This is real.

  4. Scottish Author and Poet Kirsty Grant says:

    Great blog. Finding balance is hard in a busy world but this made me think.

  5. LOVE this post! So, so true. Love your new to-do list and think it makes for a much happier soul at the end of the day. ❤

  6. Lori says:

    I love this! ❤️ I need to learn not to apologize for having a moment to myself.

  7. I was just telling a panicked, anxiety-ridden mom who’s pregnant with her fourth that so long as she’s getting the basics down: her children have clean clothes, food to eat that’s at least mostly healthy, are getting to school and back again, are happy and healthy, (same goes for her husband), then her job here is done. If she can accomplish all that and keep her sanity (so far so good), then she could move beyond the basics, adding one small thing at a time. Just gotta be sure we get that base level taken care of and not try to pile on too much beyond that. It’s just not worth it!
    Thanks for this post. 🙂

  8. I needed to read this, as I have decided to take a leave of absence from my doctoral program while my husband and I go through another IVF cycle. I am often too hard on myself, feeling like a failure for struggling with everything. In the end, it’s about balance and finding a way to be happy.

  9. Deb says:

    Your new list is the one you want to accomplish…those are the important things in life and you will get so much gratification from accomplishing them. We definitely expect too much from ourselves. Comfort yourself as you would a child and tell yourself that it is ok, that you are a blessing both to yourself and to others and then be one!! You’re on the right track now!! 🙂

  10. Love! Being a new mommy, a workaholic slowly morphing into a
    perfectionist it’s so hard to keep up.
    I wanted to start this blog and I just can’t find the time for it, to be
    established the way I want.
    I struggle every day to find the balance.

    • mamacravings says:

      Balance is a 4 letter word in our house. It’s so difficult to find it, and then there has to be the re-juggling to re-balance. Ugh. It’s hard. Keep on keeping on, mama. You’re doing a wonderful job.

  11. Thanks so much for posting this. I hate the feeling of guilt I have every day, because I’m not doing enough as a mom, partner or a writer. I just can’t keep up. Thanks for reminding me to appreciate the little things.

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