Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's Just Too Much

Lately I've felt beaten down by life.

Someone made a comment a while back about how I unrealistically expect too much out of myself and as the comment was said in love and truth, I have pondered it a lot.

I have always struggled with wanting to do things perfectly and now that I'm on the mommy train it seems that I am constantly failing my ideology.

I post about what a horrible housewife I am, cry about what a miserable excuse for a mother I am, and feel general guilt about all of the other things in life that are sliding without me being able to keep up.

Last night on Master Chef, the blind contestant had to make an apple pie in one hour and fifteen minutes. She was sobbing- saying how horrible it was and how she was going to be sent home. And then the camera zoomed in on her pie, and it was BEAUTIFUL. The judges loved it and the other contestants cheered and clapped. They told her that she needed to stop being so hard on herself and believe that that she's doing a good job even though she can't see it herself.

I seriously bawled. I know it's a TV show and all, but that is so my life right now. I am working, working, working. But I can't see what I'm doing, and I've convinced myself that it is the worst job ever done by anybody.

Motherhood and writing a novel have a lot in common. I focus on the little details and each little description/diaper change/character/meal and when my two year old smacks down my nine month old or I can't quite get a scene right- I feel as though my entire world is falling apart.

But the truth is, when I'm in despair about something so small- life is good.

When my biggest worry is that I haven't folded laundry in a week and there are piles in the basement waiting for some sort of goddess to take over- I am BLESSED.

When the therapist comes and the house is a disaster because my kids have strewn toys every which way, I am THANKFUL that my kids have the toys, space, and health with which to inflict such damage.
(I had the therapist hold up the magazine that was on the couch to prove the irony of my life)

When I'm working in frustration with my head in my hands because I can't get a chapter JUST RIGHT, I am overwhelmed with gratitude at how far my book has already come from two years ago when I told my friend "Hey, I have this crazy idea...."

When I ponder stress in certain relationships, I look at all of those around me who are going out of their way to make sure I feel loved and supported, and I am in awe of the amazing people in my life.

When I'm muddling through a day where everything seems to go wrong, I stop and think about WHAT is happy in that moment- and without fail I can find something:

the neatness of a made bed
cold sweet tea from McDonalds
a really great description that pops off the page
a blueberry cobbler straight out of the oven
a smile from my kids
a snazzy mom-mobile to light up even the most boring of errands
a friend stopping by for coffee
a really green lawn
a vacuumed floor
a sweet Facebook message
a good workout
(thank you to all of you who shared your "happy moments" with me on my Facebook wall)

Sometimes I need to back up and stare at my life through a different set of eyes to really see what's going on. Sometimes I just need to take a chill pill when I feel the fingers of defeat start to curl around my throat because the kitchen counters haven't been wiped down in two days.

Sometimes I need to just tell myself that I am doing my very best and that IS PERFECT.

To the commenter who told me that I unrealistically expect too much out of myself- you were right.

I will keep working hard to get everything done, but when I don't?

It will still be an awesomely wonderful day.

Thank you.


2 comments:

  1. Firstly, let me just say that I'm relieved. I opened this post expecting to read something about it all being too much and you're taking a break from blogging, to which my response would have been 'nooooooooo'. Phew ;)

    I know those feelings well, but you're right - we can't give 110% to everything and sometimes it's just enough to have our children fed, played with and loved. Kitchen counters can wait. We need to focus on what we ARE achieving, not what we SHOULD be. And you are a wonderful mummy, writer, wife, blogger, friend... :)

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  2. Maria from SpainJune 20, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    From the other side of the screen, when I peer at your life through the blog window I see: a beautiful young Mom, healthy, highly educated, who comes from a loving and close family, and has married a wonderful man and has 2 amazing and beautiful children. Yes, having a baby and a toddler is tiring. Having children changes someone's life, and before having them you were used to seeing stuff at the same spot where you left it and now everything is messy. And the first months with a very sick Chubbs were HARD. But I feel you have adjusted pretty well. Just in case it helps my home is also messy and I don't have children. Please, be nice to yourself. The example with the blind tv contestant is perfect. I really feel you're tired and need a vacation. Hugs and kisses from Spain :)

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