7.9.14

I can't do it all, and that's ok.

A little bit of self talk. A little bit of rambling. 

The day to day is what is real, tangible, substantial. I've been trying so hard to do it all, often times I feel like I'm failing at everything. Perhaps it seems redundant, but yesterday the realization that I can't do it all struck me like a ton of bricks. I've been struggling to find a healthy balance with everything-- the kids, things I enjoy, things I need to do. The thing that struck me most is that I need to learn to tell myself, "No".

No, I can't do it all. No I can't do that craft. No, I don't have time to take beautiful pictures. No, I don't have time to sew things that are extra. It's not good enough for me to just do the bare minimum for my family. They deserve the best of me, the best that I can give. That means having to say no to other people a lot, even when I'd like to say "Yes, sure!"

It's not to say that doing things I enjoy, and that can be really amazing to those looking at this life from the outside, are wrong in and of themselves. What is wrong though, is focusing my patience on those things outside my little home and leaving little for the ones who deserve the most and the best of my time, and patience, and love. 

The other day I was talking with my kids in the car about how those that are closest to us deserve the best of what we have to offer because those are the people who matter the most. The "cool kid" maybe be awesome, but if he or she isn't in your circle of trust and family (family can be friends too!), then although your efforts can be kind and generous...if you turn around and treat your family crumby when you get home then the soul of the matter needs to be addressed. I'm guilty of those things. The ones closest to you know you most intimately, and sometimes we feel safe in our anonymity with strangers or acquaintances. Deep down though, what we really crave is to be known, and understood, and accepted in the mess that is "Me".

 Someone the other day mentioned to me that I always have amazing projects going and beautiful pictures on my Facebook and Instagram reel. Yes, it's my highlight reel! It keeps me going. It's my little "escape". The fact that the sink is full of dishes, and the couch is full of laundry escapes from being seen...because I planned it that way. I had to rush through a recipe, taking pictures as I went, while my daughter clung to my side in the sling, whining that she too was ready to eat. In those moments I feel frustrated with those things around me because my attention is wanting to be elsewhere. My mind is wanting to be on all things pretty and easy. But that just isn't life right now. Life right now is demanding and dirty, messy and frustrating at times. The toy I posted to Instagram is cute and fun, and I'd love to make a bazillion of them to sell because that would be fun for me, I just don't have the time. I don't have the time because the baby only naps for 5-7 minutes at a time and I'm holding her the rest of the day 95% of the time, while being mommy to the others, too. And that, that is what I love most. That I am needed by my little family.

As time goes on, and the kids grow and our life morphs into what it is meant to be, I see me morphing into more of who I am supposed to be right now. I struggle so much every time I do something for the family to let it just be for the family. There is this level of pressure from outside sources, and within me as well, that keeps pushing me to make everything something more for the outside world.  The thing is that maybe God just wants me to be hidden within my little family and to let my talents and skills be used to build this family up. It reminds me of what I hear in my church community about using our time and our talents to glorify God. Yes indeed, I do want to do that. For now, perhaps in the quiet and stillness that is my family--that is the best place for it.

I was very clearly reminded the other day that I am never going to be like the cool homeschool mom's that I observe at classes and extra curricular activities. My kids went to an awesome art class the other day and one of the mom's asked me if I was planning on going to another event the following day. No, I explained, we had Lisette's cardiology appointment. We have therapy appointments that change times each week. I have kids who are most comfortable at home. Not anti-social, but social anxiety! They crave to go home after being out. They take a day to recover. I wish, sometimes, that I could be like those other mom's. Sometimes I wish that my kids were like their kids-- you know, easy.
My idea of easy is so silly though. I read the greatest thing the other day. It read something like, "If your family were like what you imagine would be perfect, you would be bored out of your mind." Truth. It's such a truth. I much prefer the messiness of this life. God knew what he was doing when he brought us all together. And so I wouldn't trade it for the world. My struggle is in embracing it more fully each day.
I wouldn't change a thing despite how challenged I may feel at night when I take a moment to breath after some crazy day of appointments and difficult personalities. The love and concern that I feel for my little ones bubbles up and overrides any desire that may come to do something "else". That's as it should be. I think this is more self-talk than anything else. Celeste, you're doing exactly what you should be doing. Embrace it, and relax into it.

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