Sometimes I read something written by someone I've never heard of and something just snaps into place in my mind. It's like they've let me off the proverbial hook - that I've inevitably hung myself up on. Somewhere in my thirty four years I developed a bit of a perfectionist streak that only applies to certain parts of my life. Like the loaves of bread I sell. Or the things I sew. Or the way I am Mom. It's not that I put out a perfect product. It's that I hold myself accountable to a perfect standard and then kick myself when it never, because it can't possibly, comes out the way I think it should.
Today I read this post that a friend shared on facebook and I have been thinking about it ever since. There are two parts in particular that I am mulling over and over.
The first stems from this quote, "G, if you can't handle the three you have, why do you want a fourth?" She follows this with the reality that parenting is hard but that doesn't mean we can't/don't/shouldn't take on more responsibility. That line of logic wouldn't hold up in any other job scenario.
Many of you know that when I found out I was pregnant with #4 I went through a rough series of emotions at first. Though a part of me was happy, I knew we were essentially homeless and the timing just felt awful. Here I was pregnant and living with my parents. I was sure that other people would view this news as irresponsible and crazy. So I just didn't tell anyone, not even Michael, for weeks on end while I beat myself up and worried about it. Once the news was out, no one said anything remotely so rude as all that. In fact most people, including my parents, were very happy about it.
That helped to relieve the shame, but somewhere along the line I decided that since I was going to be having a fourth child, I could no longer complain about anything the other three did. That suddenly it had to appear to the world that I could handle it all. That's why this woman's words were so effective today. She let me off the hook. Parenting is hard. And my kids are sometimes really frustrating. And a lot of times I don't respond well. I look forward to the hours after they go to bed, when it's quiet and no one needs me. It's not all great and perfect in our peapod.
So I'm going back to being real about parenting. It wears me out and taxes my know how. Carrie is driving me crazy with the potty training. Daniel won't stop regressing to baby talk and tantrums. Brenna takes entirely too long to do homework and take showers. And I haven't figured out how to fix any of that. And that's ok.
The second thing I've been considering is the idea of chronos time verses kairos time. Or real time verses God moments. In writing my gratitude list and learning to be thankful in all situations I've begun to feel a bit guilty when I'm NOT doing those things. You may have noticed apologies at the beginning of some weeks because I didn't pay close enough attention. I got so caught up in life that I forgot to slow down and notice what God had to show me. That perfectionist thing got me again. I was aiming for finding it all and kicking myself when I couldn't live up to that.
I still want to strive toward seeing those gifts that God gives. I adore those kairos moments. They are special. But maybe they are special because the rest of the day was spent in chronos time. In reality. In this earthly living, being mom and wife. Maybe there's a place for both.Whoa.... let me just let that sink in.
It feels pretty good to be down off those hooks. I hope it lasts. I count the posting of this blog on facebook and my reading of it as a kairos moment in my day. A gift from a God who knows His children well and can reach through to their hearts even when they aren't expecting it.