The kids have been back to school since yesterday. Both mornings were far from stellar.
Books and hats missing.
Clothes not organized.
This is not how I wanted it to be.
I long for sweet and easy mornings where my children come calmly down the stairs, fully dressed and ready for the day ahead. I love the thought of a hot breakfast on the table and little ones willing to eat it. I dream of being able to share devotions before school and of sending my sweeties off with a word of blessing and a kiss on their heads.
Instead, our mornings look chaotic. Like ants in search of sugar, they scramble from room to room, directionless, gathering one thing while losing another. An hour goes by. Some of them eat. I am asked roughly four million questions, to which I am able to answer only 3. Instead of making a sandwich, one child delves into theological theory while another corrects his sister over a bowl of cold cereal. Showers are taken, some teeth are brushed, some hair is combed. But not all. Never all.
There are times when it is not like this. And I know we can do better. But somehow, right now, we are not. And I am frustrated with the whole of it. Because I know that in the midst of our messy mornings, we are missing out. Yes, my kids know well how loved they are. They live and thrive in a home with parents who adore them and love being together. And that is good. They have food and beds and a warm place to be. Also very good. And I know we are blessed to have what we have... and yet...
I also know we fall short.
And I am not a fan.
But, there is pressure that comes with those pictures I seek.... the way I wish it was causes me to miss the wonder of the way it really is. And I am learning that seeking perfection means choosing a path where I focus on the missing socks more often than on the sweet, little feet of the one who lost them. Which makes me sad, to tell the truth.
So, it is time for a change.
Maybe the change is bigger than me. Maybe you need it too. In a world of Pinterest Pretties and Stupendous Statuses, maybe it is time for something new. Because I have to tell you, I wonder what would happen if we all told the truth? It's a tricky thing for many of us, exposing our realities to other's polished posts. But, what would happen if we actually said, "I am not perfect and I am weary of trying to be."
Maybe, just maybe, we would find out that the perfect picture we are pursuing does not actually exist. And maybe, just maybe, we would discover that we are not at all alone but belong to a brotherhood (motherhood?) of mommas who are all in the midst of such struggle? Maybe the truth would come out that in all of our homes, something spills on the floor, our kids misbehave, mornings are crazy, the bathroom is a retreat and we fall into bed awash in a mix of wonder and frustration that tomorrow will bring more of this miraculous mix.
But here is what I know. I want to think about this more. I want to focus less on perfection and more on being present. I want to think less of how we present than how we really are. I want to set goals based on my reality, not on someone else's blog, tweet or status.
And yes, I want to do well, love well, raise well. But does perfection fit in the midst of these?
If you can relate at all, I have some ideas for what we do next. Not because I know the answer... but because I think I might finally know the question. :)
I have been given the opportunity to be part of a launch team for Jill Savage's upcoming book. The book is not yet out but the team has had the privilege of reading it now. It's shaking stuff up around here. But the shaking is really good. The title of the book is No More Perfect Moms. Don't you love it? There is a website you can peruse that has lots of resources for moms who are struggling with this very thing. Here are some other things that might help:
1. Sign up for a month of emails that will give you things to think about as you consider this important topic.
2. Get ready to buy the book! But not today! If you wait to buy the book between February 4-9 you will get lots of freebies to go with it! Afraid you will forget? You can sign up here to be notified when it's time.
This is a book I am going to delve into. For me, the time has come to balance my focus and remember the truth. And then tell the truth. Because I have to believe that I am not alone in my struggles or my mess or my frustration. I have to believe that the God who gave me these four children did not intend for me to spend their childhood wishing for something else. Contentment is lost in midst of such wishing. So is joy. And that is not what I want for my life or their lives or our life together.
Perfection is impossible. This year, let's get real.
Blessings on your day.