Having done this writing game now for almost five years, I've learned a thing or two. I've seen trends on topics come and go. Some will peak my interest, some barely get noticed. I follow a lot of blogs and keep up with the highlights of others through facebook or twitter or whatever...the point is...I see a lot of posts.
One topic I am sick to death of reading about...hating on "over achieving moms". Or the "overly multi-tasking moms". Or the "super moms". Or the moms who "do things for show" (their assumption). Or the moms "who make others look bad"(again, their perception). The mommy blogger who gets up on her soapbox and tells the world that moms like me are "fake", "neglectful of their children", and otherwise "not as good at mommyhood as they are for being able to get a lot done in a day". Quotations paraphrase actual blog post content I have read in the last few months.
They assume that because THEY don't operate in the same manner successfully, that no one can. They work in extremes or if-then worlds.
Can we please just knock it off? Can we please just resolve ourselves to worrying about how we spend our own 24 hours. What I do or don't do in a day has ZERO effect on what anyone else in the world does with THEIR 24 hours.
I'm often asked, both nicely and not so nicely alike, "How do you get so much done in a day?".
Here is my official answer:
Most days I am up an hour before my kids. I spend 30 minutes reading my Bible and devotionals. Most days I do get in some creative time, some work time, some laundry time, some coffee time, some writing time, some other time filling activity time, some driving to and fro time, some couponing time and some other time. I bust my buns to do it all. I miss meals because I get distracted by cleaning out the closet. I drink a lot of coffee. We'll skip dinner sometimes and have a milkshake instead. I don't watch TV much...but when I do, I am always doing something else to make it productive. I only read books that are true or make me a better person. I never stop moving. We play hard, we work hard. All days I am up hours after everyone else is in bed. Every day I give something in my house a thorough cleaning/purge...a drawer, a closet, a cabinet, etc. I add ten things to pinterest and maybe do one of them. We are VERY picky about our time commitments. Mess stresses me OUT. We play with our kids, we discipline our kids, and we are involved with our kids.
My favorite scripture is this: "Teach us to make the most of our time so that we may grow in wisdom" Psalm 90:12. My life verse. The verse that automatically plays in my head when I am choosing between watching TV or washing the dishes. This is just how I am wired. I hustle. I work hard. I will be accountable for how every minute of my life is spent. A lot of "I" statements that have nothing to do with any other mother on the planet.
I'm not mentioning any of that to brag...I'm saying it to show who makes the choices on how I spend my 24 hours. I do. Do you know how many times in a day I think "well I need to get x, y, z done today to make me look like a good mom"? None. You know what I do think of? My husband, working hard at his "real" job, my boys and the kind of childhood we are trying to create for them and Jesus, and what HE would want me to do with my time that day.
I pray most days "Lord, show me how to use my time today". And then I listen.
Fretting about how others perceive my actions takes away from the things that I should be doing instead. I've learned over the years (and with the skin thickening agent known as public writing) not to care what others think.
Wasn't it Eleanor Roosevelt who said
"Do what you know in your heart to be right,
because in the end you will be criticized anyway".
Yup. I've arrived there and sprinkled it over everything in my life.
And it's as nice as unicorns and rainbows.
If seeing what other moms do, via any social media outlet, makes YOU feel inadequate, then stay away from those outlets. Better yet, just stop comparing. Comparison is the enemy of joy and contentment. Take a look at your own heart and get right with you. You could very well be doing exactly what you are called to do each day, but if you are so busy using someone else's to-do list to check off your own tasks, then you will miss it. Miss the reward of knowing the JOY in that moment. It would be like packing for a trip to the hot and sunny beach but making sure you have everything for Alaska instead. It just doesn't make sense.
Making assumptions on others based on the tiny fraction of their lives that you DO see just hurts everyone involved. You are hurt because you aren't living up to perceived standards and they are hurt because you casting untrue characteristics on them. It's dumb.
My heart for women everywhere is to do EXACTLY what God has called them to do. Because truly, right there, in the perfect little nest the King has made for you, will you find what is ultimately more fulfilling and satisfying for you anyway. Love yourself enough to do that. Look up.
This confession, ironically enough, puts me at odds with a whole other group of moms who ask:
"What DO stay at home moms do all day??". We won't even go there. :)