Feb 26, 2013

Dear Mom who feels like she is failing - Pour Your Heart Out


Dear Mom Who Feels Like She is Failing,

Let's face it, you probably are.  

{Look, if you want the sweet version go over to visit Finding Joy for a nicer different take, I'm being real}  

Don't misunderstand.  I don't think you are a failure.  I don't even know you. 

None of us are perfect.  We all have things we could be doing better.  I started writing this post and before I knew it I had created a bullet-point list of 15 ways I am failing as a wife and mom and friend.  
 
I don't look like this, and I like to pretend
I don't hate you if you do.
 A huge part of that list are things that the world is telling us that we have to do or be.  We have to "have it all".  A beautiful body, because you take care of yourself. A perfect home because you take care of your home.  Perfect, well behaved kids that are raised in one specific way of 100 different "perfect" ways to raise kids.  A perfect marriage.  A balanced life.  The ideal education, so you can have the perfect job, which you choose to stay home from so you can be the perfect mom (or stay at work so you can be a great model for your daughter).

The list goes on and on and on.

I have read a number of different blog posts about how we need to stop comparing and competing as women.  I've written one in the past as well.  I have nothing more to say.  Do your best to stop and I will too.

I think that we need to realize something as wives and mothers and friends:

We are ALL failing, some in small ways, some in big ways.  It's just life.  The world has crazy expectations for us.  We have crazy expectations for us.  Our husbands, mothers, in-laws, siblings, friends etc. ALL have crazy expectations for us.  We are failing to meet those expectations every single week.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  We are all struggling.  

I have NEVER had a serious, eyeball to eyeball conversation with another person without this truth being revealed: they think they suck {at least some of the time}.  Seriously.  The most confident, beautiful, successful women even struggle with this reality deep down.  Most people aren't looking at you and your failures because they are simply too busy looking at their own crap.

The only failures that are TRULY failures are the ones that don't help us become better people. 

Confession time: This last year has been really hard for me.  I have experienced failure.   I have struggled with forgiveness and deep hurt from a broken friendship, which resulted in the destruction of a community of friends I had worked hard to cultivate.  I've struggled with loneliness and I have stared self-loathing in the face.  I allowed those little negative voices to take this situation and eat away at a confidence I was just recovering, and then God came and "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along." (Psalm 40:2 NLT)

The situation isn't resolved, but I feel confident that I am on the right course.  He has been present in my life.  Present in my ministry.  Present in my home.  The failure knocked me down, but God did not leave me.  He put me on my feet and I started to walk again.  I learned some lessons, and I hope I'm better for it.  Do I wish the situation was resolved? Yes, of course!  But God has told me that it isn't my battle to fight anymore.

You made a mistake?  Learn from that mistake and do your best to make that failure a forward step.  You let a ball drop?  You forgot an appointment?   You disappointed a friend?  {Shrug}.  Yep.  Me too.   Just do your best every day, don't allow other people to define you, and like Dori from Finding Nemo says "just keep swimmin' just keep swimmin'".

For today, for myself, these are the expectations that are driving me: "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8) and "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27).
  
I'm sure I'm going to fail, but I'll just keep swimmin'...

Linking up in a couple of places: Here is one place... PS if you follow me, I will follow you... In fact I will probably follow you anyway (but I would love if you would follow, and return to visit and comment and ... wait.  too many expectations?)  Thanks for visiting today!  Follow, comment, do whatever you want, just glad that you are here!


17 comments:

  1. The irony of motherhood is that, in theory, you could do everything perfectly and your children could still turn out "wrong". Our children need to make their own decisions. Actually, this applies to every area of our lives. We could handle everything correctly and still "fail", because the other people have to make their own decisions.

    Thank you for nominating me for the Leibster award. I haven't forgotten. I need to think through questions and answers for my post :-)

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    1. :) Glad you stopped by! I agree 100%! In one of the earlier drafts of this post, I had a sentence or two about how I can only control me. I can't control other people, and sometimes that feels like a failure! It's not. It can't be a failure, it's someone else choice.

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  2. I love your words. "The failure knocked me down, but God did not leave me." Isn't it a beautiful thing that when we are so disgusted with ourselves, God is still as close to us as he always has been?

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    1. Thank GOD that He never leaves us, even when we wish we could!! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

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  3. This is such a lovely post, and so poignant to many of our lives as women, mother's and wives. It is so hard not to compare ourselves and feel like we come up lacking. Like you said, everyone comes up lacking or fails somewhere. We are selling ourselves short by not recognizing the things we are accomplishing.

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    1. I wish I made space in this post to talk more about that. We are all accomplishing so much! I know women who seem to be "failing" by the world's standards, but if you knew their story, you would realize just how much they are overcoming!! <3 you bloggy friend!

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  4. Isn't it funny how different everyone's idea of "perfect" is anyway? I have often found by talking with other moms that what I consider a failure isn't even on their radar. And they are worried about something completely different in their own lives.

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    1. I know! We are also accountable for different things! Thanks for stopping by and the thoughtful comment!

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  5. Great post. I would never strive to be perfect but I know some mothers do. I feel so long as my kids are happy and healthy by the end of the day that I've done my job.

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    1. Good for you! I wish I was there already! It's hard for me to not be thinking about all the things I could be doing better!! :)

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  6. I'm not a mother, but even so, this speaks to me. None of us is perfect--no matter how hard we try to be (and Gosh knows I try!). It's nice to be reminded from time to time that we're not alone. Great post!

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    1. :) I think most things I would write to a mom, I'm really writing to women. We are all struggling through... it's just important to remember that we are not alone!!

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  7. Knowing we are all failing in some way helps to keep us from feeling so alone.

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  8. I'm not a mother (yet), but I can still relate to the comparing women and always in competition with each other. Thanks for writing this post, also I am a new follower found you over at That's What She Said!

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    1. Thanks for the visit and follow!! (and the thoughtful comment). Heading over to return the favor!!

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  9. Your words helped to inspire my latest post "When Parenting Feels Like Drowning." Thank you for the reminder that we are all failing and struggling in some way. It's difficult to accept that we're not perfect especially when everyone sets such high expectations for us, but sometimes we just need to let our imperfections go. Thanks again for sharing these very important words with your readers! ~Xiomara

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