Perfection. Sometimes I think it’s a “four-letter word”. I am a recovering perfectionist and I don’t know if I’ll ever really get over it. This idea of perfection is perpetuated everywhere we look: Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok. All those other moms seem to have it together, so why do I always seem to miss the mark? We rarely see the behind the scenes of these “perfect moms’” photos and videos.
The last few months of 2021 and coming into 2022 have been very difficult for me. The busyness and constant grind has brought me to a place of extreme anger and frustration. I’ve felt for quite some time that I am holding on by a mere thread, that I’m going to lose my biscuits at any moment. I hate feeling like that, because that is not me. I’m usually very easy-going, laid back and understanding. But I’ve found myself getting angry with my family for the smallest of infractions. The fact that my house is a constant disaster is a contributing factor, feelings of inadequacy constantly barrage my mind, and I feel that I’m failing at every turn.
I knew that something needed to change, and so I talked with my husband and a trusted leader about what I’ve been facing. It’s been a real battle of the mind, and I know that the biggest reason I am where I am is that I have not been in the Word and prayer like I need to be. I am sure a lot of moms feel this way: we are constantly pouring out to our kids and spouses. But if there is nothing being poured back in, it’s not going to take long until we are running on fumes.
I’ve come to resent being a stay-at-home mom at times. The constant cleaning and looking after my little one’s needs has become something I dread. “Just leave me alone for five seconds,” has become a thought I repeat often. I’m exhausted and feel like I’m constantly snapping at people. Noise makes me crazy, and all I want to do is sit around and do nothing, but then my mind starts swirling in a chaos with all the things I need to do. I literally can’t win.
Today I was cleaning my daughter’s room, wondering again why I have to do this all alone. I was complaining as to why the load of chores falls completely on my shoulders. Why even try? Five seconds from now, it’s all going to be a disaster again. (This thought process is also very much not like me. I like an organized, clean, and tidy home.)
And then God started to softly speak to my heart, bringing this scripture from Colossians to the forefront of my mind.
Colossians 3:22-23 “Let every employee listen well and follow the instructions of their employer, not just when their employers are watching and not in pretense, but faithful in all things. For we are to live our lives with pure hearts in the constant awe and wonder of our Lord God. Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.”
I’ve always understood this scripture to mean serving in the church. Ministry–you know–the important stuff.
What if we served our families as if we were serving Jesus? What if we worked to clean the toilet or prepare meals as if Jesus was living at our house? In reality, He is always with us, but sometimes we forget that the Lord has entrusted our spouses and children to us. Instead of acting like victims or martyrs, we simply serve? As a stay-at-home mom, it sometimes feels like what we do has no bearing or meaning for the Kingdom of God. But the reality is, I get to minister to 3 people every day! My husband and my children are my ministry. It puts a little different spin on it, doesn’t it?
I’m not saying that it’s never hard. It is extremely hard! But I find that I get more frustrated and exhausted when I’m trying to serve them out of my own strength. The truth is, we need the infilling of the Holy Spirit for every good work, not just “ministry work”.
Things are getting better as I’ve reached for help, but I know it’s not going to just turn on a dime. I still have to change the thought processes that have become commonplace over the last few months. It takes time to replace negative thoughts with the positive. The truth is, being a mom is amazing, and our kids are a blessing from God. I love this verse from The Passion Translation:
“Children are God’s love-gift; they are heaven’s generous reward.” - Psalms 127:3
So, maybe all this time I just needed a perspective shift.