Lately, mom life has felt like a hamster wheel, and I want to get off. So, I made a bold new promise to myself.
I often say, “It’s not the mothering part of my life that’s hard. It’s everything else.”
Paying bills, managing the pool guy, calling the insurance company, volunteering at church, helping at my kid’s class. Buying groceries, planning meals, wiping countertops, making beds.
Some of those things are important. Most are not.
And so, at the end of this past school year, I wondered where the time went. And you might have done the same.
Then I realized something really sad.
My time this year went to pleasing everyone else.
To making a beautiful meal when we had our family friends over, but most other nights, throwing hot dogs on a plate for my family and calling it dinner.
To spending hours volunteering at my kid’s school, but when we get home, disappointing my child because I didn’t have time to play with him.
To getting a babysitter so I could buy a birthday gift for the classmate my kid doesn’t even know, and having my child say he really missed me while I was gone.
Why do I do this?
I’ll tell you why (and you might feel the same).
I want to feel important.
I want to feel rewarded and valued.
And if I’m being honest, most times, I don’t feel that way around my kids or my family.
For me, the need to feel important is one I have to keep in check. Because, if I’m not careful, I will look outside our home to fill that need, when I should be looking to my family and to God for my sense of purpose and importance.
Here’s the deal.
I’m not doing that anymore.
At the start of the summer, I made a bold new promise.
This year, I want to let more people down.
Like, it’s my goal to disappoint people. (I’m kind of laughing right now because I love this post so much.)
It’s a shocking, outlandish statement in our do-it-all, be-everything-to-everyone culture.
Our culture where “just” being a stay-at-home mom is never enough because you need to explain why you are too lazy to work.
Our culture where “just” getting your kids to school, dressed, is never enough because you’re not the room mom.
Our culture where “just” feeding the family dinner is never enough because it wasn’t organic or homemade or even healthy.
Our culture has an impossible standard to which women hold themselves.
But I’m saying I’m done with that.
I just want a break.
A break from perfection, from all the pointless responsibilities. From the commitments that take me away from parenting, and propel me into caring about strangers’ opinions more than the opinions of those in my own home.
Here’s my goal this year.
I want to work toward the joy of the people in my home. And no one else.
Yes, it’s crazy. But it’s possible.
Here’s an example of how I did this recently. I was about to have our fourth baby, and I’d already committed to writing a sponsored post for a wonderful, long-time brand which I love. I really didn’t want to disappoint them, but I decided that I needed a break from blogging to really wind down and enjoy newborn time.
Here’s what I wrote:
I hope you’re doing great! I wanted to check in and see if you’d mind if I bump my planned February blog post to March or April? My baby is due soon and I’m feeling the need to slow down and enjoy. :) Please let me know your thoughts, and if it’s a problem, of course I’m happy to honor my promised post date.
The person at the other end of this email totally got it! She responded enthusiastically that I should enjoy this special time, and to definitely get in touch when it was a better time.
I felt so relieved. I felt so free. I felt so in control.
See, what you spend your time on is 100 percent your choice.
So make the right one.
Choose the right things.
Choose the important ones.
The others don’t matter.
Let them down.
Have you ever experienced the overwhelming pressure to overcommit, so much that it detracts from your family? Share your experience on the Facebook page, and don’t forget to watch my Facebook Live for my favorite solutions for clearing away the schedule clutter, some real-life tips for prioritizing family, and easy ways to de-commit so that you have more time for what’s important.