So often in my life I have felt inadequate. I have felt undeserving of any compliment of my mothering, wifing, housekeeping. I have felt like the biggest sham on the face of the planet.
I think that this was two fold. On the one hand I felt like I was able to put on a decent front in front of other people and so they believed me to be something that I was not behind closed doors. And on the other hand I made assumptions about the other person's idea of this or that. For example if someone told me that I had such well behaved kids in public then I felt like a sham because let's face it behind closed doors they are no angels. I made an assumption that the person has this idea that my children are always well behaved. But perhaps this person has had children or been around children and knows that sometimes them not whacking each other over the smallest thing (usually a toy car) is great behavior. Perhaps their comment is TRUE. Perhaps they don't care what my children act like outside of the grocery store.
I have felt similarly about my home. I try my best and I've made huge strides this year. Strides that I'm proud of. As I glance around my home right now and see toys all over the living room floor, laundry needing to be put all the way away, and knowing that there are dishes on the counter and the floors need swept. I also know that I worked hard today and that this is just the result of living with four small children. I didn't used to know that. I didn't used to feel that it was ok for the house to not always be lived in and it's ok to accept, graciously, compliments given to me by others who happen upon my house on a good day. I mean really, the house didn't clean itself. I know because I've tried to let it in the past and it just doesn't cooperate.
All that to say that I feel free. On this issue of housekeeping and the pressures I once felt, I feel free. On the issue of parenting my children and the pressures I once felt, I feel free. I feel free to ignore the assumed pressures from other sources and focus on what KOJ and I believe is important to teach our children. I feel free to go to bed without washing that last dish and with a laundry hamper still flowing with laundry. There's always tomorrow. And really as long as I've loved my children well TODAY and put them to bed with lots of love. And as long as I've loved KOJ well today and go to bed at peace with him then well, that's all the housekeeping I need to concern myself with at the end of a long day. There's always tomorrow to wash that dish, put away that laundry, and have that little argument over something that will be completely meaningless within a few hours.
I think that the biggest changes in me over this last year have had little to do with housekeeping and EVERYTHING to do with finding some contentment and fulfillment in God. A recent verse in my bible study on contentment was from Psalm 139. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God knew my heart before I was ever born and He knows all the days of my life. He created me especially to be me. Finding a peace with that has just been amazing. It is what has lead to the sense of freedom I feel.
It also lead to being more on top of an issue I've long struggled with. My weight. I'm not perfect. Some days are better than others. But I'm trying and taking it one day at a time. If I screw up today, there's no reason in the world I can't pick myself up and do better tomorrow and in that mind set I'm very happy to say that I'm currently at a 14lb weight loss. It's just a small dent in the long term goal but it makes me able to face myself in the mirror everyday. Just knowing that I'm doing something about it makes me feel better about myself. My clothes are starting to fit better too. I can't wait for the day that I can move down a size. Eek, so exciting.
The feelings of inadequacy still sometimes try to settle in and I try my hardest to pray and remember who I am in God. It really helps a lot. But I do still have my struggles. Life isn't completely perfect, after all we're still here in this fallen world.