By Guest Blogger, Julie Fritz
There I was, in the parking lot of the DMV, crying my eyes out. A full on ugly cry that I could not control. But why, why was I sobbing so hard on this day? Well, I was in a place I think a lot of us find ourselves in. I had hit my limit. Too many things to do, not enough time to do them. And let’s not forget about the pressure. Pressure to be the best mom, wife, friend, citizen, volunteer and employee I can be. As I sat there trying to get myself together, the phone rang. Luckily, it was the best friend anyone could ask for, who also happens to have perfect timing. Once she calmed me down, she reminded me that all this pressure and the to do list was coming from within. I was failing to give myself grace and know that I am enough. Thank God for good friends…am I right?
We have all been there. Maybe your breakdown wasn’t at the DMV, but you know what I am talking about. We all have limits. There are times where we all feel overwhelmed, under appreciated and so far behind on all the things. Life can be tough, parenting is really tough and balancing all things your family needs is a lot. Moms aren’t just moms, we are managers. We feel responsible for making sure all the logistics and day to day needs are handled for everyone in our family. And if you are anything like me, you want to be good at it, all the time. All too often, we are balancing way more than we are capable of and then we are surprised when something gets dropped.
The key to preventing these breakdowns in our lives is actually pretty simple. We all have to learn to give ourselves grace. In the midst of this moment in my life, I am starting to learn a few things about how to do this. I have started by deciding it is ok for me to admit that I am not ok. I always put on a brave face and appear as if I have got it all under control. That is until I don’t. I feel it coming every time. I’m trying to stop before it gets that far. To say “Hey world, I’m not okay so I’m gonna do some self care to get back on track.”
I am also working on being ok with saying I am at capacity and I can’t take on any more. I want to be a yes person. I want to do everything, for everyone, all the time. Well guess what? No one is capable of that without burning out. If I am going to feel good about what I am doing and be able to do it well, I am going to have to be a little more selective. People appreciate your honesty when it comes to this and are more than likely going to be supportive of your decisions.
Here’s the thing, I am enough. I just forget that sometimes. I am proud of my life, my family, my friends and my work. But I can’t beat myself up when I get overwhelmed, that is counterproductive.. And I’m not focused on this just for me. I think the most important reason that I am trying to learn to give myself grace, is that I want my children to be able to give themselves grace. My most important job in this world is to be their Mom. And what comes with that is being an example of how to love yourself and care for yourself. I would never want them to think that they were not good enough. If I can learn how to set healthy boundaries in my life, so I can be present for them and good to myself, they will see that and, hopefully, adopt it in their lives as they grow.
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Thanks for this blog. I needed to hear it from another mom. Being 12 weeks pregnant and sick as a dog, with a 3yo and 6yo at home, I’ve never been so unproductive in my life. But I’ve accepted that if I can complete 2-3 chores/errands/projects a day, that’s good enough. I have a growing list of things to do and people to visit, but I’ll just get there when I get there. If those people know me well, they know I would have visited them earlier. In the meantime, I email/text to let them know I’m thinking of them. I’m still ok to make it to social commitments, but that will end soon, and I will be ready to be ok with that, and the people who care about me will understand.
Loved this post, and it’s so timely for me. Mostly…for me, it comes down to this ever-so-important line regarding our kids: “I would never want them to think that they were not good enough.” We have to stop beating ourselves up. We are enough! And so are our kids!