When I look back I always feel a bit silly, but there are some decisions that I just labor over unnecessarily.
Recently, it was whether or not to put our kids on the bus. I thought about it all summer and come the first day of school, I still could not choose. Logically, it makes so much sense to use the bus system and it seemed like the best option for our family in this stage of life. Yet I had such a hard time getting on board with it.
I felt that because I am a stay at home mom, I am supposed to drop and pick them up from school. Nevermind the incredible savings and convenience it affords our family. That’s just what you are supposed to do.
Says who? I don’t know, its just what I felt I should do. (Even though I know that the shoulds of motherhood typically are not a good thing for me.) I felt as if the good, godly mothers pick their kids up from school, and that since I had no desire to sit in two separate car lines twice a day I was being selfish. Good moms choose to make the time to be there for their kids in that way, regardless of the cost.
At my husband’s prompting, I finally relented after 4 days of car-line craziness.
And we love it. The kids love it. It was a good decision for our family and I almost let mommy-guilt keep me from it.
I’m thankful that it didn’t take a long time to get over the “shoulds” of whether or not to bus my kids to school. And though this may seem like such a small decision, it was a struggle to make it. I spent too long acting as if my every decision depended on my worth as a mother.
Do you struggle with the seemingly small decisions feeling as if they are attached to your worth as a mom? Maybe it plays out in other areas of your life in how you spend your money or time? Do you rob yourself of the joy and freedom you have in Christ to use your senses and will to make good decisions—regardless of the pressures you feel to measure up?
I can relate. My worry obsession right now are the bus for my 13 year old and homeschooling my little ones. My 13 year old has no interest in being homeschooled.
I fall into the comparison trap all too often, forgetting that my life is not like “her” life, and God gives grace to all of us in the middle of our circumstances. Thanks for sharing!
Katie, this blog touched me quite a bit because I struggle with many of the same kinds of things. I am so glad that you let go of your guilt and decided to use the bus. Just because you are a stay-at-home-mom (and, hello! you also are publishing a book!) does not mean that you need to “do” certain things that “other moms” might have a “better excuse” for not doing. Doing your “best” does not have to mean “if you are not breaking your back to put in your VERY BEST EFFORT, you are not trying hard enough.” Beware of the perfectionism trap.
I worry all the time about my son’s eating habits. He won’t eat meat or vegetables. Then I remind myself: he eats cheese, yogurt, tons of fruit . . . and HE’S TWO! We have plenty of time to work up to meat and vegetables, even though he doesn’t like them right now. The bottom line: we are all doing the best we can. We need to give ourselves more of a break. Sometimes it helps me to imagine that, when I am talking to myself and giving myself encouragement, I am trying to help a loved friend. I tend to be much less difficult on others than I do with myself. 🙂
Oh, perfectionism. It is amazing to me how I can look at someone else with grace, and wisdom yet let it all fly out the window when I look in the mirror.
Praying you are encouraged today. YOU ARE A GREAT MOMMA!!!
This post was especially personal to me today. I chose to home school my children for the 2012/2013 school year. A 2nd grader and a 5th grader. We had a lot of good days but more bad days. I was determined to try it again this year and I put in quite a bit of effort and money to make it happen. Last week was our first week and this past weekend it was very clear that home schooling is not the right path for our family. Today, I am going through the process of enrolling them in elementary school, which I have such peace about. My 4 year old will be in Preschool 20 minutes away from my elementary age children and they get out at about the same time. I have never even entertained the thought of my kids riding the bus, what kind of mom does that? Well, I think I am that kind of mom. This past year of educating my children at home revealed quite a bit about myself. The biggest force behind any decision I make regarding my children is guilt. I’ve come to the conclusion that guilt will not have a say in making the decision for my kids to ride a bus home to give me some flexibility. Such silly things the enemy uses to steal our time and peace.
Sounds like our year last year. I made it through the bulk of the year, but once we decided in February that we would not be returning to homeschooling this year, we went ahead and put Kenneth in the last 9 weeks of second grade.
I am confident that is what is best for him, for me, and for our entire family. Yet I let guilt and “the shoulds” steal my joy.
I think too, I dealt with feeling like a sub-class Christian mom. Since I didn’t LOVE to stay home with my babies, and didn’t LOVE to homeschool, though a great privilege it was. I was less of a godly mom, since all the REALLY godly moms stay home and school their kids. Right? 🙂
It’s just not God’s will us, and though I will hold it open every year with an open hand, I really don’t think that I will be homeschooling again.
Praying encouragement for you today, Misty!
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