to the mom lost in a world of expectations

The past couple of days I have felt like I’ve pretty much disappointed everyone around me.

I don’t even know how it happened, really. I don’t wake up thinking today will be the day I let everyone down. I don’t know, honestly, how I can seem to fail in such crazy ways when my heart truly is one for others. I’m sure I’m like you where we wake and want to do our best and to just be good in this world. And when that best doesn’t feel like enough or when it’s not seen or when we’ve just had enough it can be just so  painful. Maybe I feel like I’ve disappointed me too. After all, today, on top of it, I sent my 6th grader to school not believing he was sick and then he comes home with a 103 fever.

It’s so easy to attach #fail to a day. Or a couple of days.

So tears have flown.

Big tears friends.

Being a human is hard sometimes.

Being a human in a world of expectations and to-do lists and overwhelm and hurrying up and deadlines and friendships and work and motherhood is really hard sometimes.

expectatinos3

We’re looked to have it all together and yet, sometimes, especially during the stress of the holidays if you’re like me you trip and don’t even realize it until your knees are kind of skinned up and you’re wondering what’s happened. And by then you’re behind and just getting caught up seems daunting and everyone is racing ahead while you catch your breath.

I’m really tired.

That’s what I told my friend this morning.

I’m tired of feeling like I don’t do enough or measure up or that I don’t fit in the parameters that are set out for me.

So today today I’m letting it all go.

I’m letting go of unhealthy expectations and am instead choosing to focus on what I write about – the little things in life. When I look at the big picture I get overwhelmed because too often the big picture is tainted by unrealistic expectations that don’t define worth and distort the beauty of the big picture.

You see, being a friend and being a human means understanding. It means grace. It means learning to see things through a different paradigm than the one we’re living in.  It means that you and I start to see ourselves with much more grace for where we are and that we are doing our best and we stop being so hard on ourselves.

It means learning from the past but not letting it define our today.

So to you reading these words. You choking in a world of expectations and to-do lists and sometimes overwhelm I want you to let them go – just for a moment. You can pick them back up – you can let them be there – but right now I just want you to breathe.   I want you to see that you – the core of you – is truly valuable. And in being valuable you are worth filling your life with that which is good and beautiful.

expectations2

You bring joy to your kids’ lives.  

You are the one who kisses the skinned knees and bumped heads and makes them better. You are the one rocking them at 2 am. You are the one demanding answers when none seem to be found. You are the one making tough decisions. You are the one rolling cookie dough out and knowing it will be mess but doing it anyway. You are the one giving and giving and giving.

Sometimes it may seem that we are lost in the stream of life and motherhood and that we don’t matter.

But, you know, you not only matter but you, my sweet sister, are a life giver.

Yes, you.

Your kids need you. Believe me they do.

Your friends need you. Trust me.

Sometimes this whole thing can just hurt and be hard. I know. I’ve shed enough tears the past couple days. But, my friends, I’m not sitting there. We’re not sitting there. Instead we are going to work together to fill our lives with good. To fight for our hearts. And to see the little things. And to be the voice of encouragement versus discouragement for those in our lives.

We don’t need critics during this journey. We need friends.  We need friends who remind us to see the beauty in life and the way we matter and how life is a gift.

Right now.

The little things.

Like ornaments made by kindergarteners. Cookies from Santa. Falling snow. Friends that are real friends. The way the clouds turn pink in winter. Eggnog lattes made at 4:14 pm. The ability of us to connect via this amazing medium known as the internet.

Hope for the future.

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I’m so thankful you read these words.

Maybe I’m thankful because they made me feel just a bit less alone. Maybe they reminded me of the little things that are beautiful things. But, more than all of that, it was this connection between you and me and all these different moms who believe in living full lives. In a group of us who are tired of expectations of worth based off of externals but instead are willing to love and link arms with each other – as imperfect sojourners in this world – and sticking through with each other.

When we encourage we give hope.

So today, encourage. Be the friend that looks at her friends and tells them you appreciate her.

You will change their lives.

Especially today.

~Rachel

#findingjoy

 

9 Responses to “to the mom lost in a world of expectations”

  1. December 18, 2015

    THERESA Reply

    Wish i would have read this wednesday night when tears fell and i let the wave of emotion wash over this tired overwhelmed mom who feels her childs failures are hers as much as her childs. Christmas cards half done, nothing wrapped, no cookies made, no snow to make it feel like christmas magic.
    Today is better. Cards are done. Cookies may not make the “to done list” this year and im ok with that. Visited my kindergarteners class and decorated gingerbread houses with the class. Thats where the magic started my christmas season. Heres to letting the wave of emotions wash over and pass.

  2. December 18, 2015

    Patty Reply

    Rachel, you always have just the right words, at just the right time.

  3. December 19, 2015

    Bekah Reply

    You always seem to write the exact words that I need to hear. Lately as a mom, I know my temper has been short and in the mornings I have all intentions to be a better mom but it hasn’t been happening. I’ve really been praying that I can find the right group of mom friends that I can lean on and be leaned on. Thank you for your honestly, I really find comfort in your posts.

    http://www.bekahcurtiss.blogspot.com

  4. December 19, 2015

    ShariLee Reply

    Even Mom’s whose kids are fully grown and have families of their own can experience this phenomenon. I recently moved to Ocala, FL from Orlando, and it hard because it was not actually by choice, but by necessity.

    None of it was easy, and the expectations from my kids were especially hard. I didn’t cry at first because I’m too stoic for that … Instead, I just took a nose dive into deep depression. I felt judgment coming at me from every conceivable angle. Nobody here seemed to see me.

    Finally, I got hold of myself though, and I did cry it out. Now I’m climbing back out of a hole.

    This is the most important part I want to really share with everyone: climbing out of a deep hole is much harder than it was to give up and fall in. I knew that, but I couldn’t seem to help myself.

    Now I realize that to cry is to cleanse and release tension, pressure and even the pain of being misunderstood. It can actually help clear things and right the perspective.

    I found, once again, that getting on my knees and asking the Lord for help; getting into His word and reading His loving, comforting messages in Psalm 103 and 118 out loud to myself; and then resolving to quit feeling sorry for myself, “suck it up,” and step back into life–has all working to bring me back to my old self–ONCE AGAIN.

    I am grateful because things are moving along more smoothly, and I am truly “Finding Joy,” and I can really enjoy the spirit of this amazing season celebrating the birth of our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas, sweet Rachael, and may God richly bless and your precious family, ShariLee

    • January 4, 2017

      Heather Reply

      ShariLee,
      Rachel’s words and your words about the depression and the hole really resounded with me. I, too, am trying to get into God’s word to find myself again. Thank you.

  5. December 19, 2015

    ShariLee Reply

    Even Mom’s whose kids are fully grown and have families of their own can experience this phenomenon. I recently moved to Ocala, FL from Orlando, and it hard because it was not actually by choice, but by necessity.

    None of it was easy, and the expectations from my kids were especially hard. I didn’t cry at first because I’m too stoic for that … Instead, I just took a nose dive into deep depression. I felt judgment coming at me from every conceivable angle. Nobody here seemed to see me.

    Finally, I got hold of myself though, and I did cry it out. Now I’m climbing back out of a hole.

    This is the most important part I want to really share with everyone: climbing out of a deep hole is much harder than it was to give up and fall in. I knew that, but I couldn’t seem to help myself.

    Now I realize that to cry is to cleanse and release tension, pressure and even the pain of being misunderstood. It can actually help clear things and right the perspective.

    I found, once again, that getting on my knees and asking the Lord for help; getting into His word and reading His loving, comforting messages in Psalm 103 and 118 out loud to myself; and then resolving to quit feeling sorry for myself, “suck it up,” and step back into life–has all working to bring me back to my old self–ONCE AGAIN.

    My girls are wonderful and resiliently special to their Mom (me), and I am so thankful for their love and care. Sometimes I forget just how blessed I am to be their Mom.

    I am grateful because things are moving along more smoothly, and I am truly “Finding Joy,” and I can really enjoy the spirit of this amazing season celebrating the birth of our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas, sweet Rachael, and may God richly bless and your precious family, ShariLee

  6. December 22, 2015

    Beth Reply

    Thank you.That’s all. Just. THANK YOU.

  7. October 13, 2016

    Elizabeth Froio Reply

    Thank you for all you do for us. You inspire me with your words and actions every day. You/your words are an inspiration anytime I need to pick myself back up again. Thank you for what you do for all of us.

  8. January 4, 2017

    Amber Darley Larios Reply

    Wish you message people cause Im feeling that too

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