I’m reading a book with my women’s bible study called “Present Over Perfect” and while I’m only halfway through, generally the premise is that so often we get stuck trying to be everything for everyone, except for those we really need to be there for. We’ll bend over backwards for those who are in our “outer circle” (your happy hour buddies, friends I see 3x a year) but they aren’t really our “people”. My people are my family, my closest friends… these are the people that I’m going to call when I get crazy news – good or bad.
And as a result, we live this frantic life trying to do, do, do. We leave no margin in our life and so we are exhausted and overrun. We keep ourselves busy doing unimportant tasks for people who really aren’t that important to us. We’ll cancel our family plans because our boss’ boss asked us to start a huge project at 4pm on a Friday (due Monday morning). Or we’ll try to take on the Team Mom, Room Mom and PTA Coordinator roles – but by the time our kids get off the bus, we’re wiped out and angry because we’ve been stretched too thin trying to be too much for everyone else.
I can completely relate to this. I often say yes to too much and then our family life suffers. I sign us up to volunteer for events, or to host friends on the same day we have back-to-back sports activities. I find I either say YES to everything, or YES to nothing. It’s hard to find that happy medium. So our life will be crazy hectic for 4-5 weeks and then completely dead for a month or two so we can recover.
Even when I’m resting, I’m not really resting. I’m mentally planning my kid’s upcoming birthday party or I’m folding laundry while I relax and watch a show. I think mom’s are especially guilty because we take on so much when it comes to our children. I want to be super mom and working mom and helper/volunteer mom and party planning mom and playdate mom. I want it all.
But at what cost? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. How can I really find the balance that we need for our family? This book has really helped me remember that sometimes saying YES to something only feels important for a moment, but when I look back at my life, does my YES really matter. I want to do things that make our family better. That give us more margin to do things God might spring on us. Not to have us suffering as we run from one activity to the next, one to-do list to the next.