|Birthday celebration at Benihana. Love sharing a birthday month with my baby girl!|
Reflecting upon my life and where I am now, I struggle with the concept of belonging. There are two things I know for sure:
1. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Gospel is true and membership in this church has brought me peace, joy and comfort. I may have confusion in my life but my beliefs always ring true and provide me a foundation I can trust.
2. I belong at home with my children. I know this without a doubt. They need me home and I need to be home with them.
The struggle lies in #2. I am not exceptionally good at being a mom or a homemaker. My mother-in-law is appalled at my laundering skills (As she should be. It's never done. EVER.) No matter how hard I try the clutter is always there and there is always something that needs to be cleaned. I LOVE going out to eat and am not a huge fan of cooking. I am amazing at organizing things but can't seem to keep anything in my house organized. I want to spend time quality time with my children but life just gets in the way. (If I had a dime for every time I heard "You NEVER play with us mom!") And let's not even address the loss of temper and yelling. I see so many articles floating around on Facebook about parenting - face your kids backwards in their carseat until they are four, you should wear your kids until they are preschoolers, stay away from GMOs, never yell at them, validate their feelings, don't put them in timeouts alone - that I have just stopped reading them because I don't need another thing to feel guilty or overwhelmed about. Ignorance is bliss. Bottom line - I know I belong at home but am struggling to find peace with not excelling and doing well at my current profession. I am used to doing well and excelling at anything I put my mind to in life.
I am an exceptional instructional designer, project manager and educator. But I don't belong at work anymore.
I am a great leader and have really enjoyed being a leader of a non-profit organization. But I can't stay on top of my home life much less add another thing.
So I struggle at 35 to find peace in the roles I know are meant for me. I struggle to scrap the high expectations I have always had of myself and accept a realistic standard. Overachieving moms out there - How do you that?
Maybe it lies in celebrating my strengths in my home life and having a sense of humor about the rest.
1. I am good at celebrating holidays and making traditions for my kids. Some bloggers have written verbose blog posts AGAINST how I celebrate holidays but who cares. It brings me and my kids happiness. So there. Santa is real. The tooth fairy brings sparkly dollars. The leprechauns come and wreck havoc on my home. And I do it so very well.
2. I am an AWESOME baker. Ask my Sunday School class.
3. I am good at remembering others and doing small acts of kindness for them. My kids are the same and it makes me proud.
4. I take my kids to the library and read to them each individually every day.
5. I love my children unconditionally and they know that it is ok to make mistakes. We practice loving and forgiving each other and applying the atonement in our lives. Daily.
6. We read the scriptures and pray together as a family every day. Followed by family hug and family kiss.