i typically try to focus on one or two things. sometimes they are small, like not eating sweets during the day
it wasn't long ago that b and i were mostly the same. granted he's always been insanely smarter than myself-- evidenced by the fact that i still don't
fast forward 12 years and b has not only become a partner at his firm, but he also has acronyms at the end of his name and listens to podcasts from harvard business school! fast forward 12 years for me, and i haven't worked one day in my degree and my idea of intellectual stimulation is the amazing writers of 30 rock. the point i'm trying to drive in is that brandon is really, really good at his job. can you see where this is going?
its hard for me to even get in the space of 'my job' as being a stay at home mom. i don't typically like the conversations i hear about it, and if i'm honest i always preface my title with a just in front of it. i've heard all the racket about how stay at home mom's have 'the most important jobs' and 'we are raising the next generation' and 'what a privilege and honor it is to stay at home.' i will concede that all of these are very true. especially the bit about it being a privilege to stay home. i don't say it nearly enough, but seriously not a day goes by where i don't thank god for being able to do what i do with, and for my family. i find it frustrating that society is so two-faced about it. on one hand it seems as though my job is very prestigious and esteemed, yet every day i feel like i'm barely making a difference... barely affecting my kids the way i should be... barely able to do the mundane tasks i'm called to. i'm frustrated that i always put that 'just' in front of my title.
so instead of settling for mediocrity in it all... i decided this year my new years resolution was to be really, really good at my job. god has called me to be a mother and a wife. first. first before my email, first before the spin class i'm dying to take, first before talking on the phone with my friends, and first before my bad ass (second) career as the greatest realtor around.
thankfully my first step was to do something i do pretty ding dang good... read. i started digging in to some of the great parenting books. however, i started to realize that while they all seem great while i was reading them, before the dust even settled on the pages i'd already forgotten all the magic they held. i don't know why it took me so long to realize that i really needed jesus to be a better parent. how quickly i forget. before i became a christian i tried and failed miserably to change. i tried to quit partying so much, fail. i tried to not be so insecure, fail. i tried to not be gossipy and jealous, fail. it wasn't like my coming to faith made me perfect by any means, but by the power of the holy spirit i really began to see change in my behaviors and thinking. i can't tell you how freeing it was.
perhaps my biggest motivator and also biggest failure was realizing that my ideas about success in my job were contingent on the behavior of my children. i was starting to see things that i really didn't like in the way they were turning out. parenting was getting harder instead of easier. i felt like i was doing my best but wasn't getting the results i wanted. unlike my husband, his success led to pay raises, a better car, daily pats on the back. my success's were measured in potty training, sleeping through the night and good manners but my failures were like a slap in the face with every temper tantrum, bad attitude, and bratty behavior. in my quest for knowledge b and i took a parenting class through our church. there was soooo much good stuff in it, but the one thing that really struck me more than any of it was one simple, obvious statement.
you are raising imperfect children to become imperfect adults.
duh, right? i couldn't believe i had never realized this. i can't tell you how embarrassing and humbling it was to realize that i might have been trying to raise perfect people. i mean, i know they aren't perfect but i think i honestly thought they might be if i just tried a little harder or did something a little different. i wasn't able to understand that kids do kid things. they blow it all the time.. just like me. that little bitty undeniable sentence set me free in a way that no book has come close to. for the first time in a long time i felt a freedom that allowed me to do my very best but not let the outcome affect my efforts.
so you need jesus to be a better parent? i need jesus for everything. but yes, i am realizing i have to be more prayerful. i have to be around people that are seeking the same outcome i am. i have to seek out moms that take their calling as a mom and a wife as their highest priority. i need to talk it out and be held accountable. and really, more than anything, i need the time each day to heal my own heart and search out my own shortcomings by humbly coming before the god i love and asking for forgiveness and assistance. for the first time in my life i really feel like i'm understanding dependence on him in a way i haven't yet known. and instead of feeling frantic, i feel free. free to finally be the mom and wife that will be glorifying to my god and have that be enough. cuz nothing is more worth that sacrifice than these faces: