It’s the middle of the night, the 4 year old is at my bedside, “I need help with my covers.” He went right back to sleep, but momma did not. Now it’s 4 something, and I know my alarm will go off soon. My anxious tired thoughts are interrupted by a loud thud and little swooshing footsteps. It’s the toddler. She has learned to jump out of her crib, sleep sack and all. 4:50am and it’s time for an escape. Grabbing her before she wakes up her brother, I try to process rational thoughts. None come to mind. I’m running on 48 seconds of sleep and dealing with a level 8 prison break. The workout I had planned, obviously, scratched, and then my husband whispers softly, “I’m going into work early”.
Mental load is a hot topic floating around the inter-world. All these stressed out anxious mommas running around juggling all of the balls, feeling all of the pressure and not seeing any hope in sight. Myself included. It’s happening to working mommas and stay at home mommas alike. While not everyone feels it to the same degree, the anxious, ball-juggling routine, seems to be an equal opportunist. It makes me sad because I know God has called us to an abundant life. So what’s the deal?
While certainly equals, men and women ARE NOT the same. Women are the keepers of all the things, the buyer of the things, the knower of the things, the projectors of the things and the planners for the things to come. The most expert (or not) of jugglers. So what do we do?
Dropping some balls..
Step 1 is acknowledging that some things will break, some will bounce and some you can say goodbye to. Everyone’s break, bounce and bye bye categories will be different. That’s okay. The key is knowing you cannot do it all, and neither can anyone else. If sister-friend walks in looking good and you were lucky to put on pants, just know – that’s her thing. If homegirl packs her hubs lunch everyday with little love notes, and you may have or haven’t spoken to yours this morning before jetting out the door, cool, that’s her thing.
Step 2 is deciding. All this break and bounce talk is good, but unless you boil it down and put it to paper you may never really know. Where are you spending your time? Where are you spinning your wheels? When are you struggling the most? What are your most important, “don’t let them break” things? What do you enjoy (yes, that too)? But, you may also need to give up some time suckers, a lot of this is about evaluating what’s worth your time. Here is some permission, your list can change from season to season.
Step 3 is the hardest, find your community. People, especially women, need community. Not the community that we vent to on socials or just visit on Sundays looking our best. A real community that will walk with you and carry your burdens. As much as I love the church, this is a place we have failed. Families and extended families are no longer units living in one house or even in the same town. The largest juxtaposition is the facade of the community that our culture has created. We are surrounded and alone all at the same time. Asking for help and helping others works in conjunction. Maybe you cannot unload or say goodbye to all the things, but you can ask your husband, your sister, your parents, your in-laws, your friends and your neighbors for help. A major step in finding good community, to finding your people, is serving them in return. When you give to others, you feel more comfortable being vulnerable and asking for help in return.
This is a work in progress, and so are we. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Phillipians 1:6 “That we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith both yours and mine.” – Romans 1:12 “For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”” – 2 Corinthians 8:13-15
Live well friends,