So I hit a really rough patch a few weeks ago, and it left this mama feeling like a failure. I really did feel like a honest-to-goodness failure. I hadn’t slept well in four nights, I saw how messy my house was, there was a crying little boy grabbing at my legs, dinner was burning on the stove for the second night in a row, and I realized that I hadn’t finished correcting piano theory for lessons the next day. I had a worship service to plan out for church, so much laundry piling up that I wasn’t sure what was clean, cats who were tripping up my feet since they hadn’t been fed, and an upcoming piano recital to organize.
I was balancing so much that I was dropping absolutely everything.
In that moment, I wanted to run away from it all. I want to run somewhere quiet, and safe, and still…just so that I could maybe cry for a minute and let all those emotions escape before the lump in my throat made it impossible to breathe. Then I wanted to eat cake. Lots and lots of cake.
Instead, I swallowed it all and put on a brave smile. Because that’s what moms do, right? They manage their household with patience and grace. They always have time, and answers, and encouragement. They always have enough to give…
But every new struggle, emotional need, and responsibility caught up with me until the cracks in my mom-shield were too great to ignore. I knew – truly knew – that I was at the end of my rope when I took out my camera one afternoon to snap a pic for my blog…and I couldn’t smile. I couldn’t lie to the camera and pretend that I was happy and feeling joyful, when all I really wanted to do was cry. And scream. And flail my arms to pull myself up out of the water that was drowning me.
After days of this, I finally decided that enough was enough. And instead of burying how overwhelmed I was, I faced the pain, anxiety, and loneliness head on.
So many of us have been told that – as women – we are strong and unbreakable. We can do anything. We are the glue that binds our families, and shame on us if we can’t keep a smile on our face. Shame on us if we can’t keep everything together. “The joy of the Lord is our strength” so – for goodness sake – act joyful!
Yes, God made us strong! He created us with a selfless love that goes beyond this world’s comprehension. And He does provide joy, even amidst the worst of circumstances. But let’s not forget that He also created us human. We were created with emotions and our own set of needs. We have the ability to fall and get back up again. But we were also created to cry sometimes. To rest. To be still. And to need fulfillment of our own.
We can’t juggle it all. At least not all the time. (…to be continued tomorrow!) 🙂