Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Overwhelmed

The other night when I was lying in bed, trying to sleep, it dawned on me that I was quite overwhelmed and I didn't even realize it. But as I lay awake, it all came crashing down on me. I was overwhelmed by being a parent, and all that it entails. There are so many decisions that I have to make daily for my children, and I am inundated with information that I need to process regarding their well-being. I started to feel like a failure.

Should my 4-year-old be reading and writing more than her name by now? Am I feeding my children too many foods with preservatives? Am I feeding them enough vegetables? Should my 18-month-old be brushing her teeth on her own (after all her older sister was doing that at that age)? I haven't taken my oldest daughter to the dentist yet. I'm not spending as much time with my youngest daughter as I did with my oldest. The list goes on and on. I realized I was comparing myself to other moms and coming up very short.

I've been reading a great book by Sheila Wray Gregoire called "To Love, Honor and Vacuum." In one of the chapters she explains that women in the 1850s, and even in the 1950s, did not have the things we have today. They also did not have the problems we have today as a result of our accumulation of knowledge and technology. As a result, they did not have the long list of worries that I mentioned above. (They just had different worries.) While I don't want to live in the 1950s, and certainly not in the 1850s, I do want some of what those women had...less. Less information (ignorance really is bliss sometimes). Less worries. (But not less technology, I must admit!)

Going back to that sleepless night, I decided right then to give my list of worries over to God. That may sound like a cliche, but it really did help. Letting go of my troubles freed me to be the mother God created me to be--no more, no less. In times like these I find extreme comfort in the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." And He did.

6 comments:

hestermom said...

I can relate very well. It seems my greatest pressure comes mostly from myself...And yet, God is so faithful because His grace covers it all. Praying that God will continue to give you rest and give you freedom from the "shoulds."

hestermom said...

P.S. The last Bible Study I was doing (on hearing the voice of God) made a very important distinction for me...
"God doesn't poiint out our sin to condemn us. God's purpose in lovingly revealing our sin is to encourage us to acknowledge it and confess it so He can change us. The Enemy's voice brings condemnation. You will know condemnation because it will bring guilt and offer no clear means of relief. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit brings conviction that always provides a road map out and away from a specific sin. His aim is always to lovingly steer us in the direction of His grace."

Tracyrobison said...

I'm with you Christine, I feel like that alot. If I'm spending too much time with this kid not enough with the others.My 3 year old isn't potty trained yet but my older one was at this age.Are they okay if they don't get all their veggies, well I didn't eat them much when I was younger and I'm still here. And I don't believe there is a super mom out there that can do it all and not feel overwhelmed.If one even exists.I'm glad you found some comfort after praying.God does know what we need and when we need it.

Christine H. said...

Thanks, ladies, for your encouraging words. And Lisa, thanks for that insight into who is actually trying to make me feel guilty. God never guilt-trips. AMEN!

ATSmith said...

Ah ... you have started the book. I was wondering if you had. There are so many great things in that book. Every single worry that you listed (and Tracy) I think about ... even while watching the kids splash around the pool today I was thinking about preservatives and processed food and, should I buy goldfish anymore? Is it not similar to our journey with Christ ... constantly fine tuning, searching, learning? Okay, if we could just get rid of the guilt and realize that the 2nd child will be fine, maybe even more well rounded because they have big sister around to play with them ALL the time. I hear all of you and try daily to hand over my list ... but more than not I take it back and add more things to it!

Rebecca said...

I get guilty about the twins, because I never bonded with them in infancy, and still don't feel as close to them as I do to the others. Letting go of the guilt is what finally frees me to build better relationships with them, like I have with the youngest two. But it's so hard not to get down and fall back into that same trap over and over.