Let’s step away from the highlight reel for a moment, and take a look into the real life of a not-so-perfect mom…

“Sometimes I feel like the world is spinning faster than I can handle. I look around and see evidence that I am falling behind. I scroll through my newsfeed and it appears that others are handling it just fine. They can keep up with the fashion trends, manage their homes, pay their bills, and still have time and money leftover for a social life. Meanwhile, many of my texts begin with an apology. “Sorry for the delay”, I type once more, as I explain why it took me two days to respond to a simple question from a friend. I stumble over an overflowing laundry basket on my way to wash a fork in order to eat my microwavable meal. I’m scrolling as I’m eating. So-and-so just posted a selfie, but all I can see is how immaculate her living room is behind her. My kitchen table is decorated with nail polish and some syrup from breakfast. She always looks so cute. If I wore that, I’d look like a homeless person. I really need to get back in the gym.

Anxiety whispers, “you’re failing…and there’s more. Think about your family.” Was I too harsh with the kids this morning? Did my goodbye hug seem rushed? I wish I was better with them. And my husband. When is the last time I actually verbalized how much I appreciate him? He’s probably disappointed in our marriage. God help me be better next time we’re together.

I check the mail. Another medical bill. So much for savings. So much for upgrading the vehicle. I guess I’ll just be the only mom driving a hoopty to soccer practice this year. When was the last time I had the oil changed? So-and-so just got a new Expedition. It even has a flat screen tv and wifi for their kids. My kids fight over tablets with broken screens and leave half-eaten hamburgers in my backseat.

Speaking of technology. I wonder if I’m doing a good enough job monitoring my kids. Are they being ruined by Youtubers? Will they turn out to be good citizens, or sell drugs from my basement?! God help me with my kids.

Speaking of kids. They’ll be home soon, and I didn’t get half of my to-do list done, let alone have a second to breath or do something enjoyable. As soon as they get in the door we’re off to practice. Lord knows my kiddo needs all the help they can get if they’re going to be on the travel league this year. So-and-so’s kid started training when he was 2 months old.

I’m behind in parenting…in finances…in friendships…in housekeeping…in health…and in my faith…

God, I need your help to keep up.

Or….maybe I don’t. Maybe I need to tell the world it can go on ahead without me. I don’t need it’s approval. So what if I can’t keep up with the Jones’? Who says they’re doing it all right? I’m sure they’re just as stressed as I am. We all strive to get to the next level, only to be more pressured by another goal. I don’t want to strive my life away, never appreciating all the blessings around me.

I stumble back over the laundry basket once more as I walk to the front door, which is covered in fingerprints. I’ll clean it later. Or maybe I won’t. The kids will be rushing in soon, arguing over who gets the remote, and tattling on each other for what happened on the bus. I will probably be overwhelmed within five minutes and send one off to their room before they even get their backpack off. Yeah, I could be a better mom. I could be better at a lot of things. There is so much left to do at the end of each day, and I don’t know if I’ll ever catch up.

Here’s what I do know. I may not be good at everything, but I am great at a few things. I won’t have the cleanest house, but I will welcome friends in anyway. I don’t have a PhD, but I have compassion and I can encourage people. I don’t have a nice car, but I’m still willing to offer a ride to someone who needs it. My highlight reel is not as fancy as so-and-so, but I plan to enjoy my life just the way it is, because it doesn’t last long. I don’t want to waste another breath being stressed out and frustrated over petty things.

Thank you God for this blessed life. Amen.”

If you can relate to this monologue, you’re not alone. Here are some tips for my not-so-perfect friends out there:

    Figure out what you are good at, where God has gifted you, and give it all you’ve got. Know what value you bring to this earth. If you don’t know your strengths, ask someone close to you. Chances are they can tell you!
    You can’t be great at everything. Nobody is. It’s okay to have areas of life you aren’t gifted in. So-and-so is not more valuable just because she is gifted in a different area.
    If it won’t matter in five years, it shouldn’t matter now. Don’t allow little frustrations to steal your joy and the beauty in today. Remember, if everyone in the world could put their troubles in one big pile, you’d pick yours back up.

I pray this blog post encouraged you today. If so, feel free to share with someone else!