At the end of the day

4 03 2010

For the last six years, I have been a full-time mom. It has been a blessing to be home with my children focused on being wife and mom.

When I was growing up, I did not think I would ever want to stay home with my children. I was not sure I would have kids and if I did I thought I would wait until I was in my thirties. Shortly after Mark and I got married, however, the desires of my heart changed and we decided to start a family.

When we first tried to get pregnant, I had too many jobs. I was a real estate agent, doing communications and college ministry at a church, on Young Life staff, a nanny and working retail. I worked all the time. Little by little, God called me to quit my jobs and surrender my calling to him.

At the end of the summer of 2003, I stopped working as an administrator for Young Life. I stepped down from the college ministry position at the church as I increased my hours in the communications department. I quit being a nanny and after the holidays, I quit my job at Pottery Barn. In the winter, I gave up my real estate license. Finally in the spring of 2004, I quit my job as the director of communications for the church.

The same week, we found out we were pregnant with our first child.

This was six years ago. Other than working part time at Pottery Barn Kids while I was pregnant, I have not had a job for six years.

I have become very content and productive as a wife, mom and homemaker. I’ve tried to approach these roles as a calling and a career. Little by little, I’ve learned how to cook and clean and manage a home fairly well. I’ve learned a little about being a mom of boys.

Throughout this season of being home with my family, I struggled to be content as “just a mom”. Over the last year, God brought me to a place of total peace with this role and calling.

And then he called me to go back to work.

As we prayed about how to train and educate our children, we felt it was very important to put them in a small private Christian school. While this is certainly not right for every family and we know many friends who have chosen homeschool or public school for their children, we know it is right for our boys. At least for this season. In order to pay for private school, however, we realized I might need to go back to work.

To this end, I became certified as a nutrition coach and educator and I am launching my business, Grow Family Nutrition. It is fun, challenging and exciting.. I am excited to help other families be healthier.

But it is also really hard to figure out this new balance.

It is HARD. Like crazy hard!

It is hard to know when to work on my business and when to do laundry and when to play with my kids. It is hard to find the time to feed my family well, even as I am planning to teach other parents how to feed their families well. It is hard to be creative while also handing out snacks and wiping noses and solving conflicts. It is hard to fit in sleep and exercise.

And it is hard at the end of the day to not feel guilty about everything that did not get done.

I am a perfectionist. This is probably one of my most significant areas of idolatry. Through and through, I struggle with perfectionism. I care what other people think of me to a point, but at the end of the day, I am my harshest critic.

And so as a perfectionist, I just hate that I cannot get everything done. I feel like I fail myself constantly.

I need a pedicure and to shave my legs and pluck my eyebrows and get a haircut. I need to do laundry and fold clothes and reorganize the kids clothes by size and hang my husband’s shirts in the closet by color and hem my pants and polish my boots. I need to write the content for my website and obtain insurance and learn small business accounting and schedule classes and fill out paperwork for that school auction. I need to swim and bike and run and do yoga. I need to cook dinner and clean the kitchen and polish the stainless steel appliances and granite again. I need to vacuum the floors. I need to clean out the garage. I need to clean out the minivan, because if I don’t the dirty socks and day-old coffee cups might consume me.

Now that I’ve given you a little insight into my insane perfectionism, you probably think I am crazy. People come over to my house and ask how I get it so clean. Do you want the truth? It’s because I am a little nuts.

What do I do with this mess? Not my schedule, but my heart? How do I rest at the end of the day? How do I give up the guilt?

It would be easier to ask you all how to do it all. This is what my self-righteous, perfectionist flesh wants. I want to do it all. But instead, I am asking you all how to stop. How to say no. How to trust God that enough is enough and that I don’t have to feel guilty, consumed, even condemned by everything I didn’t get done?

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3 responses

4 03 2010
Kelly

Great post. I loved where you started with that too. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard that full picture of your work life. So I guess in response I would say maybe take a week or two to just PRAY. About THIS. Ask specifically. Wait. Pray some more. Wait. In the middle of figuring this out, make time for prayer. Second, ask me to pray for you :). And to check in on you. I remember at the retreat we kind of talked about how you were going to do all of this. I mean, you get done like twice as much as I get done in life. Do you realize that? I mean, I know I am kind of slow and meticulous so I don’t get a whole lot done. And also I get overwelmed easily, whereas you seem to have a greater capacity than me, but all in all you have posted some blogs where I am left shaking my head like, That Sara Brinton is superwoman. So it’s good to see your heart behind this. I know that in general you like to be doing, so I am not saying that is all bad. This isn’t all black and white. But for you to be able to identify sin and struggle within the schedule you’ve created is good. So sit in prayer on this. I would say that off the bat, though you SAY you like to simplify, I think you do a lot of things BIG. Like if you want to get in shape, all hte sudden you’re running eighteen triathalons (okay three :)). So maybe you can just scale back on what you’re going for in a BIG way, if you still want to keep ___ in your life. Or maybe it’s a rooting out thing. Like completely not doing ___. (decorating, extras with the house, trying new recipes, hobbies, etc). Anyway, glad you’re looking into it. I know the Lord will help you. And I can too if you aren’t sick of me by the end of this post.
Love you
K

4 03 2010
gloryrevealed

I’m not sick of you Kelly!! I appreciate how we are so different in this area. Honestly, I hope after reading this friends don’t worry about having me over to their houses. Because I do not hold others to my crazy standards. And honestly, I love watching other people who have messy houses and kids in wacky clothes who are like 100% okay with it. I LOVE watching that. I want to be in that place where I just don’t care about the things that I know don’t really matter.

I so didn’t intend to write the blog post I wrote when I started writing, if you know what I mean? I guess God’s bringing this up in my heart because it’s finally time to deal with it on a deeper level. This has been an area I’ve been growing for years. But it still affects certain areas, particularly our marriage. Mark and I are both perfectionists and I think we could polish our slab granite together until the day we die. But we’d miss out on a lot of other good stuff???

I’m going to keep praying and writing about this.

4 03 2010
Kelly

okay easy thing you take out of your life that i DON’T even need to pray about: polishing slab granite. that’s OFF the list. goner.

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