I am easily tired and often have low energy. I cannot be on the go all the time. If I have two busy days in a row, on the third day I need to do almost nothing. As a new week begins, I have to be so careful to keep at least two- to- three days with no other intensive social contact. On those days, I can take the kids walking or to the library, but play-dates and catch-up’s would be too much.
A morning of grocery shopping with one or two errands exhausts me. It takes a last ounce of effort to put the shopping away once we get home, and even then, sometimes all I do is put the cold stuff away and collapse on the couch. I need two spaces of rest in the afternoon in order to get through dinner hour, bed times, and house tidy up.
And there will be times when I am okay and I do too much, and it catches up on me. Especially if my husband is busy with work and church commitments and I am holding the fort down a lot by myself. I’m in one of those periods right now. My anxiety starts buzzing in the background, I’m easily overwhelmed, I am easily irritated, and not even doing normal, Mother Culture things to nourish my mind and soul help.
It doesn’t help that my daughter still wakes once a night and, at least once a week, has a night where she is awake for several hours and only wants Mummy. In fact, all she wants is Mummy right now. I cannot even shut the door to the bathroom to have a shower without her crying like I am abandoning her. She’s three and is obviously going through another separation anxiety period right now.
So, I get too busy for my limitations and I don’t get great sleep (better than others, of course, but still not enough when there are no babies in the house). It’s challenging, to say the least.
I often feel like such a failure and strange compared to so many wives and mothers seem to have so much endless energy and momentum to just keep going. Every single day is full of activities and meetings and car-pooling and errands and meet-ups and playdates. They clean and mother and care for their husbands. Come the weekend, they are out biking as a family or landscaping or wanting to catch up with us (while we’re half-dead on the couch, barely moving).
It takes a lot for me to turn my thoughts upwards and remind myself that God doesn’t make cookie-cutter people. Our day and age demands so much of people – men and women and children alike – and some thrive under that pressure. But others were born for different eras – when life was quiet, but hard-working, with most days at home, the hub of industry and life. For some reason, I wasn’t born in that time…but that doesn’t mean I can’t create that kind of life for our family, a bubble of peace and calm amidst the modern rat race.
It is hard to say “No” to people when you love them and want to see them, but know that if you did, it would be sacrificing your health and well-being (which so directly impacts your main ministry, your family). It’s easy to give in to feelings of wanting to be like happily-busy people and think that somehow you’ll adjust and be okay. And then it is easy to feel ashamed when you crash and have to hide out from people for awhile.
It isn’t easy. But I guess, when we stop comparing, and start praising God…no matter what weakness we have that we can’t change about ourselves, and actually trust Him with it…Trusting that He made us and so intimately knows us, that He never uses perfect people, but only those who lean into Him and use His power in their weakness…Then, I guess, we can be like Paul when he said that he boasted in his weakness because of the power that rested on him in Christ.
Can I boast in my weakness? Can I let Christ’s power rest on me?***