Do you remember Flylady? She has an amazing website that aims to help turn your household chaos into order, 15 minutes at a time. She wants to help with housecleaning and organizing tips for the “overwhelmed, overextended and overdrawn,” like me. Oh, I signed up for this right quick because my house is consistently in disorder. Even though I know my kids just love it when I scream about being the only one who ever picks anything up around here as I frantically hide everything in giant Rubbermaid tubs before the doorbell rings.
Flylady started emailing me about routines and weekly zones and 15-minute decluttering missions and habits. Even though she encourages baby steps, I was behind the very first week. She’s lovely and all, but I found her instruction to get dressed (including shoes) before I have coffee in the morning to be a bit unreasonable. And she wanted me to scrub my sink every single night. It was like housewife boot camp and I cracked under the pressure. Although I know she speaks truth and has a genuine heart for helping all of us, she was stressing me out! And so I quit.
Other things I’ve quit:
• Trying to make homemade birthday cakes for the kids each year. (You’re dead to me, rainbow cake.)
• Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus
• My Etsy shop – I tried to sew, folks. (I got a D in HS Home Ec). Two people actually bought something. I really should look them up and mail them a refund, bless their hearts.
• Chore charts
• Reward charts
• All other charts
• Extreme couponing
• Knitting (yeah, I don’t actually know how but I have about $50 worth of yarn in the closet)
You know why I quit all of these things (and more)? Because, life. All of the ridiculous expectations I used to put on myself that I thought would make me a better wife and mom? They don’t even matter! Maybe it’s because I’m in my 40s now, or maybe it’s because life has dealt me a big steaming hot pile of suffering the last few years, but I do NOT care about these things anymore. Well, I care, but I’m not feeling so bad about myself anymore when I come up short of the goal.
If you’re trying so hard to be great at all the things, please stop it. Maybe your gift really is homemade cakes or shiny sinks before bedtime. If that’s you, you GO GIRL! But if that’s not you and you’re feeling bad because of it – quit. Quit all the things that are making you feel even worse. I’m not suggesting there isn’t value in working hard and practicing and sticking with a goal or committment, but if the goal is to be someone you aren’t – it’s not a goal worth pursuing.
God gave you amazing gifts and talents. I don’t have to know you to know that’s truth. And your gifts and talents probably aren’t the same as my gifts and talents. Isn’t that just beautiful? We’re all so different! The type A’s, the type B’s, the extroverts and the introverts, the singers and the dancers, the can’t clap on-beat(ers). Wonderfully and fearfully made. Appreciate all our differences; don’t measure your worth by them. Celebrate who you are, instead of condemning yourself for who you aren’t. Give yourself Extra Grace, friends. You were made in God’s image. That makes you pretty darn awesome, even if you can’t see your reflection in your sink.
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