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Spinning Top Mom: I can’t do it all

I was a Spinning Top Mom, trying to do it all, feeling like I was always failing. It was time to get real, and get okay with letting that spinning top stop.

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It’s time to come clean. I can’t do it all. When I try, I feel like a spinning top, twirling out of control. I can’t do it all, and I quit trying.

Are you a Spinning Top Mom? Trying to “do it all”?

Over mugs of coffee, we’ll all nod in agreement, “of course, we can’t do it all.”

But secretly, I always think, ‘but I could be doing this better, why can’t I do what that mom does? I’m a total failure at this.’

Over mugs of coffee, we'll all nod in agreement, "of course, we can't do it all." But secretly, I always think, 'I'm a total failure at this.'

And, even though we know Pinterest is a liar, we’ll still use that measuring stick to beat ourselves over all the things we can’t do.

Even though we know Pinterest is a liar, we use that measuring stick to beat ourselves up. Click To Tweet

Depending on the day, I probably present a pretty together, homeschooling, Godly mom picture, but that picture crops out the gory details.

A load of laundry has been in the dryer for three days. It is 1 p.m. and I’ve only eaten two peach slices from my daughter’s plate, and we’re probably ordering pizza for dinner.

A load of laundry has been in the dryer for three days. We're probably ordering pizza. Spinning top mom: I can't do it all!

I’ve spent an hour trying to get her to finish coloring a shape worksheet.

Some days I multi-task well, but something always has to give. I cannot make a Pinterest worthy craft, write a deep blog about mothering and faith, provide three healthy meals, clean the house, exercise (and shower again), check the mail, water the plants, have quiet time with God, lesson plan, pay the bills, etc., etc. all in one day. Something has to give – everyday.

Maybe, it’s time to really get okay with that.

Tonight, we really did order pizza because I had two repairmen in the house all afternoon. We’re all sick with a cold. I’m trying to find the groove of homeschooling. I spent too much time explaining “I don’t want to!” is not a valid excuse. It was far from a perfect day.

But when I put my daughter to bed, I asked her what she learned today. She answered, “respect, perseverance, finishing what you start, and obedience, and coloring.”

Apparently, I managed to get the most important thing done today. I loved my daughter. I loved my husband. We ate pretend fruit salad and drank tea. I watched her play and held her hand. She whispered, “I love you” into my ear. I packed his lunch and made the coffee. I had a long overdue catch up with my sister.

Some mothers seem to juggle it all.

They jog, bake, craft everyday and manage to keep all their little people alive while they do it. But their strengths aren’t my strengths, and while their picture might look perfect, perhaps they’ve got gory details hidden in the background, too.

Picture perfect moms might have gory details cropped out of the background of their picture. Click To Tweet

This summer, I’ve dropped a lot from to my do list. Trying to do it all made me feel like the hours were racing away, putting so much pressure on me to juggle and spin the rest of the day into perfect memories, that I was making myself feel crazy.

I didn’t want to spend any more time being a ‘Spinning Top Mom.’ I wanted to be in the moment with the kids as much as possible.

My daughter is in kindergarten, and we’re homeschooling. I’m simultaneously doing too much and not enough as we try to figure this out for our family, but five is already three months gone, the last of her little kid years.

While she will always be my baby, she won’t always be a baby.

I don’t want her to turn six only to realize I missed the best moments trying too hard to do too much.

Ephesians 5:16 ESV “Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

I’ve got to use these days wisely. The house work needs to get done – some days, and some days it can wait. We have to triage, set priorities, and focus on what really matters for the season of life we’re in.

That mom I’m jealous of may be in a completely different place than I am, with a totally different journey. I’ve got to let those false comparisons and expectations go.

The mom I'm envying is in a different place on a different journey. Stop the false comparisons. Click To Tweet

Those are the days I remind myself, “Heaven, not Harvard.”

If I’m parenting and living for heaven, what do I need to do for today? pray, read the Bible, be present, honor God with my life; the rest will sort itself out.

As if to make my point, when I tucked her in tonight, she whispered, “You’re the best mom.” “What makes me the best?” I asked. Innocently, she replied, “You love me.” What a wise and perfect answer! I can’t be any other mom, and I don’t have to be.

I’m not a failure, I’m just a mom who is doing what matters for my family today, even if it isn’t the laundry. The spinning top mom stops here.

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