I wrote this post a while ago. I was very reluctant to share it so I just filed it away. Today I listened to a brave woman share a similar story. To know I wasn't the only one that had these feelings meant the world to me. It empowered me to share publicly. My hope and prayer is that someone will find this, that needs to know they are not alone in their struggles.
(4/13/12) I am not sure where to start, I just know that I have to start. I have been feeling strongly lately that I need to blog more. I need to share my heart more. I have been scared to death by this thought but, when a thought consumes you all day and night—you better do something about it. Lately I ready a great article about what our children really need, “Your children want you: http://powerofmoms.com/2012/04/your-children-want-you/.” It inspired me to write this post.
A while back I had been feeling like I wanted to blog more. You know, maybe even turn it into a “professional blog.” I had put a lot of time and thought into this, and really had felt directed to follow that prompting. I didn’t know what to blog about though. I thought I could blog about my preschool, and give parents ideas on things to do with their children. I thought about blogging about twins, and helping parents that might feel overwhelmed with the prospect. I had, what I thought, were great ideas . . . and then I joined pinterest. The first time I logged on, I seriously had an anxiety attack. I am not talking figuratively. I seriously couldn’t believe the wealth of information out there. I discovered amazing blogs that were beautifully photographed, and well written. I wasn’t new to blogs—but I guess I never realized how many there were out there.
The feeling kept me away from pinterest for a while but not long. I immersed myself in pinterest. Logically I knew that I didn’t have to do all of those things, but it seemed like some land of good motherhood. I not only felt like I needed to do everything, I felt like even my best efforts couldn’t live up to this grand ideal. In addition, I would get frustrated by things that got pinned—really? Everyone doesn’t know how to melt crayons to make new multi-colored ones? Why didn’t I blog about that first? Then everyone would be repining my blog. It got crazy.
Then it happened—the thing that always happens when you compare yourself to others, either you feel prideful or feel bad about yourself. I felt as if I wasn't good enough. I could not excel. I wasn't gifted enough, smart enough, had enough time, etc. Of course I was comparing every which way I lacked to every which way EVERYONE else excelled. I even read a blog about a family that only accumulates a mason jar full of garbage every year. Can I tell you the guilt I felt multiple times a day as I swept up the Cheerio-mine-field under my table and tossed it in the bin?
Depression abounded, and I won’t even describe the very dark place I went. I started wondering why God had made such a horrible person. Thankfully I didn’t just wonder, I prayed about it. I prayed and prayed and prayed and pleaded and cried unto the Lord. My answer all started with a little gift. My little Cooper is OBSESSED with books. He carries them around with him all the time. He will get fixated on a certain book, and it must be read over and over and over. On this particular day, it was a book hopefully all of you have read: You are Special by Max Lucado. I was on the floor in the twin’s room, still in my workout clothes, my greasy pony tail piled on my head and my cheeks red and splotchy from crying. Cooper brought me the book, and at first I didn’t want to read it to him. After persistence though, I relented, and he and Amelia climbed on my lap. As I read, I cried.
I decided to have faith that I really was a daughter of God and that he didn’t make mistakes. I might not have the power and influence that I dreamed of. I may never be the best at anything, but God does have a purpose for me. The weight wasn’t lifted all at once, it took a few more tears and a lot more prayers but it did come. There were several other factors, and other people that reached out at that time. The joy that followed was greater than my sorrow had been. I recently re-read President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk: “Forget me not” It fit perfectly with my struggle. Here he says it perfectly:
“God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.
And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.”
He also asked a good question “Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?” Mothers need to ask ourselves this question. Is pinterest evil? No. Is it evil to look for fun projects, healthy tips, new recipes? No. I think that we need to expand our knowledge, and increase our talents. We just don’t have to do everything, all at once. I know I need a little bit of time to pursue my own talents. Yet, I don’t have time, energy, or emotional strength to pursue everyone’s talents.
So I hope that as I share on this blog, no one feels as if I am preaching about what you have to do. I want to share my life, my family, my talents, and even my struggles with anyone that might benefit from it. That is what we are here on this earth to do—to build others up. I strive to do just that.