Monday, March 21, 2011

Perfectly Imperfect: Letting Go Of Expectations

There are a lot of expectations placed on us as moms.  Some of them we put on ourselves, others are piled on by others.  Our families expect us to be the homemaker (even if we work outside the home), chef, chauffer, coach, cheerleader, tutor, teacher and the list goes on.  Our churches expect us to be Sunday school teachers, nursery volunteers, Bible study teachers, choir members, worship leaders, and more.  Our bosses expect us to be 100% at work while we try not to focus on the dozens of other responsibilites running through our minds while we're there.  It can get very overwhelming very fast.

One of the hardest lessons a Christian working mom has to learn is to let go of expectations.  I've had to learn, very slowly, that I can't do it all.  I can't bring homemade goodies to every women's ministries meeting - I can't even attend every meeting.  I won't have time for all the reading I'd like to do, and I won't have homemade dinners every night for my family.  Some nights, we're going to eat hot dogs or fish sticks or drive-thru meals.  I won't get as much sleep or rest as I'd really to.  But I have to go of some of those expectations if I'm ever going to manage to do all that I do.

Part of learning to be satisfied with our role as a working mom is letting go.  We have to let go of the life we thought we would have and grieve what can't be before we can embrace what God has for us here and now.  I spent years wishing I could just go back to being a stay at home mom.  It was only when I accepted the fact that I will always be a working mom and that this is just where God wants me right now, that I started to truly find joy and purpose in what I do. 

Our family's life doesn't look like everyone else's...and that's okay.  Sure, I get frustrated sometimes.  There are still days that I have a hard time leaving the house and days I wish I could go to homeschool co-op or summer reading club with my kids.  But God has called us to something different.  It's overwhelming sometimes, and at times I feel like a total failure, but to Him, we're all perfectly imperfect.  We might not live up to other people's expectations, but we're doing our best to live up to His - and that's all that really matters.

I hope you're enjoying my new blog feature, Working With Delight.  There are so few resources available to Christian working moms, so I decided to start putting together my own.  I would love to hear your ideas, struggles, victories, resources and more!  You can connect with me through comments, email me at amandablogs79(at)yahoo(dot)com, or follow me on Twitter @amandablogs.


Carol said...

People made fun of me when I said I had an epiphany that I was a working mom. I had worked very part time for a while and I didn't consider that working. My kids were with a friend or their grandpa so it was like a play date. Then my husband decided to open his own business and I was working 2 jobs, 7 days a week, but the whole family was together at the bakery so I didn't feel like that was so much working away from home. I was getting increasingly agitated that I wasn't "keeping up" with the other families in our homeschool group. We weren't going on all the field trips. We were doing the projects that they were all posting about on the message board. One day I was thinking about making fresh applesauce to go with dinner and thought, "when am I going to find the time to do THAT!" It was an eye opener for me. I feel so much better for realizing that I can't keep up with everyone else. We provide our children a loving caring learning and growing environment and that's all that matters.
Whew, sorry for the length. You touched a nerve.

Katie B said...

I'm already appreciating this series so much, Amanda! It's good to know I'm not alone in this. :)

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