Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Breaking Plates

rehashing a previous post...

Maybe I'm just a little slow on the uptake. 
Maybe my BS (bachelor of science) didn't actually give me any CS (common sense). 
Maybe my Pottery Barn catalog world just doesn't exist.

I feel overwhelmed a lot of days.  I mean, come on... I have five children five and under.  I've been mistaken for some kind of Supermom.  Please let me dispel that myth once and for all:  Do Supermoms raise their voices?  Hide in the bathroom with the fan on?  Call their husbands in tears two or three times a week?  Have puddles of spilled milk on the floor... from yesterday?  Well, if they do, sure I'll go pick up my Wonderwoman uniform from the cleaner's.   

Spanx don't fail me now.  

I always admire the Mommas who always have clean houses, home cooked meals, pretty blogs, Gap Models for children, and a smile to boot.  I aspire to be like her (she's not a myth, I met her)... I want shiny floors, homemade whole wheat bread, a cupcake blog, children whose shoes are on the right feet, and a shower at least every other day. 

But I don't always get what I want. 

This hit me a while back after I let my son watch Blue's Clues after he got home from preschool.  I told my husband because I was so excited by this revelation:

When my patience runs short
and my to-do list is long,
my kids can watch TV.
(told you I was slow)

I know many of you have lived by this principle for years.  I, however, am eating my typed words.  I never wanted to be the Mommy who sits my children in front of the television as a way of avoiding them because I don't want to interact with them.  On the contrary, I love my children and I wish I had the energy to keep up.  Instead, I find myself losing it because

 I can't keep that many plates spinning.

Photo credit.

We all have them.  We all have plates we keep spinning. 

Clean floors. *spin* 
Hot meals. *spin*  

Never raise my voice. *spin*
Complete Pinterest projects. *spin*
Homeschool. *spin*

These are not bad plates.  But whose plates are they? And where did they come from?  And let's call these plates what they really are: unrealistic expectations. 

I have a few plates from being an oldest child.  I have a few my mom handed down, others I borrowed from my mother in law, a few more from girlfriends, and I just picked up a couple more from that lady with seven kids at church who homeschools and has it all together and even looks cool. 

I stopped spinning my "no TV" plate and it hit the floor and shattered.  Now, my kids watch TV three or four times a week.  Sometimes, I nap while they watch the Man with the Yellow Hat... you know, the negligent one with the mischievous primate.

And that's okay.  I am letting go of unrealistic expectations.

I remind myself often that...

  • Studies show that dirt builds immunity.   
  • Meals from a box won't kill anyone.
  • It isn't a sin to be angry.  Be angry but don't sin (Ephesians 4:26).
  • Kids are simple.
  • And don't pick up everyone elses' plates.  

Here's what I've found about myself... when my unrealistic expectations aren't reality, I'm disappointed.  When I'm disappointed, I get mad.  When I get mad, I get loud.  And I don't want my children to be afraid me.  I also know that God hasn't given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  If having trouble spinning plates is messing with my peace, God probably didn't give me those plates to begin with.

His yoke is easy.  His burden is light.  
Matthew 11:30

So let me say it again... If keeping up with [unrealistic] expectations is causing strife, it isn't what God expects. 
Besides, God didn't send His Son to die for a plate-spinning circus seal to entertain Him.  I'm a dearly loved, adopted daughter.  I guess that means I can stop performing (and teaching my children to perform) all together.

1 comment:

  1. Just remember NOBODY has it all togehter! And when we are spinning some plates others have to be put down and put on the shelf. I know if I am doing a project- other things aren't getting done because of it- we have to find a balance!Finding a balance is tricky. One thing I read lately that is so true that comparison is the cheif robber of JOY. You are a great mom and you have to figure out what is right for your family- some days are t.v. days! :) Love you Clara!