"You've got your hands full!"
I couldn't count how many times I've been told that in the last 2 years. No one thinks you have your hands full with one child who appears healthy. But add another child less than a year later, and your hands are suddenly full. Add a third child a year and a half later and you are guaranteed to hear that phrase every time you go out. And if they see you out with the puppy too...
So I've developed a mental list of comebacks for that oft-repeated phrase. The simplest is, "Yes, I do!" If I feel exceptionally spiritual that day, I might say "Yes, full of blessings!" When I'm sick, my response has been "No kidding." If I only have two children with me, I might tell the person "this isn't all of them, there's another at home."
I frequently feel overwhelmed. Like I'm barely treading water. Basically, I'm drowning in blessings. They are blessings that are wearing me down, stressing me out, and turning me into someone I don't want to be.
Or am I allowing it to happen?
The saying goes that you can't change or control anything but yourself. Now granted, I'm trying to change my children. If I didn't try to change them, they'd be in pretty sorry shape when they turned 18. I'm trying to change my dog. Little puppy bites are sort of cute annoyance. Big dog bites are a hazard.
But what am I doing to change myself?
My husband mentioned something he'd like me to work on last week, and my immediate mental response was, "I can't." I caught myself before I said it out loud and realized, that's a pretty lousy attitude to have. Why can't I? Because I'm a mom? Because my kids are close in age? I have a ready list of excuses for just about anything extra. While my children do limit what I can do, I'm setting myself up for failure and a continued trend of under-achiever by immediately shifting into the mental mode of "I can't."
So when I finally got a minute to take a shower today, I did some soul searching. In between the prayers of "God please don't let the dog electrocute himself while I'm in here," I determined that I'm expecting myself to change without doing anything to help the change along. Oh, I need to do a better job at cooking, cleaning, teaching, laundry, decorating, you name it... But just saying it isn't doing me any good. I'm just letting more responsibilities pile up and getting further behind in everything.
The more behind I get, the more stressed I get. The more cluttered and messy my house is, the more clenched and uptight I get. I lose patience. I can't focus on anything. And I get plain old hateful.
So I believe I finally listened to God's command to DO something. To make a change. It's one I've thought of before, often in fact, and yet always had an excuse. I still have excuses but I'm working around them.
I'm cutting ties with Facebook.
For a week. =)
Wow, you might say, a whole week, that's a great sacrifice. In sarcasm, of course.
Little steps. We'll see what happens. And after a week, I'll re-evaluate. Did I get more accomplished? Am I less stressed? Or am I so isolated and desperate for adult conversation that I'm driving my husband crazy?
I do have a few people I want to keep up with as they have babies or as their children have health problems. I'll probably post pictures at the end of my week. But the scrolling, the window shopping into people's lives, the black box of time, is what I'm wanting to separate from. Just to see what happens.