Struggling Despite the Joy

When I am out running errands, driving carpool, doing dishes, folding laundry, scrubbing toilets, I think. I think a lot. I write entire blog posts in my head. Then I come home, sit down at the computer and promptly forget every single word  I wrote in my mind. 

After a week of being housebound, due to a sick child, I was able to get out for a little bit today. It was important that I have the ingredients for our weekly pizza night. Prior to leaving, I looked around at the house and was hit with an overwhelming feeling of “Good grief, where did I/ we go wrong?” 

There is a constant supply of dirty laundry, dirty dishes, toys on the floor, paper that needs to be filed, lawns that need to be mowed, garbage that needs to be taken out, home repairs to be done, toilets to be scrubbed. My husband has shared with me that when the to do list gets so long, he shuts down, because he doesn’t know where to start. I’ve always been the chipper “Start anywhere! Get something done!” As of late, I’ve been feeling just as he does. Overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start. It certainly doesn’t help that I can easily flit from one task to another, without completing what I was already working on. 

Have you ever heard of the mom who says she is going to bed, then makes lunches for tomorrow, folds the last of the laundry, starts a load of dishes, lets the dog out and an hour later, her husband says “I thought you were going to bed?” The wife is probably thinking “Well, I am, I just have to get ready first!” I’m not like that at night. If I say I’m going to bed, I am. Unless the baby has other ideas!

So my son, my baby girl and I are getting ready to head out to the store. I look around and have that thought of where did we go wrong. Then I just start feeling this deep despair because I don’t know where it went wrong and I’m not sure how to fix it. Is it the five kids, homeschooling the kids, me staying home, not having enough money? I can come up with a myriad of reasons why things don’t go exactly as I would like them to. Chad and I have always chosen life over work and money. Meaning that our lives together and our lives with our kids will always take precedence over a job or money. We have so much joy in life, but some of that joy comes at the cost of the struggles we feel. Even though I would never trade the joy for a cushier life style, it doesn’t negate the fact that we do struggle. 

We have unfinished projects and a long list of to-do’s. While I try to remind myself that life is constantly changing and the struggle we feel today may very well not be a problem tomorrow, it can still feel crushing to my spirits to not get it all done today. More often that not, I can’t see far enough past today to think that any of this stuff will ever get better or be finished. Then I get in the vicious cycle of blaming myself for where we are, instead of rejoicing for the life that we have chosen. 

I know that some people have been very successful in choosing a different kind of lifestyle, whether it’s working outside the home, sending kids to a traditional school, limiting themselves to just two children, but the thing is that right now, none of those options work for us. (Obviously we can’t ever go back to just two kids, nor would I ever want to) We have chosen what is best for us and our current situation, but there are times that I feel that we have chosen incorrectly. Maybe there was a different path we were supposed to take, or different choices we were supposed to make. 

I can’t even wrap this up in a box, put a shiny, twinkly bow on it and relate this back to, well, anything. I don’t know that there is a great lesson to learn. Sometimes I am so paralyzed by where we are that I am not sure if I am choosing this life or failing to make a better decision because I am scared of what I don’t know. 

I’m not really looking for advice, but I would certainly take some hugs and words of encouragement. 

How can I encourage YOU today? Leave me a message in the comments or visit on my FB page. I’m looking forward to hearing from you! (Especially if you haven’t quite figured out life, just like I haven’t!) 

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