There’s that whole cliche of striving to be a human being instead of a human doing. Well, I tend to be the latter. I’m always doing, doing, doing, and frankly, I’m tired. Exhausted, really. Not that I won’t still be doing very similar posts on a fairly regular basis. I just don’t want to tie myself down to doing it on Wednesdays (or any other day). I want to do it when inspiration strikes and when it fits into my life.
I don’t need the pressure of having a Wednesday deadline right now. Actually, the ones who really don’t need that pressure right now are my kids. I haven’t been the kind of mommy I should be lately. I have freelance assignments that help pay the bills. I have other responsibilities I can’t let slide. I have prayers to be prayed, a husband to be loved (not just in theory but in action), and a life to be lived that has little to do with what’s happening in Cyberspace.
So long as I’ve brought it up, I’ll share a few more thoughts on my exhaustion. I recently read a great post at Et Tu? called Getting my Life Back spurred me to write an email to Jennifer F. I explained that her post spoke to me on many levels but that her words, “agape is not running yourself ragged” screamed out at me.
Like many moms, I’m often physically exhausted. This in and of itself is difficult for me to accept. Once upon a time I ran circles around the Energizer Bunny. Not so much anymore. Some days my entire body literally aches with fatigue. It’s the kind of fatigue I used to only experience after running 15 miles on a long Saturday run, but I don’t run anywhere anymore (except maybe in the direction of an outlet that somehow missed the child-proofing inspection to prevent Baby from killing herself).
Still, I can deal with this. After all, being physically drained at the end of the day comes with the territory of being a mom of little ones.
But the kind of flattening lethargy I’ve been experiencing lately is of a different variety and I think I know why. I’ve got a huge lump of pride I’ve got to swallow. Here I am thinking that I can do it all – pray (never enough), parent perfectly, freelance write, minister to my husband’s needs, write daily blog entries including a weekly one on Wednesdays that inspires the masses (or in reality, if I’m lucky, a handful of blog surfers), whip together home-cooked meals every night, bake healthy snacks and breakfast breads from scratch, vacuum daily, teach creative writing to kids, start thinking about homeschooling my own kids, exercise, volunteer, etc. – without any help from anybody.
It’s been the story of my life for too long now.
In her post, Jennifer F. admits that after the birth of her first child, whom she loved with all of her heart, she did sometimes felt like her life was on pause and that she couldn’t wait to “get her life back” once her youngest was in school. I think this is a very common feeling. But, honestly, when I first became a mom, I never found myself mourning my “old life.” Being a mom was all that I’d ever wanted. Now I had it and my life felt perfect. (My family was actually worried I might have something like mom mania instead of those baby blues you hear about because I was in overdrive for the first few months postpartum.)
Motherhood was consuming, but I wanted to be consumed by it. I wanted to soak up every minute of it. But back then, I also wasn’t afraid to ask for help from God or anyone else. In fact, I can remember being so thankful to finally have a good enough excuse to cut myself some slack. “I’m sorry. I’m a new mom. I can’t.” Oh, it felt so good to say no to things. I’d been saying yes to everyone and everything in my life for a long, long time.
Somewhere along the way, things seem to have gotten a little mixed up.
Maybe the reason I’m so exhausted – other than the fact that I stay up way too late regretting what I did or didn’t do or am constantly trying to keep up with the blogging Joneses – is because I’m failing to accept my limitations and to humble myself before my Loving Father who wants nothing more than to sustain me and to fill me with his graces. But I have to swallow pride and let him. Perhaps my exhaustion is God’s way of reminding me that I’m not resting in Him, the one who never grows tired, the one who will lighten my load and give me rest.