If you’re like me, then you spent the better part of your twenties daydreaming about how wonderful it would be to become a stay-at-home mom. You dreamed about finding the perfect man who would bring home that bacon while you spent your hours being the best homemaker on the planet.
Your kids would be so happy to have a mommy that stayed home with them, and your husband would be stress-free because the house would be clean and tidy when he got home. Oh, and you’d make the best homemade food from organic ingredients that you grew right there on your little farm.
Just me? Oh. 😉
Well, now that you have a peek inside my then 20-something mind, let’s fast forward a bit to reality. *insert record scratch*
Here I am, in my 30s. I’ve got the man (love you honey!), and I’ve got the kids, but where’s my farm? More importantly, where’s that rock star homemaker I just knew I’d become? Where is she?
About a year ago, around six months after I turned 30, I found her. She was hardly recognizable. She wasn’t that perky dress-clad mom laden with flour who smelled like chocolate chip cookies on a warm summer evening. Nope. Instead, she smelled like blood, sweat, and tears mixed with dirty diapers and desperation.
Reality had taken its toll — and as I’ve always said, reality is a cruel teacher.
So there I was, 30 years old and miserable. I hated who I was as a mom; I hated who I was as a wife; and I hated that I felt that way.
So what went wrong?
Well, at the time I had no idea. But here I am, a year later, and I can finally say that I know what happened to little miss 20-something and her fantasy of motherhood. You see, I had spent SO long creating SO many unrealistic expectations for myself that it was absolutely impossible to attain them. Any of them. Not. A. One.
What I didn’t know back then was that somewhere along the line I had decided that I wanted to become someone else’s ideal. I mean, ALL the women I looked up to seemed like these flawless women who loved their families and had the synchronized plate-spinning of motherhood down to a science.They were the idealized Proverbs 31 women.
But where did I go wrong? I think I know.
In all that time I spent daydreaming about the woman and mom I wanted to be, NOT ONCE did I ever think about what my own strengths were. And I certainly never thought about how to use my strengths to become the best me I could be — especially when it came to motherhood.
Well, I could go into the fact that society seems to idealize the “good” stay-at-home mom using the picture I painted for you earlier. Or I could expound upon the fact that we, as moms, sometimes find it a little too easy to criticize other moms rather than complimenting them on her successes (I am guilty!).
But I think the truth lies here: I never thought to ask myself this one simple question:
What kind of mom am I made to be?
In reality, it has nothing to do with anyone else. All along, I was the one misunderstanding God’s purpose for ME by focusing so intently on the plan He had for someone else.
That one realization changed EVERYTHING.
From then on, I decided to rediscover my own strengths as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, and as a person; and I’m SO excited to finally meet myself as person I was meant to be.
So how about you? Have you ever set unrealistic expectations for yourself that left you disappointed and frustrated? Comment below and share with me!
12 thoughts on “The One Question Every Mom NEEDS to Ask Herself”
I really needed to hear this today. Thank you.
Aw…didn’t think that through. This is NurseyMom. I’ll figure this whole thing out eventually 😉
Doesn’t change how much I needed this today ♡
This is a post I know I’ll come back to again and again to remind myself when I get lost again. SO glad I could share it with you today. 🙂
Really enjoyed this one. From a dad/husband perspective, it is interesting as well, having expectations for how I will provide and take care of my family. We also have these expectations on our shoulders of what we are to be. None of which in themselves are bad, but as my lovely wife has stated, what has the Lord made YOU for? I can tell you now that I love taking my boys out every single day I am off work so, 1) Mom can rest, work, shower, eat, or do anything she needs to do, 2) it gives me a chance to pour the things I have learned into them and see how they learn, and 3) I have a purpose beyond going to a job to make money.
And everyone is better for it.
Good post, but I might be a little biased. 😉
Thanks so much for your input, love. 🙂 It’s super nice to hear the perspective of a dad/husband, and it’s AWESOME to see how you’re enjoying the discovery of what the Lord has made you for. Love you!
Katie, I SO appreciate your honesty in this post! Actually, I think we need to be cyber-besties! Your words really resonated with me. I have 2 little boys in diapers and wow, do they challenge me! I’ve been a SAHM since my oldest was born and (mostly) love it, but oh, there are some crazy days! 😉 I know I’ve created unrealistic expectations for myself and (still, unfortunately) struggle to find *exactly* what I should be doing most days–how to prioritize the Lord, my family, and everything else, while leaving room for taking care of myself somehow!?! My remedy so far has been a #yearofthankfulness, where I’m listing (not journaling; that takes too long!) what I’m thankful for each day. It REALLY helps me to refocus and be grateful! Now, if I could just win the giveaway for Caitlin’s course and utilize my skills to become the mom I’m meant to be…! ;D
Awwww! Thanks for such a nice comment, Lindsey! 🙂 I LOVE your idea of listing things out that you’re thankful for. I’m going to think about doing that myself! 🙂
I’ve undergone essentially the same transformation you’ve described, essentially on the same timeline, except I’m now 32.5, and if I did my math right, you’re about 31.5, haha! I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching the past year or so, trying to discover my own purpose. Before we started homeschooling and we only(!) had 3 kids, I kept things together fairly well; we did have a small garden, and I even had a friend or two who called me a super mom (because I was trying to attain those unrealistic goals, and running myself ragged in the meantime). Now I’m a mom of 5, homechooling, still raising babies and toddlers, and not doing a great job of any of it these days. Since babies number 4 and 5 have come along in the past 3 years, as well as the advent of our official homeschool journey, my ability to keep up with my own expectations has totally disintegrated. Talk about a wake-up call! I’ve had to totally reset my expectations for myself, my home, our homeschooling, and do a major overhaul of my diet and fitness regimen. I haven’t gotten it all figured out yet, but just the change in my mindset, and trying to meet myself where I AM instead of where I WANT to be, has relieved a huge burden. I’ve been seeking God for His will and direction for my life, and the mompreneur route continues to draw me in. Very interesting that our paths are so similar! Keep the great content coming; you have at least one person it’s resonating with! 🙂
Sarah!!! It’s SO nice to know I’m not the only one who has felt this way. I can honestly say that if you have 5 kiddos all breathing, nourished, and loved at the end of every day, you’re doing a pretty darn good job as a mom. Taking the time to make sure YOU’RE breathing, nourished, and loved at the end of every day is SO much more of a challenge, but equally as important! Praying the Lord will speak clear direction to you as you endeavor to discern His will. 😉
Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your journey with me! It’s always nice to connect with someone who gets it. 🙂
P.S. (Yes, I’m 31.5! Good job! lol)
I wanted the career and the farm and the kids and the husband. I literally wanted it all. I got the career and neglected everything else. I worked so hard and so often and such long hours that I had nothing left to give to my family. My health deteriorated and it forced me to recognize all the things I was talented in outside of my nursing career. Quite honestly, it has taken me a VERY long time to realize all those talents. I now have all of those things and I am a Suzie Homemaker, minus the farm. I do have a nice garden on my 1/4 acre, so I guess that counts for something. Right? I’m still finding the answer to this question every single day. It changes, as life does, and finding all of the answers again throws me for a loop. We are all just trying to figure it out as we go. If we did have an owners manual for life, it would simply read “Good luck and hold on tight!”
Hahaha! SO true! Because we grow and change throughout our lives, this is a great question to ask ourselves frequently. The mom I am now won’t be the mom I am ten years from now. VERY good perspective! Thanks for sharing! 🙂