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!