I don't have much original or interesting to say today. It's all been said before and will be said again. I read this blog post (be warned, there is a bit of language) that has made it to my Facebook news feed several times and was struck, again, by the pressures that we mothers put on ourselves.
When I was at the amazing Gingerbread House Decorating Party last weekend, I ended up speaking with the hostess's MIL, who I know from church. We were talking about the Bible study that I go to that she used to help with and how wonderful it is. She mentioned that they never had anything like that when she was raising her six kids. She talked about how alone she often felt in a time when she was rarely ever alone, and we both agreed that having times and places to meet up with friends is a great thing for mothers.
Last night I was feeling a bit of a failure. I often feel like I am getting it wrong on discipline. Or that I am not doing enough actual crafting with my kids, instead of just my own crafts. Or that we don't get to the library enough. Or that I didn't do a good job teaching them about thankfulness during that particular holiday season. Or that I am not doing enough "adventy" stuff with them now that it is Christmas time.
I had to step off that ledge of doom and failure. My children are fine - in fact, they are thriving in spite of and because of me.
I long for a list of rules that includes detailed instructions and possibly diagrams that tell me if I follow this specific path, then everything will turn out beautifully for our family. My kids will be happy and well-adjusted. They will grow up, graduate from college, marry and produce beautiful grandchildren for us that we will all love and adore. I want a formula that produces results.
What's so confusing in this life and times is that we can "see" the ways that other people do it. We can see the beautiful parties. We can see the lovely traditions. We can see the books that are read. And I get distracted. I wonder what I should be doing more of. I wonder if I should stop some of the things that I am doing. There is flat out so much information out there and pressure just waiting for us to pick it up and carry it around.
But underlining all of this is the reality that no matter what we do, there are no guarantees. My children will disappoint and fail me - just as I will them. No matter what magical childhood I might strive to create, they will grow up and have to chose to follow God, choose to take responsibility for themselves and choose to be content. Just like I have to do each day.
So, today I did a lot of Christmas baking while the girls colored at the table and then watched Cinderella, for the 40 billionth time. After naps, we painted their nails (which they loved), and now I am on the computer, waiting for John to come home.
I'm trying to fight the pressure. I'm trying to do what matters and let the rest go. I'm trying to put all my eggs in the God basket, since that is where all my guarantees lie. It's an uphill battle.