It's been an interesting six weeks around here, to say the least. (Okay, okay, more like an interesting TWO YEARS.) I won't bore you with the details and I'm not looking for your pity, but our usual chaos has been unusually hectic. There have been a few times in the last two weeks where Cody and I have looked at each other and just laughed (crying isn't as fun) because what was happening was so unbelievably horrific that it was almost comical. Through our laughter, Cody said, "You really cannot make this stuff up."
Our life is just crazy and not in an exciting way. In a "drowning in puke and messy sheets and spills and insurance issues and natural disasters" kind of way.
Anway, last night was another one of those nights, so I spent most of the night awake. I let my mind wander to the place it likes to stay the most- where I beat myself up for all my past mistakes and tell myself that I'm not doing enough, being enough, reaching out enough. I criticize myself for not replying to emails quicker; for forgetting to respond to interview questions until the last minute; for not taking on more collaborations or doing more giveaways to gain more followers; for saying more "no's" than "yes's". I look down at my plate and ask myself why I can't be better at adding more.
As I lay there, criticizing, I remembered a conversation that I had with my mother when Lolly was a few weeks old. She was exclusively nursing; I was homeschooling Macson; my husband was out of the picture for a few months due to work; and I was feeling the pressure to get back in shape while he was gone. I was lamenting to her about how much I wasn't getting accomplished.
"Mom, I have the same number of hours in a day as BEYONCÉ and I'm getting NOTHING done! I want to plant a garden and make bread from scratch and get my body back. All these other moms can do everything and I feel like I'm doing NOTHING."
My mother, in all her wisdom, reminded me of my season. I was spending hours a day nursing the chubbiest, greediest baby who would fit as much food as she possibly could into her stomach, just so she could throw up the extra all over the house (clearly nothing has changed in the Lolly department 😂). My mom reminded me that Lolly would grow up over time and I would have most of those hours back as her needs changed.
Last night, I realized that I was too focused on the mess of the plate in front of me and had lost sight of the whole table. This is the plate I have RIGHT NOW, but this is not what my plate will look like forever.
Maybe I look a little flaky right now. Maybe I seem hard to get in touch with. Maybe I seem unwilling to get involved and maybe not getting involved makes me seem stuck up. But then I remember my priorities and the worries about perception fade away. I'd rather seem flaky to strangers than seem flaky to my children. I'd rather be harder for a stranger to get a hold of than someone in my family to get a hold of. I'd rather be consistent in the ministry of motherhood than any other ministry out there. I'd rather drop the ball on an email than on Avery's prescription. I'd rather pursue my marriage than pursue more followers. I'd rather cultivate content that adds to people's lives rather than slowly chip away at their bank account. I'd rather communicate to my readers that you already have everything you need to be happy, instead of introducing you to another thing you "need to buy" in every other post. So, I thought of two things...
#1. Know your priorities.
Jesus. Cody. Macs. Lolly. Avery. My family. My personal goal (that I'm plugging away on slowly, but surely and can't wait to share with you some day! 🙌🏼). Sharing JOY with my followers.
These are my priorities. Everyone's are different. That's okay. You just need to know what they are.
#2. Know your capacity.
Right now, I feel like my capacity is very low. I don't have a lot of margin in my life for extra. Extra friends, extra volunteering, extra guest blog posts or speaking engagements- none of those match up to my current priorities. The more you do, the more you have to manage and I'd rather manage my family and their care REALLY well than manage a lot of different things (often GOOD and WORTHY things) and let someone I love fall through the cracks.
When I remember my priorities, I feel better about my capacity. I don't feel badly because it is not as high as the next girl on my Insta feed. We are in different seasons! We are apples and oranges. There is no comparison and absolutely no competition.
One day my children will be older. I'll have completed my personal project and be ready for something else to tackle. Avery will be healthy and restored, Lord willing, trach-less, vent-less and eating by mouth. I won't have to coordinate her care, spend hours at the doctor, clean up her vomit all day every day, or spend every ounce of mental energy I have creating a plan of care for her nutrition and development. I won't do PT with her for an hour a day. Her needs will be different and I may find some extra time on my hands.
I'm not a failure for not doing "everything" right now, but I WILL fail if I try to do "everything" in the wrong season. The small, tight places of our lives are where we gain the most character. We can't be trusted with more until we prove we can be excellent with less.
This is my season, low capacity and all, as embarrassing as that is for me to admit, I'm going to own it. Kill it. Enjoy it. Laugh at it. Choose contentment when I feel restlesss and look forward to the next season that hopefully involves a little less vomit and maybe a teeny bit more sleep. 😉