This week I have felt stressed. You know that overwhelming feeling where your to do list is so long and all you want to do is get ahead on it, but you can’t because you’re a mum to little kids and they are oblivious to the things you have to do?
I’ve struggled with wanting to get ahead with my to do list and being a great attentive mum to my girls.
I’ve neglected reading my Bible. Haven’t had the time. I pray quick prayers, read a quick devotional and then sometimes swear when something doesn’t go to plan and ask God why is life so damn hard?
I’ve said yes to more this year because I needed to.
I needed some paid work and I was able to get some freelance writing work just through networking. It’s work that I enjoy, but if I can’t get to the computer to write those articles for the week I hyperventilate.
Every attempt on my part to get ahead has ended in tears. Last weekend we had no internet because Telstra had to fix a copper cable in our area. I was frustrated because it meant a weekend where I couldn’t get onto the computer to get some work done. Thankfully my prepaid Telstra modem that I won from Kidspot got me out of trouble.
Then on Thursday night, the internet was working but my internet explorer was not.
Then Phoebe and I came down ill. I thought Phoebe was just teething and I had a bad cold. Turns out Phoebe has a viral infection (she came out in a rash and I thought it was measles, but it’s not, Thank GOD) which just requires Panadol and Nurofen and lots of rest.
So today, it is International Women’s Day and I am at home with Phoebe. Jacob has taken Esther and Magdalene to church.
And the time alone with Phoebe has been glorious. It’s been much needed.
I’ve prayed. I’ve cried. I’ve worshiped. I’ve read inspiring words that have gently lifted up my soul.
My struggles have been my own. I’ve caused them really.
Too high expectations on myself and pressure to ‘get ahead’ are doing no favours for my inner wellness.
I’ve been tired and I’ve been sick. And I’m sick and tired of this tug of war struggle that women face day in and day out.
It isn’t easy being she.
I know I’m not the only mum that is feeling overwhelmed by the expectations of life. After going to the city on Tuesday for a blogging conference, I got to catch up with some blogging friends and I got to meet my new boss.
All four of us struggle with time. Most of us mums are going to bed at midnight because we work on projects or business’s that allow us to be stay at home mums or if not that, the flexibility of working around rigid school hours.
All of us women struggle with something.
I think about the emails I receive from women trying to get an apprenticeship or the treatment they receive while doing their apprenticeship.
I see women fighting each other online for the choices they make for their family and careers.
I read blogs and articles about how as women we need to do more to provide for our financial future because the sacrifice of childbearing puts a dent in our super.
We need equal opportunity, we need support and we need flexibility but it is sometimes hard to find.
In amongst the angst of this week, I haven’t had time to listen to that inner voice of the Holy Spirit to stop and spend time with God.
Doesn’t God know I’m busy?
But then this morning after spending time in the quiet while Phoebe was playing with her toys on the floor, I was able to stop and listen.
That moment I stopped, I began to feel refreshed.
Why have I not listened and obeyed that inner voice sooner?
I’ve been convicted of late not spending time with God first thing in the morning. Not convicted because it’s what a good Christian should do. Convicted because I know that I am at my brightest in the morning and instead of spending some time with God I choose to get more sleep or do some work.
I know that spending time with God first thing in the morning won’t prevent my struggles. But He does give me peace and wisdom to know how to handle each struggle as it comes up.
Today I got clarity from some verses in the Bible. All to do with giving to others and to stop focusing on me. (Philippians 2:3-4)
Often as a working mum I am focused on how much I have to do, but I rarely focus on why I do what I do.
I work so I can provide for my children and to avoid the stress living on one wage can add. I chose to write a blog and say yes to freelance writing work because of the flexibility and the extra cash to assist with our expenses. I do this for a happy family life. But I’m still working out the formula on how I can be less stressed through the process.
I don’t think the tug and war battle with women balancing family and work life will ever cease. We live in a flawed world. But our capacity and mindset can change by simply learning to rely on God’s strength and not our own.
In the peace and quiet of night time, I’m thankful that life is busy and good. I’d prefer it to be this way than not. I find thinking of the alternative gives me a bit of perspective.
I just wish I’d learn to make quiet time a priority because I know I will feel less frazzled during the day.
How has life been for you? Do you spend time with God? Doing anything to celebrate International Women’s Day?
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.