Whenever I talk to women, three topics top their list of things that haunt them:
1) Why don’t I have enough time?
2) Am I doing enough as a parent?
3) Do I have enough friends?
Today, I was purging my email inbox, and guess what? The theme is the same! Not enough time, not a good enough parent, not enough friends.
On Time Management
I think I've said "yes" to too many things, and now I'm worried I'm going to be stressed and frazzled during the holidays. I just want to savor every second, so I'm trying to figure out how to manage things so that I get to do all the things I want to do in addition to all the things I HAVE to do.
Our garage is still full of unpacked boxes. It turns out we don’t need a lot! I’ve joined a Buy-nothing group (in my new town) and while I haven’t quite pared down to a minimal lifestyle, I admire those who have.
Years ago, I imagined my kids getting older and me being left with more time on my hands. Yet the years have passed, and instead of gaining extra hours every day, I've actually ended up with less. Now how did that happen?
I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels behind with everything! I used to be so organized and on top of things, and it drives me CRAZY that I don't feel that way anymore! I guess if I could get some energy, it would help.
I'm not sure when you said school wasn't going great the other night if you were referring to social or grades, but if it's grades, that really is the best problem to have. Remember I told you I spent years in Special Ed. Really. My grades were always teetering on a D, sometimes a B. I have grown up to be a functioning part of society even being labeled as slow.
I often think of myself as a women stuck in the 50’s. I have very traditional values and truly work for the betterment of every member of my family every day. I love being a F-T mom, but I know some things are missing in my life. Sometimes, I joke that there will be plenty of time to make friends and do things for me after our last one leaves the house….when I am 58 years old! I work very hard at having the girls engage with peers, but I set zero example on how to do that myself. What I know I miss is letters, phone calls and someone besides my husband to share in raising children.
So, in her 11 year old mind, she felt that needed to be private. Of course we have talked since she was a baby that what is on the inside is more important than the outside. How do I articulate that? Explain that??? We talked about outfits, hair and activities aren’t as important as how we feel. My fear is that if I’m in tuned to this and I am struggling, how many more moms are raising cookie-cutter daughters?? Bottom line, how do we teach our kids to share emotions? Thinking we need some good old fashioned debates around our dinner table like we had when I was a kid – although I HATED it at the time!
Where I am in life now, I see social skills are the most imperative. My husband was my first teacher. I've never been able to solve for x or y, but I know how to give a grieving mother a hug. I know how to make a meal and take it to a family who has been trapped in the hospital for days or weeks. I know how to befriend our very eccentric neighbors who moved here from Wisconsin. I know how to do many things that would never pass the test.
I often feel isolated because I am just not interested in posting about my life and texting people. I think there is a better way, but I just haven’t found others that feel the same way and I am not willing to compromise my values just to fit in. I want to really talk to people and do things for other people, and I don’t really enjoy just surface conversations. I like the idea of just meeting with women to talk about things that is not a Bible study.
I was getting ready to type out the prayer requests from last week, and I noticed that all of these prayers were for other people--none for ourselves. I know it's not just that we're all super unselfish and want to pray for everybody else. Surely there are things you all are bringing before God this week! I feel like our group has been very transparent during our discussions, and I hope in time we will also feel comfortable enough to share our personal prayers.
I believe that some days, ok MANY days, can be pretty mundane. We are looking for God to be present in BIG ways instead of us being present in Him in a big way. Also we have talked in Bible study about the rush and hectic life we tend to live and being guilty of trying to live up to expectations. And the pressure we place and society places on life appearing to everyone else as "perfectly put together.” I believe we all have a common cord with these issues, regardless of where we are in our life and walk.
My time is now extremely valuable - little margin and we know that is not good. Trying to figure it all out. Doing ok, mostly. Quiet time has suffered. I just can't seem to get my fill in 15 minutes from 5:45-6. Maybe I get up earlier. Maybe I spend an extra amount of time at night. The rest is ok - working out, grocery, etc...we have worked out a routine for that.
See a theme here?
Am I enough?
It’s the all-consuming question that transcends generations. In rereading these words from friends, I think it’s important to note that on some level we’re all struggling. There’s a gap between what’s ideal and what’s real. In our mind, we think we should have all the time in the world to do the things we want to do, but the reality is that we often let the whims of others hijack our calendars. We want meaningful friendships, but we can’t figure out how to invest the time necessary to grow those relationships, and worse—we’re doing a terrible job of modeling it for our kids. We want our kids to grow up to be good students and well-adjusted human beings but we’re stretched so thin, we feel like we’re failing there, too. We want to foster our spirituality, but we don’t know how to fit in or we haven’t found a place where we belong.
There has to be a better way!
And the good news is that there is!
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