Thursday, May 09, 2013

'love, mama' series | katie spencer

this month, i'm celebrating motherhood with some sweet words from a few of my favorite people. today my friend katie is here with some sweet encouragement!
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The hardest part of mothering has not been years of sleepless nights. Nor has it been finding the perfect remedy for diaper rash, surviving the terrible two's, potty training 3 boys, or cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night.

It was not the day Luke was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.


It has not been my Charlie's extreme picky eating.


It has not been my Jack's hyperactivity and subsequent trips to the ER to staple or stitch him up from his most recent impulsive act.


It has not been mothering when my lupus is flared.

It was not taking care of three boys under 5 while my husband, Kevin, was wiped out from cancer treatment.

The hardest part of parenting has been dealing with my perfectionist self. The part of me that never feels like I'm enough. Unlike life's other hardships, it is constant without any ebb and flow. It is that internal voice that criticizes nonstop: I don't craft enough, I don't home school, I don't always cook from scratch, and I may just bend our TV and computer limits more often than I'd like to truly confess. I lack patience and I don't always love my husband the way my heart tells me to. There are days when I'd rather read a magazine on the couch than play Candy Land. I say "in one minute" more than I'd like to and sometimes I wonder what my neighbors think when I've reached my limit and yell for my kids to get in their rooms by the count of 3.

In fact, as I type this my five year old, Jack, is asking me repeatedly to pour him some juice. I am nodding and giving him my finger signal for one minute until I type THIS SENTENCE.

Yes, I'm writing a post on motherhood and failing at the job as I type. The internal voice turns on: Failure. Liar. You should be doing so much more.

Now that I've purged, let me tell you that not that all days are like that. Actually, to be honest most days are thankfully not like that. However as a perfectionist mother, I perceive everyday to be those kind of days.

When the kids go to bed, my brain goes into overdrive and pushes rewind on the day. I go through each moment and critique my every move like a professional football coach reviewing the most recent game that was lost in search of nailing down every wrong move so the next game will be a promised win.

But here's the thing, not every day is going to be a win in this game of motherhood. There are mistakes made. Bad moves. You'll take a lot of hits. Some are more than you can withstand. You may be knocked off your feet.

Now that my boys are getting older and I'm entering a new season of parenting school age kids, I have been giving perfectionist parenting a lot of reflection. 

I have regret.

I regret the time I spent making sure that I was doing everything "just right." I wanted to make sure I used the right laundry detergent, the right sleeping method, the right learning toys, the right preschool...the list goes on and on. 

I had to do it just right.

Instead, I wish I would have spent that energy on enjoying.

Now God has put on my heart: If you can't do it all, do what you can with everything you have.

When I have a loving savior who knows every hair on my head, I have everything I need to parent my kids is a way that is full of grace. 

So enjoy this time mamas; whether you have an itty-bitty or biggies, just enjoy

Remember that you are never going to be perfect. You are not expected to be perfect. You can't do it all. Let it go sweet mamas.


And on those days, remember that there is a new day tomorrow.

Enjoy.

Much love,

Katie

7 comments:

  1. Thank you, Hannah for giving me the opportunity to share. You are such an encouragement to others and I love you a whole lot! Blessing to you, my friend.

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  2. I can so relate to this. Was just telling a friend that I feel like I wasted so much of my late 20's, early 30's, spending my emotional energy on things that we so not important. And now I just wish I would have sat around and held my babies more, enjoyed them more. Maybe that's what grandchildren are for ;)

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  3. **But here's the thing, not every day is going to be a win in this game of motherhood. There are mistakes made. Bad moves. You'll take a lot of hits. Some are more than you can withstand. You may be knocked off your feet.**
    Amen to that... So true and your words today are soothing to my soul!! Thanks so much, Katie!

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  4. what a beautiful testimony of grace here. xoxo!

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  5. so honest and lovely!

    If you can't do it all, do what you can with everything you have. /// love this!

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  6. Oh my goodness. Hannah, thank you so much for introducing me to Katie. Wow. Katie, your writing is stunning. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

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  7. Hannah, that you for featuring sweet Katie. Love this woman. She is incredibly strong and an inspiration to us all! xo

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