I sat down to write this post, wanting so much to share wisdom about how important it is to be kind to yourself. But then I realized something, I am terrible at that. I think I’m being kind to myself when the house is a mess and I haven’t exercises in two months because I’m adjusting my expectations.
Except I’m not. I’m harboring frustration and irritation at myself. Because a more disciplined person would be getting up early to pray and workout so that I could greet the day in a centered and calm manner. Instead of being ripped from sleep by the sound of my children up and already fighting with each other. If I really had it together I would be showered and dressed (extra points for makeup) and already started their breakfast before they emerge instead of alternating hurriedly throwing food at them while I attempt to wash, brush and dress. (This whole back and forth takes until at least 10 AM most days).
I can talk big about giving yourself grace, and encourage other moms to be kind to themselves, but you know what? I’m awful at taking my own advice. Because even though I know I can’t be super mom, I can’t stop trying. There is so much of me that doesn’t get expressed. The part of me that needs to focus on health and wholeness. The part that wants to be strong, and fit instead of saggy and lumpy. The part that wants to change the world, be a “real” blogger, and finish my next book. The part that wonders if I could have a teaching or a speaking ministry if only I had more than thirty seconds to think on a daily basis.
So what choice do I have? I can either continue down a path of negatively and self-deprecation and convince myself things will never get better. (Trust me I have those moments). Or I had just try again tomorrow and learn to rejoice in the small victories.
Today I managed to workout for the first time in a long time. It was at 3:30 in the afternoon while the baby was napping and the kids were miraculously playing without fighting for more than two minutes. I may have worn my workouts clothes all day to get to this small step forward and it’s likely that tomorrow may go in a completely different direction. But for now, for today, for this moment I was able to step out of the rut of survival mode and work towards a better way.
I can feel bad that I “should’ have done more and become disheartened if tomorrow I’m not able to make any progress. Or I can just celebrate the moment. Maybe those little celebrations and private acknowledgment of my small accomplishments are what kindness to myself looks like.