I have to kill her.
The “her” that's always telling me to do more… be more… “live up to my potential”… and stupid things like that.
She must go.
As I write this, there are no less than 21,837 crayons littering the floor. And not even nice crayons. The weird chunks of broken crayons that are left after kids have chewed on them, used them as weapons and peeled all their wrappers off. There's a fort of blankets that remain on the floor, days after they should've been tidied up. We're on day ten of no working bathroom, so you can imagine what sort of chaos has ensued.
But these are but circumstances. She's beyond these. She's under my skin.
Superwoman has stolen my joy.
I certainly can't be the only one who has “come to Jesus” moments… I don't know… every two weeks? When these emotions come upon me, I find myself joyless, exhausted, and uninspired. My home feels like a never-ending list of mundane tasks for people that, frankly, I'm not sure I like sometimes. I face off with making lunch like the plague. I'm overcome with the mom and wife I thought I could be and am told I should be. Often in these moments, I find myself scribbling down frantic lists of this or that (as if some sort of petty action like menu planning will correct my heart). No amount of laundry folding, email inbox clean up, or task delegation will satisfy superwoman's hunger. She has potential to live up to and an epic life to live.
So I'm letting go of superwoman.
I'm letting go of being everything to everyone. I'm letting go of the joylessness. I'm letting go of distractions. I'm letting go of everything except for prayer and Jesus, because at the end of it all, that's all I need anyway.
Truth be told, I find great joy in keeping a home. There's hardly a way I'd rather spend a day than caring for the critters here (kids included). Due to my nature, I'm a much happier mom, wife, and homemaker when there is a menu plan in place, groceries in the refrigerator, designated time for schooling the kids, and an organization system for everything. But guess what? I've failed at all of that over and over and over and over and over again.
Because I'm not superwoman.
I think the last time I worked out was circa 2011. My kids only have matching shoes because someone at church gifted us their littles hand-me-downs. I've got a stack of mail six inches high next to my computer that's begging me to be an adult.
I am an adult, right?
I know that no system will give me peace. That rests in only one place. But there is certainly something to be said for “trimming the fat” of a home and allowing it to breathe freely. First step: letting go of superwoman.
Superwoman would have me color coordinate bills and enter each detailed expense into an online budget. Sorry, girl. Can't do it. But I can make sure that paperwork is tended to once a week (if I bribe myself with a latte) so that it doesn't collect dust on my shelf. The stress of knowing that stack is there… begging me to give it time and attention… causes friction in my heart. It needs to be dealt with.
Superwoman would have me stick to a strict bible reading plan that would get me through the entirety of it three times in any given year while I filled out worksheets and printed off my kid's coordinating coloring pages. Sorry, girl. Can't do that either. But I can make time each day for scripture.
Superwoman would have me create a perfect in-home classroom for my children where I could always have curriculum ready and worksheets printed. Nope. Definitely can't do that. But I can teach my children in a good capacity. I know I can do that.
I'm recognizing where I am. There is far too much swirling around for me to do anything well. Not perfect. Well.
So in the spirit of peace and joyfullness, I'm looking at everything and asking myself: “Can this be trimmed back? Should this be trimmed back? Am I doing this well? Where is the friction coming from?” If I can identify it, I can deal with it.
I begrudgingly indulged in this exercise last weekend over (you guessed it) a latte and found the anxiety came up over particular areas of my life. Want me to share? Too personal? Should I even be writing this? Oh well…
I feel friction in homeschooling. My children deserve intentional care and enrichment. They also need matching shoes.
I feel friction in cooking. I need to make sure I'm grocery shopping and menu planning accordingly so that I don't face-off with the pantry with tears in my eyes every four hours.
I feel friction in farming. We have pigs that aren't breeding and too many sheep for our pastures. We need to prioritize what we want to grow, need to grow, and what is worth sourcing from other farmers.
I feel friction with health. After failing to visit the chiropractor regularly, like I know I need to, I spent the better part of a day laying on the couch after weeding the market garden left me all but crippled. This shouldn't happen. I know what I need to do to feel well.
I feel friction with work. There are so many requirements that pull me away from doing the two things that feed me well: writing and photographing. If it takes trimming away extras so I can focus on feeding my creative soul in these ways, so be it.
Luckily, none of these areas need to be done perfectly. But they do need to be done with intentionality. Letting go of superwoman means embracing less, moving slower, and recognizing seasons of life that aren't forever.
Goodbye, superwoman. Hello, peace.