Warning: Super Mom on Strike!
I was running at full steam ahead with our family's ministry, homeschooling our children, writing a curriculum, cooking, cleaning, and laundry, I just couldn't get it all done and inevitably it was the bathrooms and the floors that got neglected. I was always stressed that I hadn't gotten to that yet, and what if we have company and they need to use the bathroom!?
I felt like a failure in my housecleaning skills and that tension and attitude was spilling over into the other areas of my life.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who's ever felt that way? I was more stressed while teaching our kids (becuase we had to hurry to get to the cleaning) and I was more stressed with company (because I hadn't gotten to the cleaning)… It was a vicious cycle.
And then came the light bulb moment.
I realized that when I am dead and gone, my kids aren't really going to brag on how clean momma kept her bathroom.
I mean clean is good, but do I want to be remembered for being stressed every day of my life over the cleanliness of a bathroom? I would rather they remember good times and sweet memories of reading, learning, & hammock swinging together with a mom who was totally present and fun (i.e. Not stressed out or hurrying through things).
I realized that I don't care who cleans my bathroom
or who mops my floors, but that I want to be the one who educates my children. I want to take time to delight in them, to be the one present to see the light of learning, the one who enjoys the new stories and exciting discoveries just as much as they do.
But, when I thought about hiring someone to come clean I began having guilt and pride attacks: What will the neighbors think? What will the in-laws think? Will they think we're spoiled? That I'm lazy? That I'm not a good enough housecleaner? Would I be admitting that I can't do everything all by myself? That I'm not super mom? (Gasp!)
God and I had a good heart to heart about that, and then my husband and I had a heart to heart, and decided together that we should look into hiring someone. In time, God brought us Maria*. She comes once a week for a few hours and cleans our bathrooms and mops our floors. That may not sound like much to you, but to me it is huge! It is just what I need to get me over the top of the “Ok, we can handle this now” mountain.
Here are some of the benefits of our decision:
- Dishes and laundry are maneagable, because that one stress of the thing I could never get to is gone.
- We are providing added income for Maria's family.
- We have added ministry opportunities as she is in our home talking with us and observing our family life.
- The housework is now under control.
- We can entertain (even last minute) guests with less stress.
- I can teach my children with more engagement and less hurry and stress.
- I have more time to do the things (family and ministry things)that really matter.
All because God helped me swallow my “I can do it all, all by myself” super mom pride. And now we're considering looking for a virtual assistant as well!
What is it that you are holding onto because of your pride?
Do you need to hire someone to do the housecleaning so you are free to do something more important? Do you need to give up one activity that you're not enjoying or not really good at to concentrate more time on what you do enjoy or are good at? What is your priority or what should it be? For me stress-free family time was more important.
I realize that this post may be controversial. You may or may not agree with me. Whatever side of the discussion you fall on, I'd love to hear your take on it.
Have you read “How to be Super Mom (and hate it): 5 Mommy Ruts to Avoid”?
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the esteemed individuals mentioned in this post.