A few weeks ago, I found myself at a breaking point. I had reached a moment when I realized I could not handle everything I am currently committed to. It wasn’t just my every day commitments. It was the extra things on top of all the things I said yes to months or even years ago.
Motherhood. Being a wife. Being a friend. Being a realtor. Singing in a praise band. Toastmasters. New leadership roles in Toastmasters. Planning a 2 week surprise vacation for my husband. Summer schedules with all the kids at home. Making time for fun this summer. Laundry-even just every couple of weeks. Yes, I only do laundry every couple of weeks. Does that mean we have too many clothes or is it better because I only have to worry about it once every two weeks? Dishes. I thought we just ran the dishwasher. Why are there so many dirty dishes? What are we having for dinner again? Didn’t I already plan dinner? Oh, wait, that was yesterday. Well, I thought we’d have leftovers, but for some strange reason the kids actually ate what I made and now I have to throw something together. If the kids don’t eat it, that solves my lunch dilemma for tomorrow. Why are my kids so messy? Why are there toys in the water table that don’t belong outside or in water? Yes, I do love to clean up the messes of each of my children. Perhaps if the laundry basket had a target or basketball hoop, the kids might learn what it is for. Whose idea was it to move again? I mean, I really love our new house, but moving is such a different experience when you have 4 kids. I love yard work, but I am glad it did not rain very much last week so I could skip mowing this week. I love my flowers, but now I am doubting my decision to plant over 100 more in addition to what was already here. Now I have 15 pots to water every few days.
That was my brain-okay, maybe only a small snippet of what was going through my mind. There I was, at the end of a relatively productive day. I made it through another day of achieving everything I really needed to do in order to just barely get everything on my list done. Who am I kidding? I don’t keep a list.
I decided my day would have been even more fantastic if I could get the basement painted (new house = new projects). When I was excited about painting the basement, my husband decided to spontaneously honor our 6 year old’s wishes and made a fire in our fire pit. I decided to stay inside to paint. They all enjoyed s’mores and had fun playing outside – staying up much later than I would have liked.
Much to my surprise, when my husband came inside he had no interest in helping me paint the basement. He knew I wanted to get it done before our vacation.
That was it. I found my breaking point.
It is difficult for me to share this, but the glass of water I held in my hand at that point in time was lucky to have survived. It took nearly every ounce I had left that day not to toss the glass across the room and watch it shatter into a hundred tiny pieces as water coated my very not clean floor.
I decided to call it a day. A quick shower and bed. After all, my husband said he was too tired to help me paint. I assumed he was turning me down and didn’t care to spend time with me.
Reflecting back, I am glad I held my tongue and didn’t say or throw anything. I thank God for the grace of overcoming the moment without using harsh words. I wanted to yell, to scream something at Tom. He wasn’t the source of my frustration.
After my quick shower, Tom made a comment on how fast I showered and how eager I seemed to want to go to sleep. I told him that apparently he was too tired, so I would just head to bed.
That’s when tears began to stream down my face. My instinct was to say horrible things, but somehow I was able to refrain. I confessed to Tom that I was overwhelmed, that I could not handle everything I was doing. It was true, we have both been very busy.
Tom looked at me with such compassion and understanding. He embraced me and held me tight until the river of tears stopped flowing that night.
I always try to justify how busy I am by saying I am doing it for the kids, for opportunity, for my husband, for a better life, for XYZ. If I can justify my involvement and busy-ness, then I will keep doing it and keep adding to it.
My moment of being overwhelmed was a small gift from God. It was good for me to feel frustrated, to feel overwhelmed. It was good for me to experience the tears and admit that I am weak.
When I am able to admit that I cannot do everything, I find myself relying more upon God. I have to let go a little. I know I cannot do it all. Every once in a while, I need a wake up call. I cannot be good at any one thing if I try to do everything all the time. It’s okay to feel weak.
I feel refreshed. I’ve been able to take time to reevaluate my priorities and let go a little.
I desire to be a good wife and a good mother. Everything else is second. Otherwise, I am unable to be an example of Christ for others to follow.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
One response to “Thank God I’m an over-stressed wife”
How often I have been in that unenviable place. Thanks for reminding me that there is always something more important than my overflowing to-do list.
And that second paragraph was epic!