This Girl

>> Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It is 10:22am and things are already out of whack. I am sitting on the futon in the basement with Caden sleeping in the carseat, Lucas playing on his train table, the pup quietly chewing his bone next to me, and the Merry Maids upstairs cleaning my bathrooms. What could be wrong with this picture, you ask? Sounds pretty serene. Well, the problem is it is Wednesday and I am supposed to be at bible study.

I thought I was doing well. I finished the bible study homework last night, I got up and got boys breakfast and got in the shower and actually fixed my hair (and put on an outfit that required a belt- a step up from my norm of yoga pants and tank top) and pre-cleaned the house for the Merry Maids (you know, dishes off the counter and clutter put away and all that so they can actually CLEAN). I nursed Caden, got the boys dressed, changed a last minute poopy diaper and got everyone in the car. I drove to church and realized I forgot the stroller so I had to carry a heavy, sleeping Caden in the carseat to keep him asleep. So I then lugged Lucas and the carseat and the diaper bag through the parking lot and into the church, down to the tunnel that leads to the childcare. At this point, Lucas is already saying he is sad for me to leave him and begging me to stay with him in his class. Oh, and did I fail to mention that I am 20min late already. I almost just drove right past. What is the point?, I thought. But I was just this weekend telling a friend that I am really trying to stick it out this time and not be a chronic bible study failure dropout. So I tried to press on. But standing there in the church walkwayI asked myself again... What am I doing? I am making a spectacle out of myself and my children. Why can I not get my act together?

At this point, to continue on would mean lugging the heavy carseat all the way back to L's class, coaxing him to stay in his class, then lugging the carseat back to my group meeting to walk in at least 25min late and sit there for 25min while trying to keep Caden asleep and maybe get something out of the bible study discussion. Then schlep myself up to the big group where Caden would probably wake up and want to nurse anyway. Then pack us all up to walk back and get Lucas and then walk back to the car. FORGET IT!!! I do not want to be "that girl" today. You know, that girl whom everyone is staring at saying to themselves how glad they are not to be me... whispering to their friends, "Man, that girl needs to get it together." Or maybe they are saying, "that poor girl... she is a HOT MESS!" Even if they aren't saying it, I am.

I feel like moms with more do it better. And I just can't seem to GET MY SHIT TOGETHER!! What is wrong with me? I probably could have made it there on time it I didn't shower or didn't pre-clean the house or didn't take the 20min to feed my baby. But I couldn't leave the house without any of those things happening. So I did them all and it just didn't work. I couldn't get it all done and still show up at bible study with every hair in place and ready to say something deeply spiritual that all the women would "amen" to. I guess I am just not "that girl." You know, the one who no matter how many children or commitments, she has always seems to look put-together and be on-time and show up with fresh baked cookies and a beautifully wrapped present for the girl in the group that just had a baby. I want to think I am that girl. But I am more often the former, the hot mess.

Walking back to the car, Lucas said "what happened at Bible Study today, mommy?" "Mommy just couldn't get her act together today. I'm sorry, Buddy. I just tried to do too much this morning." His reply was, "Mommy I love going to bible study with you and then turning around to go back to our car so we can just be together. That makes me happy." I had to smile.

It does kinda put it all in perspective though. What is the point? The point is... well, I guess it is to do what is best for my boys and myself. And sometimes that may be making it to bible study but today was not one of those days. I was forcing it because I did not want to admit I couldn't get it all done or to be seen as a Bible study dropout (again!!) to the women in my group. But those aren't good reasons. My sanity, a quiet moment with my boys in the car, sitting and watching Lucas play and the pup happily cuddled next to me, Lucas happy to just be with me,... those are the good reasons.

It doesn't change the feeling of being a bible study dropout. It feels icky, like failing, like I am not the women that I am trying to convince myself I am. But here comes that word again.... MARGIN! I need it. And when I don't build it in, somehow it seems to push in and I just have to stop pushing back. I don't like that my bible study seems to be the thing that needs to get cut. I guess I need to find a different way to build some spiritual formation into my week. But this 9:15 bible study just isn't it. At least not today. There's always next week.

I do feel good that in all the rushing I didn't lose my patience with Lucas (which tends to happen). Maybe (hopefully) my calmness amidst chaos is due to some recent refreshment and downtime. It also feels right that in this moment I can see that sitting here is what is best. I have a clean house, clean hair, and happy boys. Not too bad. I am content to be this girl for now. We'll work on the rest another day.

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Just Me February 19, 2009 at 8:50 AM  

I'll join you in the 'that girl is a hot mess' club.

(and I think we are doing ok)
FWIW you always seem to have it together or at least are a few steps ahead of me!

Heather February 19, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

yeah, i'm in the hot mess club too! (i love that phrase!)

also, i always view you as more put together then me too. running a business, working pt, keeping up to date on your blog, constantly crafting something or serving others...

anyway...i feel i could have written this post.

i think you are amazing all the time especially when make up free in yoga pants & 2 boys up in arms

Heather @ Not a DIY Life February 20, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

I bet that everyone else at that Bible study feels that THEY are the ones who a hot mess! It's so easy to be too hard on ourselves and think that everyone else has their stuff together. I think there are a lot more moms out there that are a mess than we realize. It's that stupid facade that we feel we need to erect. We feel that we need others to think that we're together when we're not. everyone does it. That means that everyone is a mess! Welcome to the club!

Love you!

BPOTW February 20, 2009 at 10:58 PM  

I know exactly where you are in your life. I've had to say no to a weekly Bible study on Wed mornings because, as I honestly stepped back and looked at my life, it just wouldn't fit in. Don't feel bad that you can't fit it in right now (and it sounds like you may actually make it to some meetings, so that's great!). It's just a season and sooner or later you'll be able to work it in. It's easier said than done, but don't be hard on yourself. AND it's good that you were able to keep your patience and enjoy the time you got to spend with your children!

Thanks for sharing with BPOTW!

TwoSquareMeals February 23, 2009 at 1:42 PM  

Welcome to the club, my friend. All of us think we are a mess compared to everyone else out there. For the record, I always think you have it more together than me, Bible study dropout or not!

We had an amazing women's retreat this weekend that reminded me of the importance of seeing my place in the community in Christ. If I figure out what he has created me to be within the body and who I am in relation to him, then it doesn't matter if I'm not crafty or come to church looking like the mom of three kids or don't remember to write thank-you notes or have a messy house. Those may be places God is trying to work on me, but I certainly shouldn't assume that I need to be like other women who seem to have it more together.

In reality, I have found that the prettier the facade, the deeper the mess is buried. We all have it, some are just better at hiding it. If you aren't, then your gift is helping other women feel comfortable enough to reveal their mess. So put on those yoga pants and love on your boys and your friends, 'cause I know that's one of your great gifts.

Baby Love Slings


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