Faith Motherhood

Dear Overwhelmed Mama—I See You

Written by Ginger Hughes

Truth time.

I feel overwhelmed lately.

It’s the kind of overwhelmed that makes me want to sit and do nothing because I have no idea where to even start. It’s the kind of overwhelmed that makes the tears sting my eyes because I feel like such a failure in multiple areas of my life right now.

That kind of overwhelmed.

Sometimes I struggle with this. Like I simply can’t do enough . . . can’t be enough.

Some days it seems impossible to be a good mom, a good wife, a good employee, a good cook, a good housekeeper, a good friend, a good writer, and a “good” person all at the same time . . . oh, and all while remembering “self-care”.

I can keep a couple of these balls in the air with no problem and even add a third with relative ease. But try to get that fourth and fifth included in the mix, and they all come toppling down.

As I’ve sat here, overwhelmed and frustrated, it’s occurred to me that perhaps my problem is not that I’m not good at all of these things. Perhaps, the problem is I’m not “good enough” for my perfection-seeking self. And though I try not to chase it because I’ve realized the futility and absurdity of it, striving for perfection is something I continually have to guard my heart against.

You see I am a good mom and a good wife. I’m just not a perfect one.

I am a good (OK, decent) cook and good housekeeper. I’m just not a perfect one.

I am a good employee, friend, writer, and person. I’m just not a perfect one.

And within this feeling of “less than” is where so many of my frustrations lie.

I want my floors to shine, my closets organized, and my laundry baskets empty. I want to help my kids make bird nests from Play-Doh, paint masterpieces for the refrigerator, and have meaningful conversations with my husband. I want a homemade dinner with my family in the evenings, and time for lunch with my friends during the week.

In essence . . . I want perfect.

Often, in these moments of frustration and feelings of less-than, I don’t realize this is what I’m chasing because it happens innocently enough. I see a family who manages a from-scratch, home cooked meal six out of seven nights, complete with veggies from their garden, and I think to myself . . . I should be able to do that.

I see friends who manage to have date night with their husbands once every other week, and I find myself thinking we should be able to pull that off.

I walk in homes where everything is pristine and looks like a magazine, and I think to myself . . . if I just try a little harder, my home can look this nice.

Though I know better than to compare myself with others, I “perceive” perfection in other families and falsely convince myself that if I work hard enough, I can be “good enough”.

I can’t. And in all honesty, none of us can. Perception is not reality. And the reality is, we all struggle because the truth is simple: none of us are perfect. And thankfully we don’t have to be.

You see friends, what I often forget is that we’ve not been called to be perfect; we’ve been called to love. To love God. To love our families. To love our neighbors.

And you know what? Love is messy, as is life. But it’s also beautiful.

And if we aren’t very careful, we will spend our lives chasing after some ideal we’ll never fully realize, and miss out on a beautiful life full of so much love, right here in front of our eyes.

This article originally appeared on No Mama’s Perfect

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About the author

Ginger Hughes

Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother to Ella and Elam, and a part-time accountant.  She is a Georgia native, but presently calls the foothills of North Carolina home.  She loves coffee, nature, and reading, but with two children under six, she struggles to find time in the day for any of the above!   She is a Christ follower and a fellow struggler on life’s journey who seeks to find joy in the everyday.

Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace, and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children, that we are not alone in our brokenness, and that we are all deeply loved. 

You can read more of her writings at nomamasperfect.com