So last night as I was about to leave with a friend for my much anticipated “birthday pedicure,” I struggled with an issue I’ve had for a couple years now. It all started when my friend came to pick me up. Typically, she meets me at the door and we go out to her car together, or as soon as I see her pull up, I happily dash out to meet her and we’re on our way for whatever we’re up to on that given day. Except yesterday was different. My friend wanted to come. inside. my. house. Arrrrrggggghhh!
This is a friend of 15 years, give or take. We’ve known each other as single gals, then married gals, and now Mommies. We’ve been through lots of life together, good and bad. She’s one of a very select few of my ‘go to gal’ friends. I always know that when the rubber meets the road, when the car is in the ditch, I can call upon her and she will be right there for me. Those kinds of friends are rare and very precious.
So, flash back with me to this crucial moment where she wants to come inside my house (EEK!) to see my son, whom she hasn’t seen in awhile. I cannot tell you how badly I just wanted to shake my head violently NO! After all, we were running late for our very important pedicures! I tried, rather nicely, to change her desire and just scoot out the door. No such luck. I even told her to turn a blind eye to my house. So, she tried to navigate through my den and kitchen to the outside where my hubs and son were playing. I was highly embarrassed.
For a flash of a few minutes, I turned into ‘perfectionist mode’. It’s where I care more about the state of my life with all its many imperfections than my friend. Good grief! She wanted to see my son for heavens’ sake. She was interested in my life. She didn’t care about my messy house. She knows I’m a Mommy of a very busy toddler. In my mind though, she’s always got her house picked up; however, I have to remind myself that her kiddos are quite a bit older than mine. She’s moved through this crazy stage of not being able to get anything done. Given all this, I don’t want her to see me for the slob that I feel I am. Such a battle waging in my head.
I could go a zillion different ways with this scenario and how I need to just get over myself. Thankfully however, I was able to learn a very important lesson from all this craziness. Are you ready? It’s pretty simple, actually. STOP worrying so much about what others’ think. There, I said it. Quit stressing over how I want my life to look like. I’m not saying that there’s not room for improvement. I’m not trying to use my messiness as an excuse to sit and eat bonbons all day (HA!) At some point though, I need to grasp the concept of “It is what it is” (I even have this on a plaque in my house, for heavens’ sake!) and embrace the season that I’m in. I’m a Mommy to a toddler. One day, he’ll be all grown up and independent. He won’t need me like he does right now. I’ll have all the time in the world to clean my house. I’m in a season of life. A brief season. It will change on a dime and I don’t want to waste the precious time I have with him to be so focused on cleaning my house.
Okay, so does this resonate with anyone else, or is it just me? I have to remind myself over and over that when I decided (my hubs and me!) to quit my job to be a SAHM it was to focus on my baby. My child. My long anticipated wait to be a Mommy had finally been realized. If I’m going to fret and focus over keeping a clean house then I might as well go back to work because I’m just as distracted and unplugged from my primary focus and desire to be a Mommy. To invest in his life. To raise him. Teach him. Point him to the Lord. Play with him, Love him. Feed him nutritious meals. Plan play dates with other children. Make memories.
In closing, this too shall pass. When I look back over my life as a Mommy, I want to reflect on all the fun we had, the experiences we had, the memories we made, the lessons we learned NOT on how clean my house was all to impress others who I fear will judge me. There, I said it. As a child of God, my measuring stick is Christ. Not my friends. Not my family. I want to please Him. I want Him to say of me “well done, good and faithful servant”. I’m not saying a clean house is a sin. It’s certainly not a sin. I strive to have a clean, uncluttered house. It’s just not my focus at this stage of my life and that’s okay.
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver is a great read to remind us to keep the main thing the main thing. I encourage you to check it out. It has certainly been an inspiration and a ‘go to’ book for me.
Until tomorrow…have a blessed day today!