Another fridge calendar to fill with the many small details of the expectations you set for yourself in the week, for the month.
Perhaps you’ll outdo yourself this year. Perhaps, since Covid struck, you’ll manage ‘just fine’ by filling your life up with as much as you can before the next lockdown. Before the next uncertain forecast for your family’s future.
And since the holidays you had planned were all canceled, and the borders to varying places were closed and all the great many things that you had envisioned for your life had been thrown into a dark cavern of uncertainty, you’re left feeling…what’s the word? Anxiety.
The truth is, I’ve been struggling with the uncertainty of the world. I’ve been struggling with the uncertainty of what our life might look like in a month.
This level of ‘not knowing’ isn’t normal for most of us who are blessed with having schedules and calendars to fill with dates and commitments and classes and work.
And while the other side of the world have much larger issues to concern themselves with than cancelled birthday parties and possible home-schooling, it shouldn’t discredit the emotional attacks that have been felt by so many of us on this side of the world.
And I’m one of them.
“But you spend so much time in nature with your family and look perfectly happy on your instagram posts?” I hear you question.
To that I say, I think you can do everything right, focus on the positive and still suffer with the chokehold of anxiety.
Unfortunately ‘anxiety’ has become a word used too often in a nonchalant way. Our cultural need for dramatic sarcasm has positioned the word all to lightly into situations like, “I can’t deal with badly cooked bacon in my salad, it gives me anxiety.”
Dismantling the seriousness of what anxiety really means. And in some way discrediting those who genuinely struggle to breath, or to sleep, or function normally because their emotional equilibrium is utterly out of whack.
I’m speaking here specifically for the mothers out there, though there are a great deal of men and women who battle with it too. Simply because I know that feeling of being tired, angry, frustrated, worried, lost, juggled, torn and over-stretched that mothers experience all too often, left feeling like we’re losing in the games of motherhood.
For me, the moment my daughter wakes to the moment she goes to sleep at night she is at my side. Since we decided to delay her vaccinations (read more about that here) the government won’t allow us to send her to preschool or daycare. And with my family living in America, it’s just me and her. Every day, each day, all the time.
Apparently, 1 in 3 women in Australia will experience anxiety at some point during their lifetime. Assuming half the population are mothers, that’s 1 in every 6 mothers who have/will struggle with anxiety at some point in their lives. It’s certainly not uncommon.
And yet feeling like you can’t breathe while you check on the pasta, or feeling 5 degrees hotter while you pack the day’s lunchbox or that your heart is pounding like you’ve just climbed a mountain while you sit reading a book to your three year old, SHOULDN’T be a common experience for us mothers.
So, what’s to be done about it?
Well, I don’t quite know because I’m working on it. I work on it every day. I don’t have the answers because I’m not perfect and I have my own struggles.
But one thing has helped me.
The one thing I’m probably not meant to talk about.
One very simple thing that is honestly all we can ever do at a time of complete uncertainty about the world, our country, our own lives, our children’s future.
Give up worrying about it all. And start trusting that God will take care of the things you can’t.
It’s actually completely counter-intuitive. Since for most of us, we were raised with the notion that WE make our future and if you want to succeed YOU ALONE must work to make it happen.
So how is it that we can now just lie back and let God take care of it all for us?
Will He do the laundry for you? No. Will he cook the dinners, do the groceries, do the drop offs, head to work, homeschool the kids, clean the toilet, clean everything, make the phone-calls and help you find time for yourself? No.
But maybe trusting that you won’t be alone in it, or lost doing it, or fail completing it because there’s someone greater out there taking care of the rest for you. Hopefully that in itself will put your mind/spirit at ease a bit more.
Or if that doesn’t ring true for you, then perhaps just the simple reminder that there is someone else out there in the world who has much less than you.
No phone to read this post with. No home to clean. No car to do the drop offs with. Barely any food. Are concerned as to whether or not their children will survive tomorrow.
And that’s the sobering affect of perspective.
Motherhood is hard. But it shouldn’t have to be the ‘Hunger Games’. It’s a joy and a challenge. It’s lonely and yet completely full and blessed.
My challenges are different to yours, and yet they are just the same. The truth is, I’m a mother who needs to remind herself of what’s really important EVERY DAY and trust that God will help take care of the rest.
That its time to start sharing with people more of what I struggle with than what I might be brilliant at. Because I am far from perfect.
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