Perfection vs. Flat-out Giving Up

My tiny baby boy will soon be four months old. It’s unbelievable to me that I’m typing those words. What’s nearly as hard for me to accept is the fact that even after 3.5 months, I still don’t have everything together.

I had this vision in my mind that after a month or so I’d become this completely organized homemaker. At the very least, everything would be clean and my husband would never have to do chores. I’d be doing all the shopping and cooking every meal. I’d be dieting and exercising like a pro, pushing Dexter around in his stroller for fun and healthy bonding time. Not to mention all the singing and reading I’d do with him, making the most of every second of valuable teaching time. Everything that obviously defines a successful Christian mom, right?

However, reality is littered with excuses. Because of an unplanned c-section, recovery took longer than I expected. And nothing can prepare you for what chronic sleep deprivation is really like. So at first, I had good reason not to have anything done. But lately I’ve noticed that I’m spending just a little more time on games, and a lot less time on all those lofty goals. While I am still exhausted, am I *too* exhausted to clean up? Probably not. My fitness routine is spotty at best, and the ten pounds I’ve gained back are a testament to how healthy my diet is. And who on earth wants to haul a sixteen pound baby up and down stairs, in and out of a car, to get groceries, let alone go on a leisurely stroll.

As far as those teachable moments go, I try to do what I can to spend time with Dex. I know he’s not lacking in mommy time. We’re pretty well attached to each other. And I know he’ll turn out just fine, even if I’m not actively teaching him the fundamentals of calculus every minute of the day. But I’m becoming more aware of how he watches me, and the examples I’m setting for him. Who knows how early those things are actually programmed in children’s brains? Do I really want him growing up with a mom who spends most of her time playing video games and watching TV?

My newest goal is not to have the cleanest house, not to have make amazing meals everyday, not to be the most attractive mom on the block, or even to cultivate the smartest, most quickly developed prodigy to flaunt in front of my friends. My ultimate goal as a mother, and the reason I am staying at home, is to model Godly behavior for this little boy in hopes that someday he might come to know and love God.

So I am renewing my commitment to working toward my former goals, not in a candy-coated daydream sort of way that lifts me up as someone who has it all, but in an imperfect moderate way, knowing there will be days I will fall short. Because what’s so amazing about God’s grace is that He loves and forgives us, even though we’re the total opposite of perfect. Going forward I will work to put away my selfishness by trying to avoid the pitfalls of both laziness and the never-ending hunt for perfection, as neither of those things will benefit my family.

2 thoughts on “Perfection vs. Flat-out Giving Up

  1. I’ve just recently come to the continuing awareness that I’ll NEVER have it all together. I felt like laughing and crying all at the same time. : )

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