Thursday, March 17, 2011

On Inadequacy

This is a hard one.
Heartbreaking, almost; when I think of the potential that roams around inside my house every day.
The three amazing little creatures that God has seen fit - how?! why?! - to put under my care.

I feel...well...I feel inadequate to nurture them.
I feel under-qualified to give them the time, the guidance, the wisdom, the example, the everything that they need.
From me. 
Because I'm their mom.
I'm the only one.
And I don't think I'm doing as well as I should...
They warrant more than what I'm giving.

Where is this coming from?

Here it is:
Nursing school is sapping the very life out of me.
My house is a disaster (think BIG, here) 99.9% of the time.
I'm impatient. I'm distracted. I'm...
less than.

I'm afraid that I'll wake up when they're 15 and 14 and think,
 "My God...where has this behavior come from? Did I fail to teach them when they were five? Was I too focused on other things? Did something else mean more to me in a crucial teaching moment?"
I wrote earlier about having no regrets throughout Britt's first year.
It's one of my biggest fears that I'll have regrets about how I've handled the kids' formative years.

I think I'm probably all over the place with this post.
Not putting coherent sentences together...
Doing a mental dump on a public medium might not be my brightest idea yet;
but something in me says I'm not the only one who feels this way.
{Please, God, don't let me be the only one who feels this way...}

Let me clarify and say:
I don't think school is the culprit here.
I feel very confident in my decision to go back to nursing school - it's "a God thing" for lack of a better term.
The guilty party is me.
I need to figure out time-management and what's really important.
How to balance these facets of my life that pull at me, competing for my precious attention.

There is so much I want to do for and with the Three Little Piggies.
Take more walks, read unforgettable stories, teach them godly principles, laugh with them, show them how to make a bed and crack eggs into the bowl just-so, grow a garden, spend hours at the museum, watch the birds and then study them, worm-hunt, play freeze-tag.

Do you ever feel not present enough?
I feel that.

My mom sent me a quote via email this morning (I love my Marmee...) that said this:

How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral?
-Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

That's what I want.
A sense of sacredness in my everyday.
It can happen. I know it can.
I've felt it before.
I'm working to restore that sense of quiet, of harmony, of balance, of something-more.

I know I'm inadequate.
The grace here is that God is more than enough to take my short-comings and make my efforts whole.


Andrea said...

you're not alone. i feel this most days. my house is not in order, i feel like i never have enough time to tackle the things i want to or the things i used to. and i blame it on work. and it's hard for me b/c i don't want to be working outside the home, it's out of necessity that i do. and it's hard. and i struggle most days to fin the time for my child and husband, let alone any sort of laundry.

thanks for your honestly. thanks for your authenticity in sharing. I pray that with the Lord's help you'll find the ability to rid yourself of guilt and find a peace with this. know that you do the best you can, you're covered in God's grace and he's your strength.

Erin etc. said...

I love your openness. You are NOT the only one,and I'd be willing to bet EVERY parent feels this way at times. I recognize it as a fleeting emotion though, that doesn't stand up to the amount of love that you are pouring, *pouring* into your babies. Being the perfectionist that you are, you have to relinquish some of your control when it comes to mommyhood. You can not, will not be perfect in every way and in that flawed area lies the actual reality of perfection. You are perfect because you're not, as my husband reminds me. When you find youself needing that presence, realize that you can have it right now, no matter what you are doing, but it demands relinquishing your control of the future.
It is a choice, not an action.
Thank you for sharing!

Abby said...

I feel so honored to be your friend ash. Miss you more than words can say! You truely are a fantastic gal!

Alicia Marie said...

I feel ya...all the way. I am not in school, but I do work 20+ hours mostly from home. It can be rough. My house will show you that.

Motherhood is no joke. So much responsibilities in such little, learning bodies.

I don't have any answers...I am still striving to do better each day...but you are not alone.

Mrs. A said...

Ashley...I truly believe that the children are a direct reflection of how well the parents are/aren't doing. And from what I can tell from thousands of miles away, your kids are truly amazing and extraordinary little people, so that tells me you are doing an extraordinary job, weather it feels like you are or not. Of course we all feel inadequate from time to time, like we aren't doing enough, like we're not doing good enough, that we're failing, we ALL feel that, you are soooooo not alone, but at the end of the day, stop, look at your kids, look at what your family and friends say about your kids, look at who wants to be around you, look at your friends, look at the bigger will tell you all you need to know about how you're really doing. :)

Saundra said...

Ashley, you are an awesome mom and wife, always striving for God's wisdom and guidance. Ten or twenty years from now your children will not remember or care how your house or your hair looks, all they will remember and look back on are the special memories and things you have taught them, the unconditional love and spiritual guidance you have planted. The house and messes will alway be there but your children are little only once. Nursing school is temporary. Relax and enjoy them, God is in control.

Anonymous said...

we always will feel inadequate,
Because truly we are without the abiding and grace God provides.
"the journey is the destination" are traveling well, the babes are great! M

Lucy said...

I think this just shows you have high standards and are always reaching for better, which has got to be a great thing! It reminds me of that quote ' a man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?' I'm sure what you are acheiving is amazing, and even though I hope you can find that sense of balance you are obviously a very loving parent,and I think that being loved and knowing what love is is the most important teaching point. That will be what your children remember and what they reference when they think how to treat others.

I'm sure there are never meant to be two is 's next to each other but I can't see a way round it!

Annie said...

I get you. Totally get you. I wish I could sit down with you over a cup of coffee and hash out all of the things we've done to adjust, but I can't. All I can say is, give it some time and everything will fall into place.

Jamie E said...

I feel woefully inadequate, I clearly remember being preggo with #1 and getting quite a complex about it. Then of course the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that I can be a better parent because I have Jesus helping me. I wasn't handed a full deck from my parents, but I have the fullness of God's wisdom. I don' always get it right, but then love covers a multitude of sin and children are so forgiving:)