I work 20 hours a week for an amazing non-profit, coaching congregations in social media use.

I’m part of the (in)couragers leadership team, creating and sharing documents and emailing and corraling 100’s of women leaders.

I am a mom to a cunningly adorable and stinker-ish toddler Boy who demands and deserves my attention.

I am wife to a wonderful, captivating man who asks nothing of me but deserves more than that much of me.

I have a house that I adore and would like to clean more than never (because mama lives with two boys and a dog who sheds like whoa).

I have this here blog, where I ache to pour out words and meet you at the fence and grow my presence because I love it.

I have family who lives nearby and I want to host them at dinners and celebrate with them and be the glue that binds us.

I have family who does not live nearby, and I want to make photo albums for them of The Boy and call them and check in.

I even have a few friends who deserve my love and time, and I long to give that to them but don’t.
I may have/be all of those things, but I do not do them all well. I do not even come close.

This week alone has brought meltdowns, a pretty literal mountain of laundry on the bed (that moved onto the floor three days ago, where it still sits), tears from The Boy as I left for work, hundreds of emails, a lot of coffee, a dying computer, three cars each in need of some kind of (expensive) work, a LOT of office hours, a quiet family dilemma, dozens of hangers on the floor (brought inside from last weekends garage sale), not quite enough money to stretch, and a bunch of guilt and wondering.

I wonder how women in their 30’s make friends – the kind of friends you sit with, drinking coffee and watching the kids play while you just gab together. I wonder how families have savings accounts with more the $3 in them. I wonder how moms of toddlers manage to take a shower without their whole house being destroyed in those five minutes. I wonder how I will ever catch up with the life that is hurtling on by me. I wonder how in the world my Boy got to be nearly 21 months old. I wonder how new-ish parents take date nights, take time for each other, take back their marriages after having children. I wonder if how I will ever lose that ol’ baby weight. Sigh.

And I get so lost in the wondering that guilt about each of those things creep in. Instead of ‘I wonder’, it turns into
– ‘If only I did ______, then it’d be fine’.
– ‘Why can’t I pull it together enough to…?’
– ‘Other moms do____ – why can’t I just be like that?’

And that, friends, is the danger zone.

Wondering is ok. It is the wondering that pushes me to fill my hours with more than I thought I could, to write one more email, to read the book one more time, to forgo bedtime for five more minutes of fun, to get up a little earlier, to grow. But when the wondering turns ugly… that’s the cutoff. And honestly? {lean into the fence, friend – I have to whisper this} I’m struggling to not cross that line. At the end of the day, it’s hard to see all that I’ve done rather than the ginormous pile of mismatched hangers on the floor that’s covered with dog hair and ohmyword how long has that bottle been under the bed?

Offering grace to myself is not my forte.

But not only is it absolutely imperative that I offer grace to myself, we must offer it to each other. In very tangible ways. We must send a Starbucks gift card thru the iPhone app to a tired, weary sister. We must send a sweet text to a dear friend, even if we haven’t spoken in months because of life. We must pray for each other, really on our knees pray. We must bring a meal to a new mom, and not just think about it (this is a real life example. Jinger, I owe you this meal.) We must take our intentions and act.

I don’t have a pretty bow to wrap this one up with, friends. Today is about being simply honest with you and bringing it all to the fence.

Tell me, how are you struggling to ‘do it all’?
Do you seasoned mamas have any advice for this new-ish one?
New-ish moms, how do you deal?

{girl with blog}

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