My new word is "authenticity." It's a quick check of my heart. "Am I being authentic?" Am I doing something because I want to do it? Or am I saying doing something because its "what I'm supposed to be doing?"
I find Motherhood an absolute minefield of "supposed to." There is a glut of people who are eager to tell you how you are supposed to act, feel, and breathe in order to qualify for the label of "good Mother." I'm not really clear yet on what my internal standards are of Motherhood so I easily fall prey to these vicious voices in my head that are telling me I'm doing a crappy job all the time.
One of my new tricks is to just tell myself "I don't care." I've stopped grading myself on my motherhood. I'm tense when I think about how I'm failing these five little people in my life multiple times each and every day. So I just stopped obsessing about it.
My new task is to really embrace my role of being "Jon Benjamin's wife." I'm married to a specific man. Somehow that is so much more calming to think about delighting in being "Jon's wife" as opposed to trying to be a good WIFE in all capital letters. When I think about pleasing my husband, who is so easily pleased, its so much easier than trying to please an abstract social goal in my head that acts as a constantly moving target.
I'm finding that the more I focus on being a wife to my specific husband, Jon, the easier it is to care for our children. Our kids are the fruit of our marriage. It's like when I put the priority on our relationship foremost, then all my relationships with our kids fall into place. It's like somehow I'm a better mother to my kids by focusing less on them.
I'm starting to think that God is easy to please.
I'm learning that God doesn't want perfection, or impossible things. He's easy. He likes consistency, persistence, and a good effort. My husband eats my new hot chocolate souffle dessert recipes as happily went it falls as when it succeeds.I'm starting to believe in my Heart that God happily embraces me too when my souffle falls. (Souffle falls are times in my life are when I try something a little new, a little ambitious, and then it all falls apart and I'm left wishing I had stuck with making ever dependable brownies instead.)
I like cooking for my husband instead of trying to impress the imaginary Southern Living Editors in my own head. Cooking for one real man, as opposed to several imaginary critics, leads to more real peace.