It was a Friday morning and everything was going right. I woke up early and got a workout and a shower in before any of the kids got up. Breakfast was done and the kids were dressed before Anderson’s first therapy appointment of the day. Respite was on their way and for the first time in a long time, I was using it as a morning to myself.
It was just going to me, a sleeping baby Preston and my laptop in a cozy local coffee shop. But then Preston’s new hardware, his boots and bar, fell off. And so did my mental state.
Preston screamed a shuddering cry when I tried to get the boots back on. I choked back tears as I called the doctor to get an appointment.
I felt bad for him. I felt bad for me. After nine appointments that week, I just wanted those two hours.
I want to write a book. I want to be an author and speaker. There, I said it. Sometimes it’s hard to put things out there, because it opens you up to public failure. I set a goal for myself after Preston was born—an hour of writing a day. It seemed reasonable, attainable. And yet—I was failing.
I am reading a book by a Christian personality I admire. She wrote her first book when she had two in diapers and one in pull-ups. This realization made me feel even worse. If she could do it, why can’t I? Why can’t I just work harder, sleep less?
I wanted that morning to catch up and I lost it to appointment number 10. After spending an entire day in a dark place, I thought back to a sermon that stirred me a few weeks back. It was titled—How Do I Handle Stress?
One of the questions the pastor asked was this—Whose race are you running?
She wrote a book with three young kids, why can’t I? Because I am not her. Her life is not my life.
I wonder how many of us end up needlessly stressing because we are chasing someone else’s existence? We think, they can do it, so can I, so should I.
We see moms who never use the TV and make their kids only organic meals and feel like we also need to be that. After giving it a good go, we then feel lacking when we think we’ve come up short. We see our friends reaching the peaks of the corporate ladder when we are still in the middle rungs and think—why am I not up there, too?
Maybe God hasn’t equipped us to do those things and instead we need to focus on what He has prepared us to do. Or maybe He given similar talents, but now is not the time.
I’m not trying to give us all an excuse to take it easy—what will be, will be. I believe in hard work. But I also believe in responding to the call. Right now, I realize my call is to be mom. And that’s okay.
Maybe one day I won’t be averaging eight medical appointments for my kids a week. Maybe then I can try amp up my writing. But if I try to do it now because I feel like I’m racing the clock, because I’ve entered a race that I’m not supposed to be a contestant in, I won’t be closer to the finish line, but instead I’ll run myself into the ground.