Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Doing the Best I Can

Y'know--I'm doing the best I can.
Well, maybe not my very best every day, but I really do try and I work very hard to accomplish all that has been given me to do--and then some.

I cook {a lot}, I wash {a lot of} dishes, clothes, faces, hands, bodies, floors, and diapers.
I make the beds, sweep the floors, and vacuum.
I disciple, discipline, correct, and instruct the children.

And still--it's not enough.

Because if I don't return an email immediately, I'm ignoring emails.
And if I don't answer the phone every time it rings, I'm ignoring people who call.
If I can't come to every (or any) Bible studies, I'm ignoring my responsibilities to the church.
If I'm overcome with it all and lose my patience, I'm a terrible mother.
And if I am out and about, well, shouldn't we really be home doing school???

Sometimes I need to decline an invitation because I don't know how in the world I'll fit it in with all the other things I need to do--and my calendar is basically empty.

I know very, very few people who have a family even remotely similar to mine (I'm certain there are other larger-than-average homeschooling families that live and work on a dairy farm--I just don't know them personally).
This season of motherhood, child-rearing, and child-bearing is just not conducive to a lot of outside-the-home activities, especially if they are recurring over a period of time (ie, a weekly event).  Few people understand this.

And so, I get criticized for staying home "too much", for not "going out" enough, for being a woman who finds fulfillment and peace and contentment staying at home.

I like being an at-home-mom, I like doing housework, I like taking care of my kids and teaching them.

Being a wife, living on a farm with children who have responsibilities outside, being a mother to many and growing another requires a lot of time and energy.

I'm tired.
Tired of trying to please everyone.
Tired of trying to explain to non- or mis-understanding ears why I am unable to do something or need to do it a different way.
Tired of being misrepresented and misunderstood.

I'm doing the best I can.
I really am.

And still, people get offended because of something I said or didn't say, something I did or didn't do, somewhere I went or didn't go.

It's so exhausting to have people hear things that I didn't say or read something here on my blog that I wasn't even saying.

I am a real person who struggles with real things in real life.
I enjoy real things and real people who lead real lives.

I put up with people that refer to my kids as "this one", "the other one", "what's-his-name" and "what-cha-ma-call-him".
I hear the comment when we arrive somewhere (in a big stage whisper) "Look--it's like a parade!" and I try to take it gracefully.

I know I cannot be responsible for how everyone else reacts to me, to my family, or to my blog; I know I have a responsibility to act courteously and respectfully--of this I am fully aware.
However, carrying the weight that belongs to others is just too heavy for me.

I don't have the strength to bear it anymore.
Because I'm tired, and there are other things that need my attention more.


  1. Melissa~ I will admit that I was one of those people who thought "is she crazy"? but that was before your blog! You are an excellent mother and your kids are some of the happiest I know. I hope you don't let those nay sayer win...I will miss you!

  2. Just live the life God has set before YOU. If someone is critical because your life doesn't "fit" their expectations, that's hardly your concern. Easy to say, I know...but it really is that simple. Maybe, in time, they'll come to the same realization. :) Aaron

  3. Melissa you are a WONDERFUL mother and person!! The best we can, isn't that all any of us can do! Hugs again!!

  4. Well said Melissa....I admire you and think what you do is an inspiration. Your words are exactly how I feel many days...if not all the days. The disease to please is exhausting but remember that it is what makes our own heart happy that matters....not the whispering, negative commenting people that simply observe. Hugs to you!!!!!

  5. Sounds like that old Norwegian, Lutheran guilt to me! Don't you worry about what anyone else may be thinking...you are doing great!

  6. Melissa, you are such a tremendous blessing and inspiration to me, and to many others as well! I know all too well what it is to be constantly criticized by people we should be able to trust. I know that we are doing that to which God has called us, and I know that that He will help us and uphold us, but it still hurts. I just want to thank you so much for your honesty and your gracious example, and I count it a blessing to be able to call you my friend! Take care and God bless you, dear!

  7. This post makes me sad...sad that you feel the need to explain yourself and sadder that people expect so much from you. WTH?!?! It's clear to me you ARE doing the best you can and if you can't do more OH WELL! People really need to get down off their high horse and focus on THEM not you! Keep on rockin' it Melissa!


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