My “to do” list is longer than it has probably ever been in my entire life, so why don’t I just write a blog post about it rather than actually tackling my tasks? Ha, ha. You think I’m joking.
So, you may remember a game from your school playground days called, “Mercy,” or maybe it went by the name, “Uncle.” Pretty much the same game, just different names. You don’t remember it? Well, God bless your socks off – you are one blessed individual. Seriously.
Whatever it’s called, “Mercy” was basically a test of feats of physical strength or pain tolerance or cruelty or lying to one’s self about what was actually going on. Or something. Anyway, two (usually) boys would just go at it, forcing each other’s fingers, arms, legs, etc. into unnatural and contorted positions until one of them just couldn’t handle the pain any longer and cried out, “mercy,” and the game would be over.
The first person who admitted he couldn’t take it any more was the loser.
Now, there’s no way a teacher in today’s schools would allow something like this to go down. And, honestly, I think the only times I saw it as a kid was when a teacher was otherwise occupied on the far other other side of the playground. But still.
What does this cruel school-aged activity have to do with me? Great question.
Well, right now, I sort of feel like I have put myself into a situation where I’m playing a game of “Mercy” with myself. Specifically, my desire for a strong home life and a strong “outside-the-home” life are battling it out over here, and it’s slowly but surely crushing the life out of me.
Things are shifting over here, and I think – no, I know – that I need to make some wholesale changes and take things in a radically different direction. But here’s the problem – I don’ t really know how. And yet, I don’t want to cry, “mercy,” because I don’t want to lose – and I don’t want anyone around me to lose, either.
Especially my family.
See, here’s the truth: I want to be a good mother. And a good wife. I really, really do. But I am struggling with how to actually, practically be a good wife and mom given my current life circumstances and commitments. Some days, man – I just feel like I am not cut out for this mothering gig. I know my husband and my children are a gift. I know they are.
But the truth is also that I have this radical zeal – this desire – to serve God in His Church in so many other ways. He put desires on my heart and talents in my toolbelt. And I just feel completely ill-equipped many days to be the sort of mother they need and deserve while spinning all the other plates that are currently in the air.
And sometimes I wonder what sort of mother I’d be if I put down some of the “other” plates that I find so personally fulfilling. Would I have enough? Be enough? And sometimes I sort of wish all the plates would crash so I could just start over. True story.
My youngest son’s godmother posted this article on my BFF’s FB timeline today and I just read it and cried.
I have read many books, many blog posts, said many prayers (including the Divine Mercy Chaplet novena that just ended yesterday), and talked with many people about finding that ever-elusive work/ministry/home “balance.” I’ve also sought guidance via spiritual direction, a counselor, and even asked around for a Mom mentor (a position that has yet to be filled!!). And some good has come from all this praying, reading, talking, and searching. But I still haven’t been able to figure it all out. Yet.
So, maybe this quickly-typed blog post that no one will ever read is my cry for help – my shout of, “Mercy!” – as difficult and humiliating as it may be, before my fingers … or my toes … or my soul … gets crushed.
Hi. My name is Heather, and I have way too many things going on. Mercy.
P.S. Don’t worry, dear friends and readers – I am not suicidal, chronically depressed, or even remotely in despair. Just going through a rough patch of yet more transition that is tougher to navigate than I expected. I would greatly appreciate your prayers, words of wisdom and encouragement, but especially your prayers. I am one of those crazy souls who is very much helped just by knowing that I am not alone. Peace! <3