‘Tis the season where we feel like we have to do ALL the things. ALL the parties, ALL the decorating, ALL the baking, ALL the shopping, ALL the memory making and on and on.
For me, this is my favorite time of the year – mostly because of my kids. I enjoyed it my whole life but when you have kids there’s something even more special about November and December. My kids are now almost 5 and almost 3. We are lucky to have a “Turkey baby” and one about 2 weeks after Christmas. So there’s a whole another level of planning and decorating. In year’s past we would generally wait until the weekend or so after Thanksgiving to start decorating. For the first time ever, out of mere “pre-stress” planning – we’re decorating a little earlier. I started to do some decorating last weekend while updating the photos around the house. Then I had an epiphany – why oh why am I leaving ALL the things for one weekend and being completely wiped out that week-weekend? So last night I decided, today we’ll do a little more. Next weekend I’ll do a little shopping. The weekend after is Emery’s birthday weekend and we’ll do a little more. But there’s no reason to have to feel like everything has to be perfect in one day. But I also realized something else last night –
Like many other people, I feel like my house and outside décor has to be perfect for everyone else. Like my VALUE is based on how well I decorate…. Talk about a smack up against my head feeling last night. I took the thoughts a little further because well, I’m a woman and I overthink most things.
My value in life is not based on the following:
- How much I bake for the holidays – or at any point in the year. I suck at baking. I used to think I was good because it’s what I did a lot of as a kid, truth is my mom was good at baking. And while yes, I can give my terrible baking to others around me it is not a reflection of my worth based on how good it tastes or looks.
- How well I run my business – this was one of my later thoughts as I obviously pride myself a lot in my boutique. And while I use my boutique as a tool to give back a little in the world, my business skills are not how much I am “worth”.
- How much I sell in my “real job” – I have a full-time job outside of my boutique, I sell landscaping material across half of Iowa and half of Illinois. And while yes, how much I sell is a direct reflection on my earnings for my family – it is not how much I am “worth” in the world.
- How many crafts I do with my kids – this one took me a minute to think thru but hear me out. My kids get to see me working a full-time job plus building my business. They see me at home each night making dinner, giving them baths and reading our stories and singing our songs. By the time I get home at night we literally have enough time to complete the above before it’s bedtime in order for them to get adequate sleep and that’s not even by society’s standards of what they’re supposed to be getting. I’m pretty sure if I followed those graphs of when my child should go to sleep at their age, we would see each other for 1 to 1.5 hours each night. That’s nothing especially when you consider how much as to be done. So we do the important things together. We sit together to eat dinner and we talk about our favorite parts of the day. We sing songs together and sometimes make up our own. Our bedtime routine takes a half hour, not including bath time because we love snuggling together in bed. So in thinking that we don’t do all the crafts together, I don’t feel bad. We do other things we love together. Yes, there are still occasions we make things together but it’s not a once a week thing or even every 3 weeks. But how good of a mom I am is not based on how many crafts we do together.
- How well I clean my home – guys, I freaking hate cleaning. It’s a never-ending job for me and with 2 littles they make a constant mess of any “clean” I have. It’s not something I was blessed with loving to do. Now don’t mistake sanitary and cleaning – I mean like doing laundry everyday and managing to put it away in the same day. Or scrubbing the dang tub every week. How tidy I keep the toys in my home or the dishes in the sink is not a reflection of how much I have to offer in value in this life.
What I do feel my value in life should be based on:
- How I make others feel – people won’t remember what I gave them, but they will remember how I made them feel. So maybe I do give them crummy cookies but instead of just dropping off, I take time to sit & visit with them and let our kids play together. Or even in my boutique – I don’t want to just sell a shirt or a pair of pants. I want to provide a woman confidence to feel beautiful. It’s the reason I write these blogs – it really has nothing to do with a boutique but it’s my chance to help ladies realize we all pretty much think the same and are in the same boat. My customers won’t remember how many truckloads of mulch I sold them but they’ll remember when I asked how their family was doing or remembering to bring their dog a treat every time I came. They’ll remember that I gave advice on how to give value to their customers. My kids won’t remember all the toys they got as kids, but they’ll sure remember our bedtime routine. They’ll remember playing in the sandbox and the half-built bull dozer that I made. My husband won’t remember what each text message says that I send every day, but he’ll remember that he knows how much I love him because of it.
2.How much I give back – when can I bless someone with my finances when they’re in need. Maybe they need help with school supplies for their kids because it’s hard to find that extra money when they are already struggling to pay the normal bills. Maybe I can bless someone with things we no longer use but they need, so I will just give it to them. Maybe I bless someone with my time to lend a hand. In the last year or so, I’ve really tried to be intentional with helping other mama’s with young kids like me. My husband works a lot of hours and therefore it’s generally me with the kids. So I know exactly how other mama’s feel when their husband’s do the same and they’re the one left to be “everything”. So I’ll offer to hold the baby, even if you’re not doing anything but to just give your hands a break. Maybe I’ll bring you a dinner when you feel overwhelmed with having to balance work and home life.
How much I give is actually what sparked this whole whirl wind of thoughts last night after attending church. I learned that there’s more verses in the Bible about giving than there are any other topics. Think about that for a moment – it was more important for the Bible to teach about giving than it was to teach about what happens in Heaven or hell. It was a huge eye opener for me – obviously.
So this holiday season, don’t think about ALL the things that have to be done and think that based on ALL those things is how good of a mother, wife, neighbor or coworker you are. What does your value in life look like or maybe a better question like I did for myself – how do I WANT it to look?