Raising children is hard.
Going to school is hard.
Working is hard.
Keeping my house clean is hard.
Trying to do all four of them as a single mom is hard.
And lately, I feel like I've been failing in at least 3 of these categories at a time. I've been so overwhelmed. My eyes start to droop around 7pm because I'm just so exhausted. I don't know if I've ever felt this exhausted, not even as a mom of a newborn. But maybe I just forgot what that felt like.
I've had so many nights where I lay in bed and wonder how I'm going to get everything done the next day. How am I going to have time to sweep the floor and fold some laundry and do two homework assignments and give my kids quality time with their mom?
And the thing is, I don't have time for it all. That would explain the sticky floors, the sink full of dishes, and the laundry that's been sitting in the washer for a few days. It would also explain the amount of tv my kids have watched in the past week.
I've felt like a failure so many times in the past week and most nights, I'm so close to tears when I think about the times I told Petey she had to pack her own school lunch or get her and her brother breakfast because I just couldn't do it.
Today as I was thinking about one of my favorite motto's, "I can do hard things", my mind went back to 17 year old me.
Out there, I learned what it means to do hard things. There were so many nights I would cry myself to sleep because I was so lonely out there. I often felt misunderstood by my parents and even by my group of youngwalkers and trailwalkers. That first week was physically exhausting and I got so dehydrated that I was vomiting uncontrollably during one of my first big hikes.
I remember feeling like I would die out there. I remember being so embarrassed that I had gotten dehydrated and I wondered how I would ever make it. But I kept focusing on one more step and then one more and one more until finally, I had made it to our week's destination. I remember the tall grass, the ants all over the dirt, and the girl with the curliest blonde hair I'd ever seen reading her Book of Mormon to me to calm me down. I layed there under the sun, wondering how I had gotten from point A to point B without dying.
I felt like I had accomplished something so incredible that day.
A few weeks later, we were hiking through a dried up river bed and I had my hands through my sleeping bag/backpack and all of a sudden, I tripped and my hands weren't able to catch my fall. But my face did. I could feel my lip swelling as the blood ran down my chin. I couldn't do this anymore! Hiking was too hard. I couldn't handle being out in the middle of nowhere and getting hurt. But I kept going that day. I cried a lot because my battle wound really hurt but I kept hiking and we made it to our destination. That afternoon, I walked down to the dried creek bed and sang, "For Good" from Wicked over and over again. I cried. I sang. I listened to the wind. I felt peace. I knew I could finish this hard thing. I knew I could work things out with my parents and believe in myself.
I knew I could do hard things.
And I'm still a warrior.
I have felt so much failure recently that I have to take a step back and look at the big picture. Sometimes the small picture doesn't show me what I've accomplished because it emphasizes all of the things I'm doing wrong.
But the big picture---the big picture shows me how far I've come and how much I am capable of enduring.
So tonight, I'm not going to focus on my messy house or my children that went to bed in their school clothes. I'm going to focus on the fact that I worked five hours and came home and did homework with my daughter while babysitting two extras, and then I took 3 online quizzes and got all A's and wrote an essay.
And now I'm here and it's ok that I'm still not choosing to clean. I've done enough for today.
I can't do it all but I can do enough.