Tipping Point

(A watercolor painting experiment I did this summer of my older two kiddos.)

I've been having a hard time finding my balance this year.

I think each mother has her tipping point, when she goes from feeling like things are totally manageable to feeling totally overwhelmed.  For some it might be with with their first child - maybe when their baby is colicky, or when their child gives up naps.  I've heard from several friends that figuring out the balance with two kids was when they started to feel overwhelmed - maybe when they were pregnant with a toddler to run after, maybe after their second child was born.

For me - this was it.  This summer was my tipping point.

In all fairness, it wasn't just one thing.  It wasn't just adding a third baby to our family - it's been the fact that I also happened to sign up to help run our MOPS blog this year, I started writing for Tommy Nelson, Wyatt is starting preschool, and the times when all three kids are napping have been more rare.

I was trying to keep up the pace I have always kept, and in the midst of everything I repeatedly heard stories from others of times when the Lord asked them to give up something.  With every story, I felt a little nudge in my heart.  But I kept pushing it down, because I couldn't think of anything to give up, except one thing I really didn't want to give up - my blog.

When I thought about giving up my blog, I had mixed feelings.  Half of me felt like it might be time.  But the other half of me felt like the Lord was still opening doors, and I didn't think I should not blog at all.

Then one week, when deadlines were rushing up on me, and I was sleep deprived, and the house was a mess, I had a meltdown.  Like a complete, sobbing on the floor, Derek had to calm me down with a glass of water type meltdown.  When I settled down, I thought over that week and realized that I couldn't remember actually looking at the kids in a few days.  I mean really looking at them.  Noticing how the color of Clyde's eyes were changing.  Running Gwen's soft curls through my fingers. Talking to Wyatt about which Hot Wheels cars were his current favorites.

And I realized if something had to give (and something clearly did have to give), it couldn't be really looking at my kids.  I couldn't let their childhood slip by while I rushed around, keeping up this insane pace that I had set for myself.

I thought it through.  I finally saw that I needed to step back.  To just slow down.

So after that, I took the pressure off myself.  I'm keeping my commitments, but I'm not adding any new ones.  I still blog, but if a post doesn't go up one week, it's okay.

I'm giving my best, but my best goes to my kids and Derek first, because they are my only tasks that will last forever.  If I fail at everything else, but I succeed with my family, I will enter eternity satisfied.

I think that nudge I felt was the Holy Spirit - and He was trying to get me to give up something.  He was telling me to give up trying to do everything, and to focus on being the best at this one thing - being a good wife and mother to these people God has given me.  I'm still figuring out what I can and can't handle in this season of my life, but I have a better starting point now - give everything I can to serving the Lord by serving my family, and then I can split up whatever I have left among everything else.

And now I feel like the scales are back in balance.


Have you ever felt like you had gone over your tipping point?  How did you get everything back in balance?
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Lauren said...

I don't have near the blog following aka pressure that you do and I've considered so many times of just stopping...But I seriously LOVE having it to look back on, and I can't imagine not having it for Nora like I do with Elyse. Only time will tell, but it sounds as if you certainly have a better handle on things.

Susannah said...

I'm so glad you're not completely cutting off from blogging but I'm glad you're doing what's right for you and not worrying so much about it.

Melanie said...

I've thought about giving up my blog lately too. Sometimes I'll feel like is it really worth it..but I do enjoy it too. Glad your stepping back and prioritizing your life. God will never lead you wrong!

Elizabeth said...

I had a lot of those crying fits after my son was born. It was scary and my husband was really worried about me. The problem is that I really wasn't doing a lot at that point, so it was very hard to pinpoint something to give up...why can't I do the dishes AND the laundry? Is it really too much to ask? Do I have to give up my blog, which may be just a hobby, but brings ME comfort? Sometimes it feels like you have such a modest list and people tell you you're doing too much. Honestly, I think it is always a struggle in motherhood. And I think sometimes I just need a good cry, or a 5 minute break to put my feet up and tell someone how I'm feeling or hear from other moms who understand me. And then I feel better. I don't even have to necessarily make big changes...just keep on living and taking it a step at a time. I'm glad you wrote this because sometimes it seems like other mothers don't have these problems!

Daisy @ Simplicity Relished said...

This is really beautiful-- love the watercolors too. When we get super busy, it can be difficult to realize that stepping back is actually an option. And when we learn to consider it an option-- a real, acceptable and healthy option-- it's so much easier to have peace. Thanks for sharing this!!

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Girl, I'm so relieved to hear that you get overwhelmed. As you know, my blog is basically covered in cobwebs. Also, my house is always trashed and I never work out. I rarely read books. Then I look at your blog and I'm like how does Callie do all this? With not two, but THREE kids?! Seriously, this sounds crazy, but when I'm way behind on blog posts and my toe nails desperately need painted and I feel like I haven't played with my kids enough, I think of you and I'm like, but Callie does it all. Pull yourself together Kara!! And then I wonder what I'm doing wrong.

I hear ya, girl, crying on the floor in a mess of tears. That has definitely been me. Many times. Sometimes in front of Dave, sometimes not. So I absolutely appreciate your honesty. Your tipping point is reassuring to us other moms who can't keep it together half as well as you (me!). :)

Keep your head up, and I think you're doing the right thing 100% by slowing down and focusing on your family as your top priority. Sometimes it's hard to let go of all those other things, it's a daily fight for me, but I know I don't want to miss these moments with my kids.

Rambles of a SAHM said...

Loved every morsel of this. Real motherhood!

Unknown said...

I think it's very mature of you to admit that sometimes your life feels like chaos. I guess we just have to sometimes find the beauty in the mayhem. You're doing a good job Callie :)

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