The “I” Word

I’ve had this strange feeling looming over me for a few years now. It’s been tucked in there way behind the giddy, gushy, lovey feelings. It’s parked off to the side past the sad feelings that creep up occasionally. It’s hidden well behind happy and two rows down from worry. I knew it was in there, but I could never really find or define it. Until recently.

It hit me like a smelly skunk. You know when you drive by one on the side of the road and scrunch up your whole face from the stench. It popped into my mind and I made that very face. Inadequate. This quietly stuck with me for a few weeks. Resurfacing at various times. Finally, I decided to look this pesky word up just to get an exact definition.

This came from Merriam Webster:

Definition of inadequate

: not adequate : INSUFFICIENT

also : not capable

I folded that definition up and stuck it in my mind just as I stick bills I don’t want to pay inside a book. I know it’s still there and needs to be addressed, but I don’t have think about it just yet. It stayed there a few days. It was definitely that feeling I’d been trying to figure out.

I’ve always had the mindset to get things done. School, work, housework, whatever it may be. If I know it needs doing I want it done and over with, checked off the list. Sure, this causes a little stress sometimes, but way less than if I had things pending and weighing me down.

Now, I have a million things pending.

I know having kids changes pretty much everything. I get that. I’ve tried to let a lot go and not let it bother me, but deep down it still bothers me. I’ve got 38,000 things to do in a day and only enough time for 20,000. There is never a “complete” feeling at the end of the day. There’s always something left over, hanging around like unwanted garbage.

I get it, everyone has this. It’s life. Deal with it. The thing is, my dealing with it causes that “I” word to creep up and I don’t like how that makes me feel about myself.

I feel it with the kids. There’s only one of me, never enough to go around. Never enough time to give 100% each day because I’m torn in so many directions all the time. I can’t help but feel inadequate.

I feel it with the house. I could spend the entire day doing nothing but cleaning and laundry and by bedtime it still wouldn’t be complete. It’s a never-ending cycle of uncompleted chores. Everyone goes through this, but it drives me crazy.

I feel it with my husband. I’ve got kids climbing, hanging, pulling, tugging, sneezing, grabbing, wiping, spilling, dropping on me all day long. When he gets home sometimes I don’t want anyone else to even get near or touch me. I know these days will pass way faster than I care to imagine, but right now this makes me feel inadequate.

I feel it with other moms. Some I’ve never even met, sometimes getting pulled in the black hole of comparison. (I highly recommend walking away from that game. It’s dangerous and defeating and it takes the joy from the wonderful life you’re living at that very moment.)

Ok sorry, back to topic.

I feel it with myself. I absolutely don’t take enough me time. I just don’t. The biggest lack is exercise. I’ve just stopped, because I didn’t want to take away from everyone and everything else. I feel worse, look worse, act worse. Definitely one area that has to change.

When groceries aren’t bought, dishes are piled up, a kid’s shoes are too small, dates aren’t planned, dinner isn’t cooked, baths are started late, commitments are forgotten…I could go on, but when these things happen it’s because I didn’t do it. Mission control, failure isn’t an option.

What about your husband? Well, he does an amazing job of working hard all day and coming home to devote the rest of the night to helping with dinner clean up, baths, pjs, teeth, story, prayer and tucking in. He takes over a lot of that and I could not be more grateful. He does it because he wants to, because they’re also his children and he loves them. I have no idea what I’d be feeling without his help.

I explained my newfound realization of this lingering feeling to him. He said, let’s look at getting a maid. I instantly wanted to get mad, like he was confirming I couldn’t do it all. I can’t do it all. No one can. He was simply looking for a solution to free up time in one area so I could get more done.

I love him for that, but he was wrong.

I don’t need Merry Maids to vacuum my house. I just need to mop up that feeling and rinse it down the drain. It’s only causing negativity to move in where love should live. I wake up each day with motivation and desire to do the best I can. Some days that works out better than others and that’s ok.

For that, I am completely adequate.

Now that I’ve uncovered the feeling and resolved to crush it, I hope the negative “I” word will disappear forever. Well, maybe I’ll still see it regarding the memory on my phone, but I can live with that.

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3 thoughts on “The “I” Word”

  1. As a woman, mother and wife I can assure you you will never ever have it all done. Figure what is the most important to you, your family and your husband. Not some perceived notion of adequacy that is probably unrealistic.
    Nothing else is important. Because at the end of it all there’s no way to have it all done. Laundry? Unless you wash clothes in the nude, the beds stripped down and no curtains hanging there will be laundry. There’s always mail and bills to sort and pay. In order to eat there’s shopping, cooking, washing dishes and leftovers waaaay back in the fridge, yuck! I could point out closets but hey there is a door … close it. Commitments? We’d like to do so many things for others but you have to learn to just say ‘no’ or ‘well maybe next time’. After all what’s more important you or them. Remember you have to take care of you first. It’s not the quantity of time spent but the quality. Daily life is plain overwhelming and can suck the life out of you. Live as if there is no tomorrow, enjoy you and your life you only have one.


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