22 January 2009

You Are Not Alone


photo credit: Amanda Woodward


Well girls, here we go. Day 1 of our hope-to-be-weekly series called Building a Soft Place to Land. I wish we could all sit down around the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and chat.

I feel utterly inadequate to write on this topic mostly because I don't think I do it very well in my own home. But I hope to do better as we explore this topic together. And since I don't have it all figured out, I'll be sharing some resources from other people who seem to.

I had a completely different post in mind for Day 1 but you all blew me away with your responses to My Question for You. If you have ever thought that you were alone in your struggles, go read the comments on that post. Here is just a small sampling...

Lisa said:
"The hard part for me is that I can have a really good day or two, and then in a matter of a few short hours, everything is back to disaster mode."

Messy Jessy said:
"My homemaking pitfalls come from letting life happen "to me" rather than being proactive in every way.

Really? Christmas is in December?
What? My kids grow and need food?
Come On! Since when do I need a matching scrub top and bottom for work?

My goals are simple. Bring my brain to the table and show up for my life."

Kimm said:
"I struggle mostly with my expectations. I wake up most mornings with grand plans of what I will accomplish that day. Life usually gets in the way, or I run out of energy and then at the end of the day I feel disappointed in myself and inadequate. And, of course, those feelings in me don't help to create the right atmosphere in my home.

Angie said:
"I struggle with meal planning and staying within the grocery budget. I also feel like I have laundry coming out of my ears!!! But the biggest thing I struggle with is making time to play with my kids. It seems like in order to keep the house up I am busy all the time!"

Emily said:
"My biggest struggle is the meal planning thing. Life is so much better when I plan ahead. My mood is better, my kitchen is cleaner, The Man is happier. Still, I neglect to keep up in this one area. I wish we could go a month without eating so I could have some catch up time."


I could have gone on and on sharing reader's comments that seemed like they could have come straight from my bewildered brain. I'll bet you feel the same way.

There is such a wide range of life stages represented in those comments. Moms with young kids, moms with older kids, empty-nesters, single-moms, military moms, single women. Our struggles are clearly universal! The specific details may be different, but the point is, you are not alone in your struggles!

I don't know about you, but I find a lot of comfort in that.



If you're feeling overwhelmed and need a bit of inspiration, visit Melissa at The Inspired Room for a wonderful post and a Mr. Linky.



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58 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

Jenny@ L.O.T.s of Love said...

There is comfort in knowing that you are not alone. We are all working to be better, if only a little better than yesterday. We are hardest on ourselves. Love yourself and you can love others more fully!
Thanks for writing this series!

Cathy said...

There is alot of comfort knowing that you aren't alone and that others have many of the same feelings and or experiences. Thank you for sharing!

{{Hugs]}

Cathy

MaryCatherine said...

Well, I feel a lot better! haha!...Thank you so much for writing this series...I look at everyone's beautiful blogs and stunning homes, they are all so pretty and perfect, it sometimes mislead me into thinking I'm "not as good" as they are...but the raw truth is, we all struggle somewhere, sometime...and maybe it makes me a bad person, but, that makes me feel better! :-P

Kim said...

Every one of those comments are conversations I've had with my best friends! We struggle with it daily.

Shelley a.k.a. Momma said...

Thanks for this series! Great idea! I would love for you to visit this post http://godmademeamomma.blogspot.com/2009/01/this-is-worth-reading.html on my blog if you have the time...it is about a book I am reading and the tendency of women to become overwhelmed and then react! It relates to what is going on here...

Sara said...

Thanks! This is going to be good!
SO, in August the entire month went by, and at the end of it I felt as if I had done NOTHING worth while in my home.
So, the first week in Sept. I wrote down every small thing I did, diaper changes, reading stories, answering phone calls, meals, etc. I only did it for one day...because in one day I realized I was doing OK. I just needed to see it on paper.

Joy in the Journey

Pretty Organizer said...

Isn't it great that we share in a sisterhood? I mean really... women all over the world do the same thing. We nurture and provide, try to be woman of our hubby's dreams, and sacrifice very real, very passionate dreams for something better... raising wonderful children. Kimba you are spot on and I'll be praying for you that you will be able to share with women all over how truly amazing and wonderful they all are. I wish all women could see how beautiful they are to other women (myself included... truly inspirational) and how cherished they are as daughters of God. Okay... got preachy again.. Shutting up and heading back to my blog to eek out another post:) Love you girl!

Courtney at Blogging Matilda said...

Reading this post could not have come at a more perfect time for me. I feel incredibly overwhelmed by the things I have no control over. I always need to do more, finish more, and save the world every day. Needless to say that never happens!

I would also appreciate anyone who can swing by my blog and help my current cause, and old friend in need. Trying to spread some good karma :)

Still Learning said...

This is wonderful. It seems like all of the moms around me have everything together and their families run so smoothly. I have often felt like a failure as a mother and to my husband for not having us "all put together". Especially since I work too outside of the home, well, not after this week. I am making organization and planning a priority so I can better keep up with things. I wish more women would open up about this struggle instead of making each other think that we are and have to be that perfect wife and mother. To paraphrase the Nester, I'm much happier when I am being imperfectly beautiful. I am also glad to see from you previous post that I am not the only person who HATES cooking and meal planning!! Yuck. We need a buddy system, if somebody lives close to me, I love to clean so I'll come clean your house if you'll shop and plan my meals. ha ha. BTW, I'm the lady who had to do the Christmas party tour of homes with the destructive 2 year old and boxes everywhere!! This intervention is for me. Thanks Kimba.

Astrid said...

I'm really looking forward to reading your series.

Every once in a while I feel like I'm on top of it all...for a brief moment...until I realize there are several loads of laundry, I still don't know what's for dinner, books that need to be returned to the library...etc. It seems that any system I've come up with has failed me.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Oh yes... it's nice to have someone in the boat next to you when the boat is going down... lol

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Rachael said...

All so true!

We are so hard on ourselves about thinking we don't "measure up", without understanding that none of us is perfect and we all face struggles on a daily basis ~

abeachcottage said...

why is it that women feel better when they know others are in the same boat? i dunno, but I just do...reading those replies yesterday made me think, oh yeah, oh yeah, other people get the brain fog too, it's not just me, yeeeehaw

saying that I had one of those days today and after reading your post thought, you know what I'm gonna blog it and get it all out of my system, just writing it made it feel better

oh god I've really rambled, sorry

thanks kimba

Sarah

Sandy Toes said...

Everyday is a new struggle...but an old one from a "past" day! You can only change TODAY..WORK on today..make mini goals!
-sandy toe

duchess said...

Can I have the All of the Above choice? I think we all have the same issues when it comes to running our homes. It's a daunting & challenging task - especially when we have to encounter these little people running around behind us ransacking everything we've just done.
I've come to realize that perfect does not need to be my goal & that when I have a house full of neighborhood kids with piles of shoes & grass all over my newly swept floors that they are making memories that will last forever & I just need to make cupcakes and get over it.
Thanks for this series, Kimba - it's gonna be great.

Christi said...

Every one of those comments could represent me, but I especially like the one from Messy Jessy. I'd never thought of it like that - but I do think I tend to let life "happen to me".

There is comfort in knowing you're not alone - and knowing you're in good company as you try to work for the better.

Susie Harris said...

Its nice to know that we all feel the same way but in different ways. We all want to be the best...give the best to our family and be happy while doing it. Thats a hard act to follow. Im looking forward to sharing everyones input on making a better way~

june@craftyniche said...

I am so glad to know I'm not alone. I feel inadequate when I go to a friend's home and not only is she put together in her appearance, but her home is so nice, tidy, and just inviting. I strive to have that for myself and my home. And having a three year old and a five month old has been the biggest challenge.

emily said...

I really needed to hear that this morning. I think this is gonna be a great series! Especially with a kick off like that one. I know its different that you expected, but I have a feeling it will have a big impact. On me, if no one else :)

Jami said...

I seriously thought it had to just be a me thing. You know... the "incapable to keep your house cleaned and organized when you have a 4 year old, 4 dogs, a husband who works a 40 hour work week job and has his own business on the side" or the "my son just ate a poptart for lunch because I'm struggling to keep my head up above water today with everything looming over me that has to be done".... whew... I have beated myself up sooooo many times over stuff like that. I so often feel like such a failure as a wife and a mother. Thank you for posting those few comments... I will most certainly be heading over to read some more.

Kelly | Purple Lemon Designs said...

Thanks so much for this series Kimba. I feel as I have been blessed by it all ready.

Betsy said...

I think that each household, while dealing with their own issues that come into play, are dealing with the same similar issues that come along with family. I think the most important part is that we get back to the basics and not take on more than we can handle. Set realistic goals and after finding that sense of accomplishment...often your outlook changes.

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

This is going to be a great series! There's comfort in knowing that other women share the same struggles & guilts. One day at a time is the best we can do.

Hugs, DebraK

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I feel like we need a Big High School Music debut with all of us singing, "We're all in this together."
Yes, we are, and that's what makes life...real...manageable....attainable.

Tabitha (From Single to Married) said...

Love these comments - make me feel like maybe I'm not the only one face struggles.

Jenny said...

This is such a timely series for me. I've been struggling with how to get it all done. I'm so comforted knowing that I'm not the only mother worrying about this.
Thank you so much for hosting this topic. I can't wait to read more! :)

Kimm said...

Kimba,
Thanks so much for starting this series. For me, the best thing about joining this blogging community has been the almost instant commraderie with so many women. All of us with the same insecurities and struggles, and working on them together, while having fun at the same time!

Olde Tyme Marketplace said...

This is a great idea! I recently read on another blog (can't recall at the moment which one) but the gal had a great idea to set your timer for 10 minutes and see what you can get done before it goes off! Her whole family pitches in for 10 minutes and she said that laundry gets put away, dishwasher gets emptied and so on! We all struggle to get so much done in a day and this is a smalll way to help accomplish that!
I really enjoy your blog!
Beth

LuLu & Co. said...

It does make me feel better knowing it is universal. that we all share the same desire for big things to happen and then they don't .... thanks for sharing. I feel better already.
LuLu

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Too random!! I posted a similar you are not alone post this week.

Amanda said...

It feels so good to know Im not alone in this stage of my life. I know I will look back and not remember or care that my house was dirty or projects unfinished but I will remember the times I spent with my kids-kissing them, laughing with them, sniffing their hair, gazing at them while they slept. We just have to be reminded time to time to focus on these things. Thanks for doing that for us and allowing others to share too.

mommy4life said...

We do forget we are not alone. Not just in the stages, but also in the struggles. It doesn't make us failures, it does make us human!

ginny said...

I realize that I am not alone, however, I think my situation is a little different. My children are grown. I still have an adult son who lives with us due to the failing economy. I also am a grandmother to three babies. My problem is that I am plain tired! I have no energy, no drive, no passion. I muddle through planning meals, laundry, house cleaning, with little to no enthusiasm. Maybe it is depression. I don't know. What I do know is that I have a high respect for young mothers these days. The stress is unavoidable. I have a daughter who is balancing a career, three children, and a household and believe me, it gets tough for her. Anyway, I think your blog is remarkable.
ginny

SmrfChic said...

I could have written pretty much any of those comments.

Songbirdtiff said...

There is definitely comfort in knowing I don't struggle alone. I can't wait to see what this series holds in the future.

Joanna said...

Wonderful knowing that I am not the only one that feels this way.

AnNicole said...

I found so much comfort in reading everyone's comments the other day. I thought I felt out of control because I'm a single working mom, but it's really good to know that these feelings are universal and shared by women regardless of their circumstances. Thanks again. I can't wait for your series.

Blue Castle said...

It's so easy to get discouraged, trying to do everything that you think a good wife/homemaker should do. Thank you for starting this series. I can already tell I'm going to like it - a lot. :)

DramaCity said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. To all the women that admit it's a struggle for them too-thank you. I so needed to hear I am NOT the only one with laundry out the wazoo!!!

Runner Mom said...

Hey! This is already great! I have loved reading all of the comments...most of us are on the same page. Today's society has set a presidence in that we're expected to somehow be supermoms, superwomen, superwives, etc. Not! We are each blessed with strengths and weaknesses(yes, weaknesses!!)We are to use our strengths to the glory of God, family, and friends...in that order. We need to say "yes" to some things...not all things! June Cleaver only existed in the mind of the tv writer! If your house isn't perfect all of the time,give yourself permission to be Ok with that! When you're dead and gone, people will cherish the memories that you shared...not that you were stressing out to mop, dust,and fold clothes!

As for the being blessed with weaknesses...God did have a plan in mind! If you were perfect and never needed any help or advice, you would not call on Him daily! He desires a relationship with each of us, just like we desire a relationship with our family and friends. Also, in our weakness, we can ask our hubbies, children, and friends to help us. It's a lot more fun to create window treatments with a close friend--to giggle at your mistakes, to figure out why that thing is not hanging right, or to stop in the middle of the project for some yummy cookies--store-bought! Not from scratch--you're working on windows not recipes!

Sorry for the novel, but I am working on being more forgiving of myself, and this is just what I needed to hear.

Blessings,
Susan

Sarah Mae said...

You are going to do a great job with this series because you have a humble heart, my dear friend.

I have a heart for understanding why everything tends towards chaos - whether it be the meal planning, laundry, messes, or kiddos on the loose! I would love to take over one of your "series" days and do a guest post for you on the subject - what do you think?

:)

Martha (aka Yvette) said...

thanks for writing this series, so glad to know that I'm not alone!!!

The sewing room said...

Thank you l think you have just put a smile on a lot of womens faces especialy mine ,lets try and be positive think about what we have and what we achieve rather than what we dont.
Best wishes Pat

Leigh said...

Meeeee to!

Jennifer said...

So nice when you can tell yourself, "Its not just me!!" Already enjoying the series! Thanks.

MomItForward Jyl and Carissa said...

Bring my brain to the table...

that one is classic!

Thanks Kimba for writing the MomItForward post today!

@carissa_momif

Tangee said...

I do take great comfort in knowing I'm not alone. I feel as if perhaps I'm not the only one on this path of life trying to find the right balance between life and beauty.

meandmom said...

I definitely find comfort in the comments! That alone made the series worth it! Thanks Kimba!

jeanne said...

Kimba, your idea for this series of posts is hitting some nerves. Think how much we can learn from others experiences. Good job.

Hugs...Jeanne

Jill -Forever and Ever House said...

It is so nice to read that other people are in the same boat as I am!! Often, as women, we want other people to think that we are "holding our own". It is refreshing to hear the honesty from your responses.

The Downtown Boutique said...

It IS good to know we're not alone. I struggle with these things on a constant basis. I guess I wouldn't struggle nearly as much if I didn't spend so much time on the computer. :-(

I am trying to look ahead and prepare myself for the day when my husband becomes a pastor. I want to be a gracious hostess/pastor's wife. But, I realize that I can start now!

I would love to have a place that's not "knick-knacky", but has a comfy atmosphere, yet shows beauty along with my personality too. Right now everythin is a little crowded and "eclectic".

I'm looking forward to this series!

Angie

Carol said...

Wow! What a great topic and fabulously interesting answers. There's SO much I can relate to here! I love the name of your blog, and will stop back often!

Sit A Spell said...

Yes, we all have "life" to deal with...laundry, dinner, bathrooms, more laundry, OH is it lunch time already? Let's never forget to leave out FUN! Do what I did last night when I played too long, breakfast for dinner!

Today I was getting out of jammies 10 minutes before I had to walk to the bus stop! Yikes...but I made it!

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

It's so great to read this- and seeing that we all have the same issues. This year I have been sticking to a routine. Let's see how long it lasts! I am using my yahoo calendar to schedule in everything everyday,(including, exercise, cooking,cleanin,working, play dates, etc.) I do love to cook though, and try to cook enough for 2 nights at a time so that I'm not making a huge mess every night. I actually have a lot more to add. Will you have another post on this topic?

Debbie at Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

Oh. My. Goodness.
I could spend hours here on your blog, but then I'd be in the same pickle you seem to be trying to cure (ha, ha - I crack myself up!)

I love what you're attempting to do by ministering to home makers.
I've been married 28 years and have 11 children (7 still at home) and I love meeting younger women who take their jobs as moms and wives and home caretakers seriously.
You're doing an important job - and I'm going to totally follow you around while you do it :)

elizabeth said...

Just catching up on my Bloglines (see, even my blog reading is behind!!!) and love these posts and comments. I think that no matter what stage in life we are in we all struggle to do better. My biggest problem is running out of energy by the end of the day. There are so many things I love to do and want to do and just need more t.i.m.e.! I do think I'm finally over the envy that many blogs can bring. Everybody's situation is different and we need to be more at peace with our own selves.

Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

I always have more to do than I can get done. But what would life be like if you had nothing to do? I don't usually make book suggestions, but over the past two years I have suggested this book to quite a few people...Getting Things Done by David Allen. Just a thought...it has been very helpful to us.
-Kim

Mrs. Jones said...

Wow, I thought it was just me who felt like that!

~Heather