“Never enough” battles exhausting

“Never enough” battles exhausting

No matter what stage I’m in in life, it seems I’m never enough.

My plate overruns with abundance of tasks to accomplish. I can’t fathom how anyone can be bored when there is so much demanding time in the day.

"Never enough" battles exhausting

Never ending battles with guilt

When my babies needed constant care, I worried about neglected house chores and yardwork. I felt always behind and tired. As the years flew by, I did my best to accommodate everyone. Our schedules burst with kids’ extra curriculars at times. Even limiting those didn’t chase away the guilt of never being enough.

Children helped with housework and yardwork, learning strong work ethics. While I juggled homeschool responsibilities with freelancing, I realized doing it all is a fantasy at best. Who started this idea that a woman can have it all?

She doesn’t. Something gives. Somebody gets shorted. Usually Mom. How? Because no matter how hard she works to meet everyone’s needs including her own, she falls short.

Even now when my nest is close to empty, I struggle with this horrible pressure of not being there for everybody all the time. I have set work hours and hole up in the office. I come out, and we work on the chores together. Sometimes someone joins me on a walk. Sometimes we just all sit together and read or watch a movie.

Avoid comparisons

I hear what others are doing—their travels or day jaunts with family. Their family game nights or getting together with others. Sure, we do those sometimes. Not often. But once in a while. The kids get older and have their own agendas or schedules.

I wonder did I do enough to create fun family moments, or were we always working. Did they see a stressed out, frazzled mom snapping, “Could you be quiet while I read this?” or sighing at the umpteenth interruption when I’m trying to pray.

God knows I tried my best, but it never seems enough, you know?

I want to exercise to stay healthy. An hour to 70 minutes each day should be okay to take, but then I add on my two to three hours of writing time. I feel selfish.

My life-long dreams were to have a family and to write. Balance is a juggling act. Some claim to have perfected it. I haven’t. I wonder if I ever will.

You weren’t meant to carry this burden

But then a soft thought in my head jars me with, “You’re not meant to be everything to anybody.”

That’s God’s job. Only God is meant to be everything to everybody. Only He can do it all.

Here I am still fighting the same nasty guilt and the lie that I have to be available 24/7.

I am supposed to be available 24/7 to Jesus. It’s hard to hear Him though when I’m frazzled about being behind, feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.

Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you. Do it now. Do it again later. Just keep casting them. Someday maybe despite all my failures, I’ll realize that doing my best is all I can ever offer and I’ll let the clenched fist loosen and the fingers relax. Maybe my family and friends experience my love for them despite my imperfections.

Comparisons and striving need to cease. Are you there yet? No? That’s nice to know.

Block out whispers of defeat

Advice floods in from all directions, but time remains consistent. I can only do so much in this moment with this strength. I pray God will help each of us to block out the whispers of never enough. Those whispers defeat me, leave me sad and exhausted.

I don’t like living that way. God says He wants to give us life. The only way we can get life is through Him.

I’m taking steps to clear the schedule and praying for guidance so I find the balance. What are some things you’ve said no to that brought you more peace?

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Photo by Leonard Beck on Unsplash.

10 Replies to ““Never enough” battles exhausting”

  1. Well said! And I think most women today can relate. I certainly can!

    One hard thing I’m giving up is one of my series groups. My December release will be the last one with them, which is bittersweet as writing for them has been a marvelous experience, but I simply don’t have the time.

    The words God keeps whispering in my ear this year are, “Just be.” Oh, that’s hard! I try to keep Psalm 46:10 in the forefront of my mind, “Be still and know that I am God. ”

    Thanks for the post!

    1. You’re welcome, Brenda. Your response is a blessing to me, as well. Giving up something you enjoy is very hard, but like you say, there is only so much time. I pray God blesses you with peace as you rest in Him and write for Him. Thank you for taking time to share.

  2. I have learned that not every opportunity is for me. When I say “no”, I may be blessing someone else with an opportunity. Too many answers of “yes, I can do that” often cause more worry than joy. I pray and ask God for guidance for each decision.

  3. Good article. We all struggle with “I am not enough”. But remember where those whispers come from! Certainly not from Jesus. Satan wants to destroy us any way he can. And for most of us women, hearing you are not enough cuts right to our God-given nurturing core. Satan knows where to attack. But we are God’s handiwork. We are enough just because he created us, not just for what we do.

    1. Well said, Ellen. We need to kick those thoughts back to where they came from. I wish it wasn’t so easy to succumb to those feelings. I think I should have you write a guest post. I love your reminder that we are enough because God created us. Many of us fall into the trap of measuring our worth by what we do or what we accomplish and other temporary variables. Thanks for sharing, Ellen.

  4. I do sooo understand what you are saying, Michelle. I have a husband, whose schedule is never that same, a special little dog dying of cancer to take care, my devotional writing and pet projects to work on, when I can get to it. and of course the housework and meals, and I feel like I am on a treadmill all day. By the way, walking on the treadmill had to be stopped for a short time due to extenuating circumstances. But thank goodness, the Lord is always there, ready and willing to listen to our woes, our questions, and mostly our thanks. All we have to do is talk to Him.

    1. It’s not comforting to hear that the rat race continues into retirement. I suppose we fall onto our individual treadmills because of all the things we want to do. Somehow we need to quiet ourselves and ask God what His priorities are for the day and rest in that. I don’t think we are meant to live in the state of feeling always behind and never enough. Like Ellen said, it’s a trap from Satan. May we all be vigilant and choose wisely so our days may be filled with more joy and less sorrow. Thanks for sharing, Donna.

  5. I agree that women especially fall prey to the wanting to do all/be all…especially when it comes to loved ones and family. I have been told I’m not doing enough more than once when I felt I was turning my guts inside out and doing cartwheels to keep up. My latest mantra that I tell myself is do what you can, worry about what you can help with or change, and ignore the things that cause you worry and angst when you have no ability to change the person or the situation. And of course, pray for insight and for GOD to change it, according to His will, which I’ve learned is often not *my* will 🙂

    1. I agree, Deb, that we can only do so much and that we need to let God take care of the rest. There’s enough stress in life without beating ourselves up. Now, if we can remember this and implement it consistently. 🙂 Blessings to you, my friend. Thanks for sharing. Together, I hope we can all get past these destructive thought patterns.

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