Motherhood: Planners and Playdates Aren't Enough

Have you ever felt full? (Don’t answer that)

No, I take that back. Not full. Let’s call it, stuffed. (Don’t answer that either

Full hearts, full minds, full schedules, full plans, full plates and full lives -- everyday feels like a highly anticipated holiday, but not in the good kind of way. No, I mean in the way where everything is a rush, you squeeze out seedlings of quick plans, and then comes the inevitable crash and exhaustion afterward.  

Recently after becoming a mom, I made a list of the main roles in my life. As I tried to piece together new routines and possible personal systems to be successful in each one, I came to the realization that tenured mamas already know. 

Yeah, it’s impossible. Should I end the blog here?

Here’s the main list I came up with:

  • I am 100 percent a follower of Christ.

  • I am 100 percent a wife.

  • I am 100 percent a mother.

  • I am 100 percent a pastor.

  • I am 100 percent a daughter and a granddaughter.

  • I am 100 percent a leader.

  • I am 100 percent a friend. 

These percentages never lessen, skew or become partial. The roles never go away or take an off day. They do not switch on and off in commute between home, the office, church or out-and-about.

On my best days these roles work together in synchrony like a championship winning team. On my worst days, they appear as opponents duking it out to be the Heavy Weight Champion of my schedule, focus and care. 

Setting my calendar for each day has helped immensely. Learning to be flexible when days go different than planned has brought comfort. Prepping for meetings has improved my leadership. Having a prayer list has focused my faith. Setting out items the night before has benefited our family. Making time for self-care has ensured I don’t burn out. Snuggling my brand new baby has brought joy and beauty to my life. 

Unfortunately though, despite what our favorite bloggers, podcasts and Pinterest accounts share – no matter how organized our house is, how excellent our planner looks on paper, and how minimalized or extensive our attire is -- the planning, flexibility, lists, prep work, self-care, late-nights and early mornings cannot fix the conflicting emotions that all these roles bring. 

No one ever tells you that the downside of a boxing match within yourself is even if you win, you also always lose.

Thankfully, there is hope. There is one who walked in the same fullness – the same battle of percentage – and did it perfectly.

  • For Jesus was 100 percent God.

  • Jesus was 100 percent human. 

Let me explain.

Sometimes my mom role and pastor role clash because my emotions tell me I must pick one or the other. Sometimes my friend and leader roles collide, and I don’t know the best time or way to approach someone in need.

Sometimes my family role and friend role go head to head because I want to spend time with both. Sometimes my believer role and, well… every other role, go sideways because the Word directs me to respond different than how I want to naturally react.

But today, I remembered Jesus.

The Jesus in flesh who waited until the fourth day to raise Lazarus from the dead even though He was capable of doing so the first day because He was also God.

The Jesus who divinely knew Judas would betray Him but for three plus years still poured out His earthly ministry and friendship untapped before and toward him.

I remembered the Jesus who willingly stepped out of perfection called Heaven knowing it would be to brutally die for our sins yet in His humanity also cried out, “Is there any other way?!”

Even 100 percent God and 100 percent flesh came at times to find His roles working against His emotions. Therefore, it’s unavoidable for us as well. 

But I dare to hope for a solution when I remember why He came:

“This [Jesus] of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Jesus – without sin – perfectly walked through a life like mine. He had family. He had friends. He had faith. He had followers. He had fulfillment.

So even in the conflicting emotions, challenging decisions, torn allegiances and doubts or questions that arise – I can walk it out confidently, messily, boldly and lovingly as I follow Him and His example.

Wherever you find yourself today, you won’t find wholeness in organization. Guilt cannot be alleviated through well-planned time blocks. Peace cannot be found in meal prep or playdates. No – our rest and assurance can only be found in Jesus.

Take two minutes today (or longer) and talk to Him. Receive mercy. Find grace.

If you’re tired of feeling full, stuffed, overworked, under fulfilled, and all of the above, here’s a start.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)