• Ashley Elliott

Pressure

Today was supposed to be a “fun” day, one of the last couple of days before I get back to work and my kids go back to school for the semester. But I felt the need to clean. Not tidy up before we head out the door. I wanted the boys to clean under their beds. Why? Because in my mind, it really needed it. But also because of...PRESSURE.



They’re about to go back to school, and with school comes sports, spelling, and projects. I’ll be back to managing 45,389 tasks during the day before coming home to a table with crumbs left from the rushed meal before we scooted out the door in the morning. Then, I’ll keep a one year old out of the cabinets while trying to help the older boys with homework. Then, there’s dinner. Yep, we eat out quite a bit.


As I think about the busyness that lies around the bend, I feel the need to clean, to organize, to put something big and weighty on my to-do list. And then, I ask myself, “Why?”


Why do I do this? I think this is something I do regularly. On Mondays, I build a to-do list that is a little larger than I can get finished. Why? Because I hope if I see the list that it will motivate me to work faster and stay focused. And then, maybe, just maybe, if I get these tasks done early, the end of the week will feel great.


But this doesn’t seem to happen to me. Instead, on Thursday or Friday, I’m looking ahead to the next week. What’s my goal? To get as far ahead for the next week as possible. So, again, my to-do list is too big for one day.


Lately, I have begun to realize that I might be the one to blame. I may be the one putting the pressure on myself. I didn’t have to make my kids clean under their beds today. So why did I?

Here are a few reasons I came up with:


1) I’m trying to prepare for next week. I want to come home to a clean and organized home when I face the busyness of work. (Next week is coming, and I feel the pressure!) This is the same thing I do at work.

2) I have a need to accomplish things. It makes me feel better about myself.

3) It really was a mess that needed cleaned. (During the busy seasons, I cannot even muster up the strength to look under their beds.)



My second reason stands out to me. Are there other ways to feel good about myself? When I reflect upon the day, I raised my voice at my boys several times. And there were a few mean words that might have slipped through these lips. I feel bad about it. And I feel pressure to be better. I’m thankful for that pressure. I genuinely want to be better. I want to raise my boys to become Godly men. And I want to teach my kids to be tidy. I don’t want to simply clean for them. As all the mothers know, that can be so much easier! There’s no fighting about what to keep and what to toss.


Overall, as I look to tomorrow, I am setting a different goal. My goal is to eliminate my cleaning/organizing goals for the day. I’m going to focus on my goal to “connect” with my boys. I’ll still do plenty of work, but I’m going to do my best to take the pressure off. Well, maybe a little. I’m going to put pressure on myself to make more memories tomorrow than today.

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