Overwhelmed by the Super charged Mothers around me, I feel like I should be volunteering more, donating or helping mankind in some greater capacity. Guilt pools in my head, and I wish I had more energy, or a more compassionate heart, or a calling to reach out to those less fortunate. Something. At every turn I belittle myself for not giving more of my time to outside service-oriented endeavors. I guess you might say I have a bad case of The Shoulds. Most women do. You know, that nagging feeling like there is something else I SHOULD be doing as in, I should vacuum, I should volunteer at the Food Pantry, I should scratch my husband’s back, I should walk the dogs, I should be a foster parent, I should exercise more,I should be more patient or should not be so indulgent. The list goes on and on. At this rate, I should never feel contentment!
Nothing feels worse than doing something because I feel obliged or that I ought to. Yes, there are many things I WANT to do, and eventually may get to all of them, but the weight of SHOULD easily zaps the joy out of many tasks.
My mother cheered me up when I mentioned this irksome feeling years ago. She shared a valuable truth with me that every mom SHOULD tattoo on their guilty tired hearts: Christian Service begins at home. Repeat: Christian Service begins at home. With that being said, I immediately get credit for laundry, cooking, vacuuming, toilet scrubbing, carting kids around, packing lunches and helping with homework. I am no longer in the red zone of contributing to a productive society. Simply caring for my family holds merit. Suddenly all the lugging, helping, cleaning and instruction I donate to my family every day scores philanthropic points. Maybe I am not such a big lazy loser after all! I try to keep this notion in my back pocket; that serving my family is serving God. Hmmmmm….the ultimate volunteer opportunity lives under my roof. That is all I really SHOULD be doing at this point in my life. That is all I WANT to do for now.
I will stop using the “S” word, replacing it with the phrase, “I want”. As in, I WANT to clean out the refrigerator and then mow the lawn. That “S” word will not posses the power to push me down any longer. I will live my days in a state of WANTING...yes, wanting to serve my family. Annoying supermoms everywhere can lug the guilt of “should” around their waists, while they orchestrate jog-a-thons, home school four children, coach every sport team, organize world peace, bake from scratch and propose solutions to balancing the Federal budget while I simply fold socks and underwear. I revel in this simple truth; Christian service begins at home, as it SHOULD!