on Mercy.


{Linking up with Blessed Is She once again}

Oh, mercy. Our daughter was baptized and confirmed on Divine Mercy Sunday and her confirmation saint is Saint Faustina. When I first read this week’s Blessed Is She prompt, I figured I’d blog about her baptism or Divine Mercy, but as I sit down to write, there’s a different kind of mercy I find myself focusing on.

Mercy on myself.

They told us in the birth class to not worry about the state of your home in the first few weeks after your baby is born. I took a mental note and agreed – who would I be trying to impress anyway? Baby > clean house. People would understand – or so I told myself. 

Instead, I’ve tried more than once to run myself utterly ragged. Each day became a competition with myself. How many more loads of laundry could I get done? Could I unload the dishwasher too? Make a meal or two? Shower? Do my hair? Get dressed? Put on makeup? Run an errand with a baby in tow? I was striving to make my accomplished list longer and longer each day. There were days that I got a lot done and the baby fit perfectly into all the efforts I was making to keep a clean house. There were, however, days that I made a to-do list that was far too long and I had a fussy baby to boot. Those days have tried my patience as my husband had to tell (command) me to lay down, leave the to do list and rest, even if just for 20 minutes.

Mercy.

I’ve had to learn in the last few weeks since her birth to have mercy on myself. Mercy that the dishwasher isn’t unloaded. Mercy that there’s a load of laundry that’s been sitting in the dryer for two days. Mercy that the baby is fussy and I’m losing my patience. Mercy with my husband who is equally frustrated and broken-hearted over a baby we can’t seem to comfort. None of it is hopeless, but it is so easy to be so incredibly hard on myself for not being able to do it all.

After all, what am I trying to prove? As my husband recently pointed out, my job now is to care for our daughter – period. If the dishwasher gets unloaded or the laundry done, that’s icing on the cake. I’m not so hot at this self-mercy thing. I’m a perfectionist at heart, but I’m learning to let go, to reorder my priorities and take the victories where I can get them. The to-do list will get done eventually, but if I don’t cut myself a little slack then I start spiraling. I feel like a failure – as a homemaker, as a wife, and even as a mother. A little self-mercy goes a long way in keeping me from believing those lies. I’m not a failure, I’m a work in progress, as are we all.

Lord, have mercy.

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