Recently, there has been much discussion on the blogs I read about women struggling to be a “Supermom” or “Wonder Woman.” (Incidentally, I’m the only man I know personally who regularly posts to a blog; what’s up with that? I’m just as busy as other guys; I guess I just like to express my thoughts more than most?)
Anyway, I think it’s a healthy discussion to have with yourself and others. What can I reasonably do while preserving my sanity and not become frazzled?
I recently finished one of the busiest seasons of my life in which I was working full-time (45 hours per week) and earning a master’s degree (15-20 hours per week), while trying to manage a demanding church calling (10-15 hours per week), help raise three small children, exercise daily (physically and spiritually) and be a good husband, brother, son, friend, blogger, etc. It was truly overwhelming, but somehow I was able to get through it. I truly believe the Lord blessed me for my sacrifices of time and helped me do more with the remaining time I had. Now that I have 15-20 hours more per week, I’m trying to fill it with meaningful activities. The Church offers many suggestions on things we should or could do — enough to fill several lifetimes! But of course, the leaders don’t expect that. However, I think that since we hear so much in our meetings about all the things that we SHOULD be doing (and everything seems to have an equal weight of importance — i.e. sharing the gospel, reading, praying, FHE, temple work, etc.) it can be easy to get discouraged.
Try as I might, there are still many things that I’m supposed to do that I just don’t do right now. Blame it on lack of time, lack of motivation, or anything else, here are a few things that I just don’t do right now:
- I don’t write to missionaries. At least, not more than once per mission for the boys I taught in scouts.
- I don’t attend every scout meeting that I could. I figure I attend enough meetings being in the bishopric.
- I don’t go to the temple once a week as some people do. I’m lucky to get there once a month.
- I don’t do genealogical research. I know what PAF is, but I’ve never really used it — someday…
- I don’t read a lot of magazines. The Ensign is one that doesn’t get as much attention as it should. Reader’s Digest comes faithfully every month, but I yet to read more than a few jokes in it. My brother and his wife got us a year-long subscription to the National Geographic and I never read it, although I looked at the pictures once or twice. 🙂
- I don’t grind wheat for bread and regularly rotate my food storage. Heck, I didn’t even have any real food storage until just a few weeks ago when I made a few trips to Costco. Still need more. Gotta be prepared for Armageddon!
I could feel guilty about this list, but I’m choosing not to do so. I’m simply acknowledging it and resolving to “stand a little taller” while not “running faster than I have strength.” And while some think it’s oppressive to be involved in a religion that requires so much of its people, I find it inspiring. No, I can’t do everything. But I can reach higher and stretch myself in ways that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. And as long as I leave the guilt behind and view my religious duties as a blessing instead of a burden, I will be a better man for it.