You know it's been a hard day at work when your boss gives you this tongue lashing:
You did a really poor job today! You did not take care of your clients properly, you either tried to control them or you neglected them, and if they wouldn't do things your way, you ignored them. Where has your care and compassion gone? Where is your nurturing, caring persona? And what has happened to your personal grooming? What on earth are you wearing? You look like a fat slob! And would it kill you to at least run a comb through your hair? You smell like you haven't showered for days! Also, you spent too much time on the internet while you were on duty. You were rude and impatient to your clients. Your work space looks like a giant bush turkey's nest. In fact, there is no evidence of you getting a single thing done today at all!! And did I mention that you stink?
Who would take that kind of crap from their boss? Oh hang on. Me. From me. I am such a hard task-master to myself!! What I need to hear from me goes a little more like this:
Candy, you seem unhappy with your work today. Just cast your mind over the day for a moment. Think about how you spent your time.
You played hide and seek. Three separate games.
You read eight books. While juggling two wriggly kids on your lap.
You had kids tackle hug you repeatedly.
You worked out – while supervising two kids and dealing with their attempts to steal your work-out equipment.
You prepared five meals AND CLEANED UP THE DISASTER AREA AFTER EACH MEAL.
You resisted eating chocolate brownie, smarties and corn chips, even though they were all readily available in your house.
You vacuumed the whole house, cleaned most of the house (while two clever kiddies uncleaned after you).
You cleaned up four wee puddles, and changed six nappies, and cleaned up poo off the floor and out of undies.
You did two loads of washing, and folded and put away four loads of washing, while supervising your children's playtime.
You brokered peace multiple times between warring kids, once involving a sand fight that required an extensive clean-up operation!
You started your work day abruptly at 5:12am, after being on call all night (and having to answer that call at least twice). You had no child-free time, no “break”. Your work day finished at 7:12pm, but not really because you then had to do more cleaning and prepare for the next day. Oh, and you are going to be on call all night too.
I'm reminding you of this so that you can be more understanding and patient with yourself - not so that you can find your worth in the fact that you've done a reasonably good job under somewhat difficult circumstances.
Sure, you yelled more than you feel comfortable with. You lost your temper after the third wee puddle from the 3.5 year old who CAN control her bladder but prefers to play. You did escape online a multiple times when you needed a time out. You could have done things differently. You could have made different choices about how to handle certain situations. But today is past, and tomorrow is a fresh day. God's mercy is new every morning.
So stop being so hard on yourself and focus on tuning in to Him who loves you. Let Him love you. Take your frustrations to Him and breathe in His patience. Draw on His strength, His compassion, His love to supply the strength, compassion and love you need for your children. Beating yourself up just makes for an emotionally bruised and battered start to the next day. Rest in Him and receive His forgiveness for mistakes made. Apologise to your kids for the times you yelled at them and ask their forgiveness too. And be kind to yourself.
I far too often focus on the negatives. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Do you ever mentally beat yourself up? Well don't, it's not helpful! Remember, your worth is not based in how much you get done in a day, or what your house looks like, or how content your children are! You have unmeasurable worth because God lovingly created you and counted you precious enough to die for.