Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Why Moms Have a Hard Time Allowing the Main Thing to Be the Main Thing

We hear “let the main thing be the main thing” often. It reminds us to focus on what really matters. And, this is a great goal. It is a wonderful way to imagine living your life. And, for many people, it seems to work. But, those people are not moms.

My poor little mom brain is an arena of craziest sports fans at any given moment. Some of my thoughts are screaming. Some are taunting. Some are throwing things. Some are diving off of awnings and climbing streetlights. There is no focusing on the “main thing.”

Think I am exaggerating? No. My job as a mom is to love my children well and help them to grow to be independent people one day. Those two “main things” are enough to keep me up all night long if I let them.

I can easily be processing about five hundred twenty-seven different things at one time. Between grocery lists, family schedules, knowing my kid’s friends name, helping with homework, packing lunches, remembering holidays, teaching them to brush their teeth and wipe their butts, buying pants and shoes each time they outgrow them, and then trying to help them to grow up to be loving and kind…well, my brain is mush.

Add in a “thing” – you know, a “thing.” The thing that throws life off balance, and then I am pretty close to either freaking out or going catatonic. It can be anything from sickness to bullying to a kid getting in trouble at school.

So, to get back to “let the main thing be the main thing.” Let’s just say I struggle with this. For example, I’d like to believe these two concepts are my family’s main things:

  • Love God. Love People.
  • Be Loving and Kind.

But, here’s the rub. I seldom focus on just these two things. I go very quickly from just loving to overanalyzing and “fixing” and correcting. I jump from hoping for loving and kind children to asking my kids to always stay within the lines.

When “a thing” happens, these “main things” seem to get lost in the sea of crazy sports fans in my brain shouting at me about what this means for the future and how people will see them and how they will be treated. On top of everything else they are already shouting at me about – GROCERIES! LAUNDRY! NEW SHOES! CAKE! Then, add in how “a thing” allows those same shouting crazies in my head to turn their shouting back on me and the perception others have of me, and I am done.

But, then again, maybe it’s just me. 

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