When I was a teen I heard a quote that has forever stuck with me. It was, “The man who chases two rabbits catches neither.”
Lately I have been pondering how well this quote also applies to motherhood. Oftentimes motherhood turns into a game of “run around and try to catch a million rabbits all in one day.”
And then we wonder why we end our day exhausted, drained and unfulfilled.
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We live in a day where our biggest battle is time. If we take a ride on the “People-pleasing” wagon, trying to do as much as we can for as many people as we can, we will find ourselves not only losing rabbits, but losing our unique identity and purpose.
The trick is figuring out which rabbit to chase on which day, and letting go of any guilt for ignoring the other rabbits running by. Once we realize that chasing after just one rabbit is a strategic way of winning at life (and motherhood), and has nothing to do failure, we can start taking delight with each new rabbit caught. It's a slow and steady process.
Sometimes we see other moms chasing an entire herd of rabbits and we start questioning our worth or abilities. We forget that chasing rabbits isn't a race, it's a process. No one catches them all, no one.
The other day I recognized that I had been busy with work the day before, and that it was a good day to play with the kids. This was my rabbit for the day. We made homemade play dough and ran around outside. At the end of the day, I looked at my not-so-tidy house and thought, “It's okay, a clean house was not my rabbit today. Today was a good day.”
This doesn't mean that we don't care for the rabbits we already have. Yes, there will be daily feeding and grooming and basic care-taking of rabbits already in our care. This should be our first priority. What's the point of chasing after new rabbits just to lose the ones we already have?
Other days we might have rabbits that are ill, and require us to take a day off from rabbit-catching entirely. Don't be discouraged by these days. There will be plenty of rabbits to catch tomorrow, next week and next month.
Some days we might even start off with our sights set on catching the “organized home” rabbit, only to notice that the “serve my neighbor” rabbit comes hopping right along and would be a better fit for our day.
Lastly, don't forget that some days aren't for rabbit-catching at all. Sometimes we need to pause and refresh our rabbit-catching skills, practicing some self-care or develop some training. Don't underestimate the importance of these days. Catching the best rabbits requires wisdom and inner strength.