Something about deliberately underachieving

Something about deliberately underachieving

I’m a typical school mum.

We accidently get up later than we should to enable the morning to run smoothly. Most of the time.

Our kids still haven’t learned to remain seated throughout a breakfast sitting. This is because their parents eat toast and drink tea while riffling through the washing basket looking for uniforms. There’s a dog that still acts like a puppy and steals the socks that have been designated for today. One panicky child remembers the homework due that is hitherto incomplete. Someone else has, yet again, lost their water bottle. We can’t find the excursion slip that was due two days ago. When I yell some ‘hurry up’ instructions from underneath a hairdryer, one of the kids interprets that as ‘start a second breakfast.’ Driving the car to school, I brake harder than usual at the stop signs to communicate that they need to do a faster job at getting ready in the mornings.

There are also days when I get up well before daybreak and exercise for an hour. I come home and pop the 16-hour-prepped sourdough into a blistering oven, so my sweating can be rewarded with a hot and crusty breakfast. I hand the kids their lunchboxes that were packed before bed last night. Their uniforms are laid out in age order on the sideboard. I’ve got time to put everyone’s towels through a quick cycle. My hair styling goes to plan, and no one else cries when I brush their hair. My husband’s work shirt was ironed last week on a Monday. My morning tea gal-pal is going to eat a warm apple cake because it’s an easy recipe to whip up just before I head to drop off.

On a great day, there’s a still, small social media voice that whispers in your ear ‘tell everyone what you’ve achieved’. Let’s face it – you really want to. Or maybe you have. Or maybe I have.

I’ve seen posts that list the domestic achievements of the day and finish off with ‘and it’s not even 7.30am yet’. Guaranteed the comments to follow will include pronouncements of Supermum. For some reason, we have come to believe that completing domestic duties before a certain hour of the morning is an incredible act. Somehow baking muffins for your kids’ afternoon tea is adulation-worthy. Curiously, if you take your kids to tennis after school on a Tuesday and netball on a Wednesday, it’s awesome parenting. In fact, if you have something extra-curricular after school every day you are striding into the winner’s ribbon at every point. What? There’s more? More stuff, more responsibilities, more involvements, more capacity and more activities? Sheesh, that’s remarkable. I want to insert a little hands-in-the-air-hallelujah emoji.

There’s real satisfaction in achievement. Ticking off a long list of chores is a buzz and attaining some aspirational goals (“I will not serve cereal for dinner”) is confidence-buoying. The more you achieve success, the more ambitious you get for tomorrow. Ambition is fueled by that post on Instagram that says YOU ONLY FAIL WHEN YOU STOP TRYING, written in capitals and superimposed over a sunset. Our culture is always calling us to better ourselves and improve our insufficiencies. These achievements will contribute to growing better neighbourhoods, more conscientious kids, higher soaring marriages and/or thriving careers. Oprah loves this stuff. I’m also in go-getter mode after successfully folding and putting away clothes in the same day.

Be ambitious!

Achieve your goals!

Aspire for greatness!

If you feel encouraged and ready for what your day holds now…this is where the article ends for you. Off you go. Bye.

Hello to the rest of us who feel like under-achieving, anxious, sub-standard and below par citizens of this world.

In my Bible, there’s a section of text that is titled “Living to Please God” so it sounds kind of important. It says what you’d guess it would say even if you aren’t familiar with 1 Thessalonians 4; love each other and learn to love people better than you do already. That’s on our to-do list.

The next goal is the greatest news to us who feel worn out, tired and stretched by mechanics of this first-world in which we reside. It really deserves a pregnant pause before the announcement…..

“…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands…” (v 11)

In God’s eyes, the ambition of champions is to take it back a few notches, attend to the business of our little patch and keep active with the small things in front of us. His goals for us are close by and not needing the soundtrack from the Rocky movies.

Our enterprising and industrious activities are not the divine demands you may have thought them to be.

Good news for the day ahead.


Add yours
  1. 1

    You’ll always be my Super Hero Sandhill Warrior. Awesome mother, wife, sibling daughter & a great friend to boot! Live ya work ❤️

Leave a Reply to Sherree Cancel reply