Some days, you’re that mom. That seemingly peaceful, put together and patient mother. Your children act like they have some sense and you seem calm, cool and collected. Nothing gets broken in the store. No one screams and no one spills juice down the front of you. Smiles, smiles everywhere.
Some days, you’re THAT mom. You look a mess while your children are running circles around you. There are screams, tears and little bodies flinging themselves on the floor out of protest of your rules. Your lunch is dumped on the floor while you are trying to enjoy it, let alone consume it. And of course, all eyes are upon you and just how you’re going to handle your child that is standing in their chair, yelling at the top of their lungs.
Today, folks, I was THAT mom. Today… it was hard. Today, I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t “want to be a mom.” I wanted to be the woman at the gym who gets to walk in by herself, without hauling a huge diaper bag filled to the brim with diapers, toys and puffs. I wanted to walk silently into the gym and work out, then glide back out the door with free arms that didn’t have to hold little hands. I wanted to get lunch and enjoy my chicken salad sandwich and coleslaw (yum) and eat in silent contentment. I wanted to listen to what I wanted to listen to on the radio without being asked to change it ten times. I wanted a quiet car ride, without a little one bugging me in the back about going to the park. I wanted to be able to pull out my car keys without having to fumble around with an infant in my arms while digging through my overly full diaper bag, desperately trying to find keys and keep my toddler from running into the road.
Thus is the life of the mom. No vacations or personal days. We don’t get days off. Not at least without massive coordinating and planning. Or without committing a misdemeanor and getting thrown into the clink for a night. Hey, three hots and a cot! Tell me you didn’t momentarily contemplate that, moms. Tell me that doesn’t sound somewhat good to you. I so badly wanted to get on here today and show you pictures from my Friday with my Littles, the Littles that I love. Instead of running smoothly, today went more like this….
Sorry for the bad quality – you can tell she really wasn’t up for picture-taking, right? My day was…awful. It has been just plain awful. I prayed this morning. I woke up early, trying to greet my littles with the glory and bounty of a new, sunny day. I thought today would be OK. It just wasn’t. Do you ever have days when you’re at work and nothing goes right? Maybe you make a mistake, forget to do something or you have a nasty customer or co-worker to contend with. Well, my co-workers weren’t the most helpful today. Or would they be….customers? I don’t know.
As I was crying and relaying to my almost 3-year-old in the car today how disappointed I was with how he was acting (think I’m a wimp because I cried? Don’t worry, he made me cry twice today) it hit me: Motherhood is hard. I thought I had this figured out when I was expecting. During the dwindling days of my pregnancy, as my feet were swollen, my blood pressure was high and I couldn’t sleep worth anything I knew that it was going to be a hard journey because of how much it takes out of you physically even before they are here. Then I thought I had really figured it all out during my son’s birth. It was physically the hardest thing I have ever gone through, just to bring him into the world. I thought that was hard then. And now…the goal posts keep being moved back, and I’m sure it will always be that way, because I keep coming to new points where I understand all over again just how hard this all is.
Today, I was that mom. I was that mom that just wanted peace and quiet. Joy and laughter weren’t anywhere (at least that I could see) around me and my Littles today. I was that mom who found no encouragement in anything. I was that mom who just wanted reassurance that she was doing right by someone. Her children, God…by someone. I wanted to know that I wasn’t failing as a mom. Do you remember my post from yesterday? How each moment is a chance to find joy and learn to love better and be more patient? How much pressure that can sometimes put on us, especially as moms?? The beautiful thing is that though it is daunting because we need to sometimes be aware moment to moment, minute to minute and hour to hour…these things in turn go by so quickly. I’m home. My (admittedly rotten) children are asleep. There is silence. There is peace. For now.
These days are fleeting. I know that they are. Both of my Littles have birthdays in the next two weeks. I was considering today how I’m inching closer and closer to the days when Jerry will be in school and it will just be Clara and I at home. How these days pass. How those moments pass. Though not seemingly so at the time, very quickly.
Today I was that mom that just wanted to get through it all and have it all be OK. Though our total days are amassed out of these moments, a few unpleasant, daunting and difficult moments do not a failure make. My children are happy. They are loved. Can you say the same about your’s? If so, take a moment and breathe. You’re doing your job, you’re pursuing your calling. It is hard. And there will be days like this. Maybe many. But in the big picture, they won’t seem like so many. Breathe, and try to get through it.
How does this apply to you if you don’t have Littles yet?
Go home, and hug your mother. If you see a mother desperately trying to cling to her children (and her sanity) as she fumbles with the diaper bag and the door at Chick Fil A, tell her you have it and open it for her. Don’t sneer at the mom in Target whose child has other ideas about a seemingly peaceful shopping trip. Smile at her. And if you’re so bold, tell her it’s OK. That she is doing a good job. And if you think that is crazy, consider the fact that someone did that for you. Someone hauled you all around town and dealt with your tantrums. Someone potty trained you and let you throw up on them. Someone tried to plan and make good summer days with you. Someone loves you. Someone did it for you. And maybe someday, you will get to do it for someone else. I hope that you do.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Except for maybe today…I would have traded it for sushi and a plane ticket.
Happy Friday, folks.