I want to make something clear, not for any reason other than my own desire to do so: whenever I write something and put it out for the masses (…all ten of you) to read it may seem as though I a, writing as someone who has it all together. This is not the case. These words are just as much for me to take to heart as they are for anyone else. I am a work in progress, probably much like yourself, and I need to read and remember them whether they are words of encouragement, advice or otherwise.
Let’s get to it.
5 Truths About Motherhood:
1. Sometimes it will be the little things that get you through the day.
Whether it is making it out to the grocery store for two hours with no children in tow or that by God’s grace your children decided to sleep an hour later than they normally would, it will be the seemingly insignificant things that make your heart tick on a day when nothing seems to be going right. If it isn’t your baby who has learned how to say “amen!” it will be your three-year old who drew you a picture of the sun. The little pleasures, the little joys somehow become huge and so very important. Sometimes we are entirely to busy or stressed to even notice them.
These little things will get you through when you’re ready to pull your hair out. These small but perfect moments in time have reduced me to tears in the midst of a chaotic day. The moments when your sleepy child puts their head on your shoulder. Or when dinner turns out better than you thought that it would. I sometimes feel like these moments where it all comes together and clicks are God’s small way of saying to me, “I see your struggles today and I want you to know that all is well”. There may be seasons in your mothering years where the small things are all you glean from long days. Enjoy them. Embrace them. Especially if that small thing is an hour on the sofa with your husband before bed, watching the news. Sounds good to me.
2. There will never, ever be enough time.
This should be self-explanatory but sadly I see so many moms (myself included) rushing around, trying to get everything done and putting undo pressure on themselves. And while there are things that must be done everyday there is a difference between essential chores and the things that you would LIKE to accomplish each day. Read my words when I say that there will never, ever be enough time to do it all. Far too often we become wrapped up in crossing things off of a mental checklist or in trying to fit into the ill-conceived image of a “perfect parent”. And in the end we drive ourself nuts. I have got to tell you, I haven’t found a way yet to get my house perfectly clean, keep my two children happy and get makeup on my face every single day. Take it all in stride. Prioritize. Your children come first, the to-do list comes second. No, wait…chocolate and coffee come second (it was a tie.)
3. You will feel…(fill in the blank here)
Discouraged. Frustration. Defeated. You will feel all of these things…unfortunately on more than a few occasions. It comes with the territory. You will feel like you have fought the same battles, washed the same dishes and repeated the same answers to needy children over and over…and over again. You will feel like your children’s occasionally poor attitudes are a result of your deficits as a mother. You will feel like your children’s shortcomings are an all too present reminder of where you fail as a mother. You will feel like if you just can’t keep the house looking great that you can’t get anything right.
If you walked into my kitchen right now, you would find pieces to Mr. Potato Head on the floor, dishes in my sink and a floor that desperately needs to be swept. If you were to stop by at nap time on a Tuesday, you would find a three-year old that doesn’t want to go to bed and is fighting me every step of the way. If you wanted to see me today, at 11:08 a.m. in my car, you would have seen me practicing deep breathing as my children whined at me from the backseat. There is no such thing as a perfect, has it all together mom. Doesn’t exist. This is reality. It’s raw and sometimes it down right sucks. Tomorrow is a new day, and God’s mercies are new every morning. And today and it’s busyness will be in the rearview mirror. Don’t you ever give up, momma.
4. Your children LOVE you.
I think that this is one thing that mom’s have amnesia about. I forget this so easily, because read these words: your children love (want, need, care for, desire, appreciate…) YOU. And while this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t guard our children or should be careless with their love, this does allow us some room to breathe. Your children love YOU. They care about YOU. And if you let them, they will amaze you with how much grace they are capable of giving to you. My kids could care less about the messes around the house – they probably wouldn’t because they’re normally the ones that make them. They could care less if we make it to the bank or if we forgot the sour cream at the grocery store. Your children need YOU. Of course, they need a harmonious and loving home to grow up in, but the actual physical state of the house (barring the extreme) plays a very small part of that fact for them. Parents with a joyful and patient heart are what make a harmonious and warm home that your children will love being in. You are the largest part of that, momma.
5. Parenting is some of the hardest work, but the most rewarding.
I have done the 9-5 thing. I earned a title or two, punched my time card and collected a paycheck. I enjoyed the work I did immensely. But now that I am home full-time that all seems so distant to me. There is nothing wrong with work outside of the home. But I can say that my children are what I am the most proud of. Watching them grow, learn to talk, say the alphabet and count has been amazing. Seeing how loving they are to one another, listening to my son say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and watching my daughter hug a little girl she just met at the park, well, that all takes the cake. That is a legacy. And you can’t put a price on it.
Those are the fruits of a long, hard labor. Much like the babies the doctor laid across my chest when they were first born, squirming, pink and new beings in their first moments of the world, were the fruits of my physical labors in all of its perfection, watching my children grow with hearts that honor God, love others and live with joy is by far the best thing that I can imagine. There is nothing in this world greater than that.
There you have it. Happy Thursday!