I’m exhausted, but wide awake. Continually replaying my day. You know those extra tense days you have with your spouse? You’re both on edge and there isn’t some pinpointed reason, more just the fact that you share living space with someone who sometimes drives you crazy? You love them, sure, but some days you just want to karate chop their throat. All in the name of love.
Today we made a trek out to South Dakota, last minute, and I was left driving by myself with two kids while my husband drove his work vehicle. Usually during this two hour (both ways) drive I get a lot of thinking and praying done. Today that didn’t happen. I just … Drove. Devoid of thought. It is rare for a woman to do this …
But tonight it seems my brain doesn’t want to power down. Way to waste 4 hours in the car, brain.
Since I had my son a few weeks ago I’ve been slammed. Slammed with busyness, anxiety, and in general I am overwhelmed. It is rare my sisters don’t receive a frantic text from me during the day. I expected hysteria with two kids under 2. I expected craziness. Craziness I must battle on my own as my husband works nonstop.
But tonight as I lay here and ponder the day … Screaming infant, toddler leaking all over her car seat, tensions with my husband, dishes in the sink – – I asked myself, “When did these things and these people become burdens instead of blessings?”
I love being a stay at home mom. In fact I’m one of those rare breeds that would love nothing more than to spend the next 18 years being a stay at home mom. Crazy, I know. I want to be that mom who gets all up into my kid’s business, makes them give me their passwords, sign a cell phone contract, empty their drawers. You call it helicopter parenting, I call it responsibly nosey (and my one true passion). I believe I was formed to be a stay at home mom. I have a servant’s heart. I don’t want the glory, I just want the peace. Peace in knowing I took care of my kids and husband, cleaned the house, ran errands, made a meal that put a smile on their faces, sang the alligator song an ample amount of times … I’m not concerned with conquering the business world or setting out on a trajectory of personal accomplishment. I really mean it when I say, “When God calls me home if all I’ve ever accomplished is wife and mom, then I served my purpose. I die happy and at peace.”
Sure many won’t wrap their mind around this and that’s cool. But if you are a mom – working or stay at home – you know that feeling.
The feeling where the blessing of children has become the burden of parenting.
They cry – a lot. They piss themselves – and their carseats. They poop all of the time. I mean ALL OF THE TIME. They kick you during diaper changes and throw fits when you take away the pen they found in the sofa cushions. They wake you up at 3am only to fall asleep halfway through the bottle. They cry when they’re tired, sad, stressed, overwhelmed, or when you shut Mickey Mouse Clubhouse off. Everything is an ordeal and requires planning. They grow out of clothes the moment you buy them. And diapers too. And somehow you’re always running low on wipes even though you just bought a 3 pack. But then you see your 17 month old surrounded by a pile of wipes as she frantically pulls them out one by one like some Minute to Win It contestant. Your husband is late from work … again. The dinner is cold. Screw it I’m eating without him. You put the kids to bed a half hour early for your sanity. Dangit, out of wine. Your prayer journal has crayon drawings on it. When was that pediatrician appointment again? Screw it. They’ll call to remind me the day before. Did I brush my teeth today? Oh look … My coffee I didn’t drink this morning. I’m too tired to shower. I’m too tired to think. I’m too tired.
In the mundane moments, the tired moments, the monotony of parenting moments I become wrapped in thoughts of “woe is me” and view these little people and this handsome Marine as burdens.
But something happened to me tonight. As I laid here and processed my day, my burdens, my “woe is me” moments I had an epiphany …
What if tomorrow I woke up and it was 7 years ago and I somehow got a glimpse into my life today. God pulled back the curtain to the mystery of my future and showed me what lay ahead. At the age of 19 I would see, from the perspective of the Most High, a beautiful, loving husband who would move mountains for me if he could. I would witness my daughter’s goofiness and clumsiness that I know so well. I would view the quiet moments with her before bed when we read Goodnight Moon and thank Jesus for another day. Because afterall even she isn’t promised tomorrow. I would watch as I sing to my son and he grin as big as his face allows, because he acknowledges my voice, and he’s at peace. Content and soothed. How when he is crying, and even his dad cannot soothe him, just resting him against my chest calms his storm. I could see many days of teaching my daughter colors and shapes. Or watching both of my children curled up next to their dad on a Saturday morning. God would show me how my husband still plays with my hair when he drives. He would reveal the moments where he texts me to tell me he loves me – for no reason. Almost like a habit. Or how he still is my best friend even through all the junk. He would show me the moment I pin my husband’s new rank on his collar, and his quiet and humble gratitude for me – even though I’ve done very little to help get him there. God would let me see the night we crawled into bed to find 2 dirty diapers, a bottle, and 3 binkies only to laugh together and both feel mutual thankfulness that we experience those moments at all.
What if God showed me the majesty in the mundane? The beauty in the chaos? Would I see burden or blessing?
Blessing. So many countless blessings.
So take heart moms. There is majesty in the mundane. And what feels like burden is just a side effect of the greatness you are growing – the light you are raising. We were entrusted with these lives. Let not the stressors or burdens overshadow the blessings.
There is no curtain to be pulled back so we may see our future. We have today, this moment, and this time. Relish in this motherhood and while it may not be glamorous or even acknowledged – God sees it all. And He knows you’re doing the best you can.
I’m doing the best I can.