Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~1 Corinthians 13:6-7
This is a hard post to write. Because I am a mother, and I know there are people whose hearts are broken wanting to be mothers. So I don’t want to belittle that desire, or their heartache. I also know that being a mother is the best job in the whole entire world. Something about having that little body snuggle up against you, and hearing those words, “I love you, Mommy.” It’s amazing. Something that cannot be explained in words, at least not by me. Motherhood is beautiful, wonderful, amazing…
and really, really HARD!
We aren’t just talking spilt milk here (although that happens often enough). We are talking about the blood, sweat and tears a mother comes in contact with daily (not to mention the poo- can I mention poo in a blog?). I’m not talking about little inconveniences such as your child deciding broccoli is better if it’s already been chewed and then smeared all over the wall, but the overwhelming feelings of failure as small things pile up on each other. And those feelings can seem insignificant when compared to the heartache of your children’s feelings getting hurt by another child’s words. Then there is the headache of their constant picking on each other and bickering. The loneliness of being the one on the front lines constantly trying to modify poor behaviors*. And all of this would probably be something we could handle, but there seems to be this idea… that mothers should be happy. Bubbly even.
The only thing bubbly about me is the soda I drank yesterday. That’s it.
And it’s not that I don’t love being a mom (this is why this post is so hard, I don’t want to complain about being a mom!). I just don’t want to pretend it is all roses anymore. Like at the grocery store, when I’ve told my children a hundred times not to climb on the toilet paper displays (why is it always bathroom humor for us???), and I find myself calling my children down from the tops of the toilet paper. And I’m trying to use a happy and confident voice to call my children back to me. Because people are looking at me, and I wouldn’t want them to think I’m a horrible mother. But inside I’m thinking, is it okay to yell yet? When can I yell and not look like the worst mom ever?
So I was thinking about this, and I admit to being a fanciful (and flighty) kind of person. And in my head I had a picture of a battlefield and this weary beaten down woman, was pushing herself back up onto her feet again. And all her weariness and bruises and the dirt she was covered in, I thought… that’ me. That’s a mom. Moms are warriors. We are the ones who get back up, and keep trying. Because no one else is going to do this job for us. We have this idea that moms are soft and cuddly and sweet and baking cookies… or whatever. But that’s not it at all. Moms might be soft on the outside, and have nice smiles for everyone, and come up with encouraging words for their children. But on the inside, to be a good mom who is there through thick and thin for her family, a mom needs a core of steel. We need to get up everyday, and pray. We need to get up and reinforce the rules of yesterday (no more climbing on the toilet paper displays!), and we are the only ones who can do this job. We are the only ones who will do this job.
So change that diaper one more time, reiterate the rules, separate the bickering siblings, and march on warrior! It’s okay to admit that the motherhood is hard. It is okay to admit that the motherhood is not glamorous, or even easy. The motherhood is a paradox of joy and sadness, of beautiful moments and horrific scenes with poo on the wall that we shouldn’t even mention in a blog (I repeat: can we mention poo in blogs?). But what makes all the moms I know so wonderful, is that they keep getting back up. They keep on keepin’ on for their children, for their husbands, and for their families.
I guess I just wanted a moment to be honest, because I’m tired of feeling like a failure if I snap at my children (who did not promptly come down off the toilet paper displays) in public. No one ever said we were perfect, but God entrusted these children to us. These are the children that God gave to me. He has a plan and purpose in me being their mother. It’s okay for me to fail, because I am backed by a God who does not fail at his plans and purposes. It’s freeing really, to know that He is with me. Day in and day out, I am not alone. And neither are you.
Thank you, Lord, that you know we are trying our best. Thank you that you can cover over the cracks in our parenting with your love and grace. We ask that you do so now, fill in those little bits we have missed with your great mercy and love. Please fill us up again this day to be more and more the person you have created us to be. And we agree with your plans for us, for our children, and for our families. We ask your blessing and presence in our lives and in our families. Thank you for your great love! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
*Not to say that I am parenting solo, my husband is there for me like a hero in shining armor. But he has this thing called a “real job,” so sometimes he misses out on the long and drawn out battles. He just comes home for the aftermath. Which is almost worse for him. When he comes home to a wife who is literally at her wits end and has no patience, let alone ability to hear and support him. Poor man. Let’s take a moment, and acknowledge the hard work of the husbands….**
**ok, if that moment is done for you, then let’s just remember whose changed more diapers. Not that this is a competition, but I’m just saying. ;)