Mom-ing is hard.
This may not entirely fit in perfectly with the last Dear Moms post, but it’s definitely a continuation.
This is not a “pity me” post. It’s simply an “I can resonate with you – you are not in this alone” post.
I just wanted to confirm to you all that being a mom, well, it’s the hardest job there is.
I know I would have scoffed at that sentence before I had kids. Even during my first pregnancy. But wow. It’s literally 24/7. Even when they aren’t home, you’re washing their clothes, cooking their meals, or worrying about them. Do you know what I mean? It takes a toll on your brain. I think that’s probably why I can’t seem to remember which day is what, or why I walked into the dining room in the first place. Why am I here? What am I forgetting? So many times! I know other moms feel the same. I’ve listened to them about it. It’s not just me. And it’s not just you.
The last post was about moms with newborns. This is for moms who are moving past that stage, and are trying to figure out how to have some normalcy in life. Each stage is hard. Just different kinds of hard. Having three kids in about three years – I was exposed to all of the earlier stages at once. I can honestly say that I can’t remember so much of the last 5 years. I was either so tired, frazzled, or busy with the little ones that my brain just decided that it couldn’t keep with inputting memories. It was too busy trying to stay awake, or to focus on any one thing (instead of trying to think of everything all the time – which happens more often than not).
From having a literal line up at the change table (why would two of them decide to poop at the same time?), to nightmares (“Mommy is so tired, can you please try to stop thinking about bad things?” <— Do I sound/feel selfish much? Yes. I will reiterate that last Mom post. Motherhood shows you how selfish you really are, and bring out lots of other less-than-lovely things about yourself, that you may not have realized.). We’ve got spills happening at least 3 times a day, sometimes more. The patience it takes to not explode when someone spills the fifth cup of whatever (or somehow manages to slop their entire bowl of stew on the floor before taking a single bite), is immense. So much patience required.
There are so many things that try our patience, that help us grow, to become better parents along the way. And the best part? Our kids love us. No matter how many times we might lose our patience a little bit too quickly, they forgive and forget. They don’t understand how hard it is, but they do have little innocent hearts, that love quickly, and immensely. They know we will not stop loving them if they somehow manage to spill every drink in one day. They somehow have this great mechanism for forgetting that we were mad at them. Especially if we humble ourselves enough to ask their forgiveness for exploding a little bit too much. Those little hearts are so precious.
We’ve been tasked with the care of those little hearts. To guide them and to guard them. It is oh-so humbling to remember that every day. That we’ve been blessed with these littles, not burdened with them. Sometimes that is a hard thing to bring back to the forefront. I know that sounds horrible. But it’s truth. They feel like a burden at times. Mostly when they’re all screaming at crying and you want to go hide somewhere and cry too. If you haven’t had kids yet – don’t let that scare you. Every day is not like that, every moment is different. You can go from screaming and crying to having a special kitchen dance party, or seeing your littlest ones sharing ever so nicely. There are so many beautiful moments that happen. When you see your oldest trying to help your youngest, or explaining to his brother why doing something was wrong (their logic is hilarious sometimes, listen closely to what they say).
Kids are actually hilarious. They have the funniest senses of humour, and say the darndest things. Quite literally, they are the best form of comedy. And lame, though my jokes are, they think I’m funny too. They also think that I’m a pretty special person. Even though it may seem like they don’t hear you or see you (I think this happens a lot to stay-at-home-moms who are always with their kids), as soon as you are out of their sight for an hour, they are more than excited to see you when you get home. They need a break from us sometimes, even as we need one from them.
I laugh more being a mom then in anything else I’ve ever done. Yes. It’s hard. I will never ever tell anyone that parenting is easy. It’s heart-wrenching sometimes. I actually don’t like it when people say it’s “rewarding”. I didn’t have kids to be rewarded. But there are moments that you wouldn’t change for the world. Little spots in a day that you want to etch in stone. Write those down. Remember them somehow. Then on the hard days, you can look back and remember that these are kids. They aren’t just little crazies that are out to get you all the time. They are little hearts, trying to figure out the huge, crazy world we live in, and how they fit in it. Hopefully they are learning by watching you.
You are not in this alone, Mama. We’re all in this together, regardless of the different ways we approach things. We’ve all got a few things in common – We love our kids, and want to do right by them. We are human, and make mistakes. We don’t know what we’re doing. I will take every prayer, listen to advice (not necessarily use said advice), and love to talk to moms about what they’re doing with their kids – what works, and what they need help with. Bounce ideas off of one another. It helps so much.
Enjoy those kiddos this holiday season, see the wonder in their eyes as you put up trees, as you pass beautiful light displays on the road. Remember that they are the most amazing gift. Those sweet children, who aren’t always all that sweet. Remember the moments spent.
Sorry if this was hard to follow at all – my brain is a bit scattered. (Probably an understatement.) I hope you were able to glean some encouragement from this. Merry First Week of December!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.