Thoughts on this thing called motherhood.

9:49 PM

Miracle of miracles.

   Blogger is letting me post some photos.  So maybe I'll actually update once in a blue moon again.   Did I mention how frustrating it is to me when Blogger doesn't cooperate?  Oh, I have? Several times?  Ok I will try to tone it down a bit.  But seriously....

   Today was another tough one.  The picture above is a shot of my "poor man's nap" a.k.a coffee that kept me going through a rough afternoon today when the girls decided they didn't need any naps.  Well, the jokes on you, ladies, 'cuz bedtime came at 7:00!

   Is it because we just got back from a weekend away to ourselves and so all the "little things" are just magnified because I got my little taste of freedom?  I don't know what it is but man I just feel like lately I have had one humbling day after another.  Like if I ever start to feel like "Girl, I GOT this thaanggg....."  then I find myself scrubbing pee out of mattresses or telling toddlers not to rinse their toothbrush in the toilet or digging coins out of my baby's mouth and washing 3-day old dishes because I just do not have the energy it takes to wash dishes and when the kids are in bed I just want to have a break already and how long can I make this run-on sentence last.......

   It is not easy.  It is just not.  Sure, it has a bajillion rewards and I get to call those gorgeous little angels MINE and kiss their cherubic little cheeks every day and what in this world is really better than that?  But make no mistake friends, it Is. Not. Easy No sir.  Sometimes it is just hanging on and counting down the hours until bedtime.  And sometimes it is packing up the girls at 6:00 pm and doing a little second-hand shopping because hubby isn't home and you just don't feel like facing bedtime alone quite yet.....

   Why are we so dang hard on ourselves?  Why do we have to feel like it's "all or nothing" with motherhood?  That somehow, if we're not at any given moment having a Kodak moment, or Norman Rockwell moment, or at least a MEMORABLE moment every passing second of the day, that we're failing somehow?  Or that to truly be a good mom, we have to just LOVE it so much, and live and eat and breathe being a mom, and never once think of doing or being anything else?  And Heaven forbid we ever miss the stage of life before kids, because somehow that must mean we don't want our children.  Not true.

   Oh, and above all, we must view raising children as our mission, because right here, right now, THIS.....THIS is our work.  This is our calling.  This is our purpose.  Well that is all right and true but that doesn't mean that there won't be poop-scrubbing and disciplining and did-you-really-just-bite-me moments to test the living daylights outta that theory and make you wish for any other calling but this one.  And lest we ever get sidetracked or lose our way for just a moment, there are about a thousand voices poised and ready to chant "feel-good", pithy little sayings in our ears like:

   A mother's love perceives no impossibilities? Sounds poetic but....I would have to say sometimes I perceive PLENTY of impossibilities.  Starting with my own weaknesses and flaws and failures, and then just going downhill from there.

   Motherhood is near to divinity?  It sure doesn't seem that way when you are spanking a child for hitting her sister, all the while wondering if in their small little minds what you're doing at that very moment is no different than what they did to deserve punishment.

   It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind?  What a lovely, precious thought.  But it certainly doesn't seem that way when all around us, even Godly, Christian MOTHERS are busy jetting all over the world and pouring themselves into their booming careers, and somehow that all seems a lot more productive and purposeful and useful-to-society than the diapers and p.j.s and panties I've changed today.

  This picture was taken during what I would probably say was one of my hardest weeks of motherhood ever. 

  Now, I know after this post some people will be thinking, "Oh my, poor Shelley, she hates being a Mom."  Or, "Oh goodness, doesn't she realize how important motherhood is??!"  Or, "Wow, if only she knew the eternal value of the work she is doing now."  And my answers to those responses are 1. (No I don't) 2. (Don't worry, I do) and 3. (I do know, thanks for asking).

  Trust me, I KNOW it is a high calling.  I KNOW it is the most important thing I could be doing right now.  I KNOW it has a huge eternal reward, blessing, impact, etc.  But sometimes it just doesn't feel like it.

  O.k. so that last one is said very "tongue-in-cheek".  But to tell the truth, I always have to stifle a sarcastic remark when someone says something to me like, "You're giving 100%. You're doing your best!!  Hey, at least you're showing up, day after day, and putting in your time.  You're there for them.  You are giving your everything."  As if we all deserve some sort of Olympic gold for it or something.  Because really, do we have any other choice?  I mean, short of parceling our children off to distant relatives or signing them up for some shoddy day-care service, we don't have a lot of options, do we?  We can't just lay in bed and shut the door and take an afternoon nap while our littles tear apart their room and toys and possibly each other.  (Although I would be lying if I said I never tried that).  I mean, they NEED us.  We have to be here.  So in my humble opinion, it just doesn't ever seem that heroic to me to do this thing of mothering day in and day out. 

   The heroism, if there is any, is found in attitude.  The mothers that come through a week of ear infections, or chicken pox, or stomach flu and rebellious toddlers and come out on the other side intact, unfazed, and singing like Mary Poppins......THOSE are the heroes.  THAT deserves a gold medal.  Not for just "showing up day after day"  but for loving it.  For taking ownership of those moments and days, ugly and all, and just living it with VIGOR.  Being vivacious when exhausted.  Being vibrant when beaten-down.  Exuding radiant light when they feel the walls closing in around them.  Those are the ones I want to high-five.  Those are the ones I want to applaud.   

   And those are the ones  I desperately want to ask some days, "How do you do it?!"

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  1. Hi, I saw that Jenny commented on this on FB and followed the link.

    Loved this post and your honesty! It is hard all right, harder then I ever imagined! There is just so much giving involved and some days I just think "If I have to give one more thing or one more ounce of myself, I'll loose my mind!" So far I haven't totally lost it. :) Hopefully I can retain a little sanity to use when my kids are grown. I'll probably use it wishing for them to be small again. :)

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. We all feel this some days. I remember one day when the kids were at it, I went down to the basement for canned goods while talking to the Lord, I told him, you didn't ever have kids that act like this and immediately I heard him say oh yes I do and mine are a lot older. .....I am one of His kids and I'm sure there are days he thinks Lynette why don't you just ask for help where you are weak I AM Strong.

  3. Your girls will love growing up having you for a mom. You care about your 'job performance,' as you will, which means you care about them, which means they will notice your efforts and love you for it. They will know how to be great moms because you taught them how. :)

    "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." ~Rom 5:3-5

  4. What an awesome post and so very encouraging. I have these days all too often! But even though they are rough, the show me that I can't do it on my own and helps me to lean in the arms of my amazing Father. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 is my life verse! Love it so much! I enjoy your blog and the pictures! :)

  5. I feel you, sister! Motherhood is amazing and holy, yes. There are days (weeks) when you wonder desperately how you will ever survive. It's refreshing to read honest posts like this not everyone is brave enough to voice. Cheers from Atlanta.


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