I've had one of those days today, where the two little toddler joys in my life were drowning a bit of my joy. They are consistent little blessings, consistent at whining when not getting their way, consistent at yelling and crying as a form of communication, consistent at having screaming matches with one another just to hear who screams the loudest, and don't forget to add on to the consistent bodily functions of drooling (how does a petite 1 year old drool so much? It's not humanly possible. But she is prevailing!), and changing dirty diapers (wondering as I am changing them, if I am over feeding them because it's not possible that amount of poop can come out of someone so small), while trying to find a moment of quietness as I encounter my new favorite place in our home, the bathroom, to the door being knocked and the kids yelling for me to open it (as if it is exciting seeing mom on the toilet???).
Then their is my desire to have a clean and orderly house that within minutes, my two mini hurricanes hit and our house becomes a mess once again. It is a day like this that seems like endless days of cleaning messy floors and faces, changing dirty diapers, and finding myself worn out, cranky, and just plain old tired, to no prevail all the work is met with a defiant 'NO' in response to helping Mom clean up.
In desperation today, I was telling God that in some ways I hated motherhood (*gasp*). I was surprise that word came up in my conversation with Him, there wasn't a need to water it down anyways, He already knew. Some may say it's too harsh of a word, some may relate, some may raise questions as to how good of a mom I am if I am not enjoying every minute with my kids, and some may be unsure of what to say. For me, I definitely do not hate BEING a mom (as hard as it can be some days, the overwhelming love that I feel for my kids is worth it. Can you imagine the intensity of how much Jesus loves us?). I just hate the idea of a supermom, who is super happy, super energetic and has it together all the time, who I have come to reject because she is unrealistic. To me, moms are warriors, imperfect warriors because we live in an imperfect world and we are imperfect people. Moms are warriors because we give so much of ourselves daily to our children and those we love unselfishly, while maintaining a marriage, a home, a job (in or out of the home), friendships, relationships, and external passions, and desiring to follow the path that God has mapped out for us with grace and dignity (some days forgetting to brush our hair or wash our face), knowing along the way this path is bumpy, requires a ton of forgiveness, and a lot of work at being patient.
Of course, as I was speaking with God, I was also praying to God to help me with my 'negative' attitude and to help me make clear of this moment of uncertainty I felt as a mom. And sure enough, little moments of guilt crept into my heart for not being 'happy' all the time. But because I know God knows my heart and what I meant in my conversation with Him, the moments of guilt were not entertained for too long. These moments of guilt crept in because of those unrealistic expectations of motherhood that I find myself trying to live up to, and those comments from well meaning folks that tell me to enjoy every moment with my kids because it goes by so fast, which translates to me that if I am not enjoying EVERY moment, I must not be doing something right as a mom. Then in my conversation with God and in reading a very honest post about motherhood (which inspired me to write this), I've come to understand that just like the days in our lives are not always perfect, happy, and joyful so is motherhood, which is a beautiful mess of unexpected daily challenges. There are good days and there are bad days. What has helped me through each day are enjoying the humor that motherhood offers, and accepting that I do not want to be a supermom, just the mom that God wants me to be to my kids each day.
In God's grace, I am learning that He doesn't expect me to be a supermom (no one is perfect) and that the imperfection of being a warrior mom is enough. He gives me moments of laughter that helps with those hard days, and He gives me His grace so that I may be able to turn to Him in my rawest emotion and need without fear of condemnation and rejection, because in His love, He teaches me in love, and humbles me to lean on Him.
Praying for all moms out their to let go of that supermom complex, to know what you are doing is enough, to find moments of laughter in motherhood and to feel God's grace in those challenging days.
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"The LORD your God will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."