Those days. Oh man. You know those days? Those days?
The days that, despite the biblical truths one knows and believes and loves, get the better of you?
Y'all. I'm there. I'm theeeeere.
My gang… my gang is cute as ever, aren't they? You know what else they are? Agitating. Poopy. Fussy. Disobedience. And all-consuming. Like emotional leeches.
I'm not trying to complain or fuss about the life of a stay-at-home-Mom, no doubt, any circumstances with children (working or not) presents it's own challenges. Children are just hard. They need you! Every second. Of every day. There is no morning commute to detox. No lunch hour to refresh. No weekends to just enjoy them – because, let's face it, you never get the chance to miss them. Oh no.
The other day I needed to run an errand for Stuart – my mission was to acquire two and a half dozen donuts from a local bakery. Heading to get them, I was already ruffled at the fact that it took us no less than an hour to get everyone out of the door with underwear and shoes on. And as soon as that happened the first time, Will filled his diaper again. And then there was a battle about me not allowing milk in the new car. And the fact that I brought the grey shoes and not the pink ones. And that the window wouldn't roll down far enough. And on it went.
“Let's have some quiet time!” Mommy pleaded. “Let's sing along to the music instead! Let's contemplate astrophysics in our minds! Let's do anything besides have impossible conversations!”
Mommy can only talk so much, y'all.
Seven princess stories later, we arrived at the bakery. I gave a quick run-down about what my expectations were and what our objective was. Please, no emotional breakdowns, temper tantrums, tears, whining, or donut battles. Please. I'm begging you.
Which of course there were. But we survived. Five minutes in the donut store and three trips to the car later, we finally had everyone reloaded into their appropriate carseats – donuts and all.
It wasn't a unique experience – I'm used to the constant battles with the determined four year old (dare I say, she takes after her mother) and the wild two year old (seriously, he's wiiiild). But that first moment that I sat in my car at the bakery, I felt like a hostage. Please! Let me out of here! All I want to do is take 2 minutes by myself to get get the danged donuts!
But, the reality is, Mamas don't get time to themselves. Ever.
Half the time I'm showering or using the bathroom, there's creepy little fingers sneaking under the door begging me to return to the circus.
Please don't tell me these times will pass. I know that they will. I know my days with my littles are limited and fleeting.
But even if the years are short, people, the days are long. Some days, naturally, longer than others.
Today, I've wiped up more poop off the bathroom floor and toilet seat than I'd care to talk about. Three sets of teeth brushed. Seven outfit changes. Three meals. Two snacks. Five nursing sessions. 1,293 sippy cup fill-ups. 47 sibling battles. 1,129,192,837 dirty dishes. Spitting. Screaming. Hair caught in bed springs.
It's not every day. But it was today.
Maybe some of you Moms are much cooler than me and can keep your head straight and your words calm amidst the chaos. I wish I had that superpower. The more I pray for it, the more it seems that the opposite takes hold, further driving me to my knees in desperation.
Lord, I know I've failed miserably. I've lost my temper, lost control of my words and my emotions. I've let my selfish desires drive my anger and resented those that need me the most. I've coveted my girlfriends who still just have one, adorable, semi-obedient child and pitied myself for being in the trenches of motherhood where it can be dark, isolated, and so, so messy. Like it's raining boogers messy.
I know it will pass. I know these days are special and important. I know they need a mother who approachs parenting from a place of peace and mercy, laying open and learning through the imperfections in herself.
I supposed my hypocrisy and brokenness don't disqualify me from parenting, but rather, qualifys me to speak truth about the depravity in us all and the perfection and forgiveness that we can all find in Christ. Together.
I'm still frazzled. But that, as this all will, shall pass.
I'm going to go throw these hoodrats into a bubble bath with some calming oils, cross-my-fingers that everyone stays in their bedrooms at bedtime, and pray.
For forgiveness. Times a million.
… and for the soul-cleansing, Mama-saving power of the Gospel.
More of my writing on parenthood and motherhood:
- Stay at Home Mom
- One Way to Live Your Life
- The Ordinary
- Spare Me the Sympathy
- Screen Time and Farm Kids