Becoming a Mommy… one of the top three best things that have happened in my life. It’s such a high honor, and an incredible blessing, but sometimes I take it for granted. I get lost in the every-day-ness, the repetition, and I start to see it as a job. One that is bigger than me and my abilities. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the dirty dish masterpieces teetering on the counter, unwashed -because the ”Chief Cook and Bottle-washer” is also ”Chief Potty-trainer and Diaper- changer, ” (among other things.) It’a easy to feel like I’m so busy feeding hungry faces, washing sticky fingers, scrubbing crayon off countertops, and kissing boo-boos, that I don’t have time to be productive. It’s also easy to think ”I will never catch up, so why even try?” Anyone else?
I’m probably way behind you all in picking up on this, but recently it has really hit me that the things I’m doing are the things that matter! Unproductive? Hardly! These precious little souls that have made me a mother- they are my most important responsibility!
Their little hearts are mine to nurture. Their future childhood memories depend largely on how much time I invest in them. Their perception of God’s love will be shaped in part by how I love- or how I don’t. And their souls are the only thing I can potentially take to heaven with me.
My dishes obviously need to be washed too, but if occasionally I wear out and go to bed with a counter full of dishes unwashed, and two happy, securely loved little ones in their beds, is that wrong? Is it worth losing sleep and being hard on myself over? Probably not. The dishes aren’t going anywhere. Unless hubby surprises me and washes them, they will still be there in the morning.
Lest you think I feel that motherhood is no fun, let me set the record straight. We have our days for sure, but there is nothing like a child to brighten up a grumpy day. Whether it’s baby snuggles or toddler ”wisdom, ” there’s plenty to smile about these days.
But despite all the cute and funny times, if you’re a mama like me, you probably have your stressful times… In these times, when you feel like you just can’t reach around, remember that this is just a season.
”To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
It’s just a season and soon it will be over, and we will be looking back, wondering where it went. I’m trying to remember this, but I forget it sometimes. Here’s a real life example.
On a sweltering day in mid-July, I was flying around the house, feeling exasperated and not getting much of anything done.
(Oliver is teething, and lets be real… He’s the sweetest little guy I know, but teething is much harder on him -and consequently, me, than it was with his sister.)
That day, he lay crying in the swing, while his sister buzzed around, busily destroying what little order I had established in my house. Toys on top of toys on top of toys lay on the floor like so many tripping hazards, and I had almost went sailing more than once, while innocently trying to get to the hall closet.
Some friends of ours had given me a nice batch of green beans, and they were supposed to be getting canned today; but trying to pacify Mr. Teeth and kiss the many boo-boos of his sister, kept me otherwise occupied, and not much was being accomplished. Add to all that the fact that potty-training = 1,567 trips a day.. and you can figure that by mid-afternoon I was exhausted.
Into this disaster area walked my sweet husband. I stepped across thirty five toys, made it to him safely, and grabbed his poor unsuspecting self in a mighty hug. ”Honey, ” I growled, (or whimpered, or something ) ”I love you and I love these adorable babies of ours, but I’m not getting anything done here; and if you can’t take Anna Grace outside for awhile, I’m going to pull my hair out!! And possibly yours and hers.”
His response surprised me. ”You do know that you’re gonna miss this, right? One day we’re gonna just have each other and they’re all gonna be grown up and you’ll be crying and wishing for someone little to aggravate you.” He shook his head. ”Aww man, I don’t even want to think about it!”
Well, that made me feel pretty horrible, and that wasn’t even his intention. But it also helped me refocus. These days do get long sometimes, but I have to remember that the years are short, and there’s only so much time for teaching and influencing and simply enjoying our little ones.
I don’t want them to remember me as the stressed out Mommy who growled every time something got broken or spilled. Or the Mommy who never took time to play house, or read stories, or have tea parties.
I have the choice every day, to be the Mommy I want them to remember. The Mommy who prays with them, and shows them the love of Jesus. The Mommy who has time to answer 350 bazillion questions and to tell stories, and listen to their stories too. The Mommy who has grace and forgiveness for little mistakes. And on the days when I mess up, I need to forgive myself and go on.
So here’s my encouragement to any other busy mamas out there. Let’s live in the moment and love our little ones without getting so hung up in the details. We can strive for perfection, and aiming high is good, but let’s remember that we are human. Let’s focus on connection, rather than perfection, and trust the Lord to fill in where we don’t reach around.
”There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.” -unknown
This sweet boy is almost seven months old and I’m finally sharing a few of his 6 month pictures, taken by my friend Cynthia. You can check out more of them on her blog, Picturesque
You all have a good week! God bless!