I was recently with my mother in law listening to a group of women give diffierent speeches about what they have learned in the 9 week course they took. One lady’s speech smacked me in the face! She stated that we ALL have insecurities. We are all battling self esteem issues, we are all beating ourselves up over worrying about others judging us or worrying if others like us! But the funny thing is is that NO ONE but us even realizes we are having these battles in our head! How true are those words friend!?!?!?
We let our insecurities steal our joy! We make up excuses for why a friend can’t just drop by because we are worried our house is a mess. We don’t allow ourselves to fully enjoy a day at the pool with our kids because we are so uncomfortable and insecure in our bathing suits. We decide to stay home instead of taking the kids on that fun outing because chances are one of those amazingly cute children of ours will throw a full on tantrum and we are so consumed with worry about what our peers will think! That they will judge us for not having control, being overwhelmed and looking like a lost cat in the middle of a thunderstorm! (But seriously though some days I totally look like that). Here’s a bit of honesty for you…… This is our Easter family picture. To an outsider they may think “wow she has it all together, look at what a nice picture that is!
I mean it DID turn out cute, BUT in reality there was a lot of “come on guys” and “just give me one good picture” and THIS is a more accurate picture…..
Hahaha still think I have it all together?!?
Friend if we stop and think about it, if we get out of our own heads for once and look around we would see that NO ONE sees or cares about OUR insecurities because they are battling their OWN insecurities! They are worrying that YOU are judging THEM! Why do we do this to ourselves?!? We are so consumed by our own “failures” that we don’t even realize the mom right next to us is dealing with the same “failures”. What if for once we handed those insecurities over to God?!? What if we decided to not let those insecurities steal our joy?
So today chose to let that friend swing by, and I promise they won’t care about the food stains on your carpet, or that weird smell coming from the kitchen, or that “pop of color” piled up on your couch (aka all that darn laundry), take your kids to the pool!!!! Make those wonderful memories with them that you will never get back if you miss! Put on that bathing suit and be proud of your warrior marks! Friend you grew an entire HUMAN in that body of yours! Be proud of that! That is no small thing and no one expects you or your body to bounce right back after accomplishing such a task! Love yourself so you can then love others! Let’s get out of our heads and our insecurities and chose the joy of life, of our friends, of our children, of all these blessings God has given us and STOP “judging one another” and instead start being there for one another!
So it’s daylight savings time AGAIN! The kids are going crazy because it’s dark when they wake up and it’s still light out when it’s time to go to bed. You are already exhausted with all you do on a daily basis and now, now you have to lose an ENTIRE HOUR OF SLEEP?!?!? I mean really are they trying to make us moms snap right now?? That was like the only hour I had available to shave my legs!!! (Sorry hubby there goes that now 😜)
I get your struggle friend, I understand how upside down this time change makes our days for like the next two weeks. There will be tons of whinning,crying and full on tantrums thrown. Oh yeah and the kids will have a hard time adjusting too! 😉
But what if just this once we chose JOY through the chaos? What if we chose to be thankful for another day that God has given us to be alive? To see those sweet smiling faces (that will eventually turn into demon faces when it’s nap time) in the morning, to have the ability to sweep up the Cheerios under the table for the millionth time, to fight to get everyone in the car and to school on time and to witness one sibling genuinely helping the other sibling with something? What if we chose to realize how many blessings we have? Every single day is a gift and a blessing from God!
But believe me friend I know there are just some days we throw our hands in the air and admit defeat and feel like we are failing horribly at this mom thing. The days where we can’t catch a break let alone get a shower! Where we constantly feel like we are always one (or ten) steps behind in our life!
But YOU are doing a wonderful job! You are raising the next generation of workers, preachers, lovers, friends! So yes this time change thing STINKS!!!!! But choose the joy! Choose to tackle the next few weeks until it becomes the new reality (although right when we do that darn time will change again) thank God for all he has blessed you with and give that mom struggling next to you who is secretly telling herself she isn’t cut out for this, she is failing miserably and her kids deserve a better mom, a big welcoming smile because we are ALL in that same place friend and we could all use a little encouragement from one another every now and then!
Being a mom is lonely but you’re not alone. I know it feels like it right now. As you are picking up the food crumbs from the floor for seriously like the millionth time or the toddler is having a melt down because he can’t have a cookie for breakfast (I get it kid sometimes I would love a cookie for breakfast myself). All while you are juggling a hundred different things in your arms, screaming “just put your shoes on” to the easily distracted 4 year old for the millionth time to try and get out the door on time JUST ONCE!
As you sit in your car to breathe for a split second and look in the rear view mirror and see all those mostly happy carefree faces (except the toddler who is still crying over that darn cookie) and think “man I suck at this”. Friend I’ve been there! I’m there right this very second! Motherhood is lonely sometimes.
There are days where you can barley even human let alone make time for friends or something for just yourself. I get it! The husband is at work A LOT (providing for your family of course) leaving you with the majority of your conversations including Minions or Team Umizoomi and the days start to run together and you find yourself in this never ending, constantly on repeat cycle and sometimes find yourself thinking “why?” Then that guilt hits you like a ton of bricks! This is your life, the one you chose, the one you’ve always wanted so how dare you feel tired or overwhelmed or like running and screaming for the hills?!?!?!?
Listen to me and HEAR me, ITS OKAY!!!! You are not alone, you are allowed to have bad days! You are doing a GREAT job! This parenting thing is HARD and TIRING and definitely lonely at times. Please take comfort knowing YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We all have those bad days and guess what? Those bad days do not define us! They do not mark us forever as being the mom who couldn’t keep it all together! Because tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow may be better. And if tomorrow isn’t better, if tomorrow is another “I want to pull my hair out” kind of day then THAT’S OKAY too! You are a rockstar! You are a magician who can multitask, juggle and keep tiny little humans alive like it’s nobody’s business! You seriously ROCK and those tiny little humans adore you and think you are pretty much perfect! And in the middle of all this crazy beautiful chaos know that you are NOT ALONE!
The minute you have a child you automatically agree to love something, someone, more than yourself. You put all their needs ahead of yours, you will do anything to see them smile, it kills you when you have to punish them and you will forever, for the rest of your life, wear your ENTIRE heart on your sleeve. Having children is exilerating, tiring, loving, hard and the most terrifying thing EVER! If they fall, if they get hurt, if they get their heart broken, if they get let down by loved ones, and God forbid if they have any medical issues, you FEEL it all. All their pain, their frustration, their scaredness, their sadness, and most of all the worry!
My son is currently having some medical issues. He has had a battle since in the womb. The last 2 months of my pregnancy were filled with two tests done weekly to monitor him up until birth. At birth he wasn’t breathing at all and I hemorrhaged. We both almost didn’t make it but God pulled us through. Now for the last 8 weeks of his life here on earth it has been constant battles that have resulted in formula changes, bottle changes, medication changes, multiple doctor office visits and several test and he is only 8 weeks old. He has had to fight since the beginning and is continuing to do so. Friend this is HARD! It is tiring and emotional and exhausting and terrifying and I’m wearing it all on my sleeve where my heart for this baby boy lies. But you know what? I have God! I have his promise to take care of us all. And most of all I have his love not just for me but for my son as well! You see even though I love my son with ALL OF MY HEART God loves him a million times more than I could even imagine and that’s where I find my peace through all this! I’m choosing God, I’m choosing to trust in him and his plan for our family, even when that seems impossible, and I know he has great things in store for my son!
Friend if you are struggling with something, if you are in a constant battle I encourage you to please hand it all over to God! Lay it at his feet and let him worry about what tomorrow brings! He never intended for us to do all this on our own! He wants to help us through and he longs for us to come to him. Because as much as we love our children and our heart is worn on our sleeves, God’s love for us surpasses all and he aches for us when we ache and he takes so much pride and joy in the times of happiness! Because God loves us NO MATTER WHAT! And he wants to help me and he wants to help YOU!
Okay so today was…… Well INSANE to say the least! You know those days where you are actually home all day. The days you can get caught up on laundry, actually put away those dishes, clean up the house and maybe just maybe FINALLY get that Christmas craft done with the kids because it’s Christmas in oh I don’t know 6 days!?!? Yeah me either!!!!!
I have planned that kind of day for about 8 weeks now and I feel like every day flies by and when I finally plop down on the couch exhausted at 10pm I tell myself “well there’s always tomorrow” that statement right there…….ugh!!! That statement seems to be the motto of my life! “There’s always tomorrow” except tomorrow comes and the craziness takes over that day and I feel like I’m in a never ending cycle of mommy failure!
Because listen I have EVERY intention of doing all those great motherly and wifely duties and then the 3 year old CLIMBS UP THE CABINETS, no literally! Uses the handles on the cabinets to climb onto the counter to grab my hair spray and unload a whole bottle on my hard wood floors and his own hair and then looks up at me with those sweet little eyes and big ole smile and says “I do hair” yes baby boy you sure did! And then 10 mins later while I’m trying to teach my 3rd grader how to multiply (ughhhhhhh) he uses the same climbing techniques to get the windex off the counter and unload that all over himself and my kitchen table! Seriously kid I love you but mommy’s got this. All this is happening while the 4 year old is hollering at me that he wants to paint or color or go on an adventure outside. Throw in the newborn to this already crazy mix and you can see why my days always seem to end in “well there’s always tomorrow”
So then why do I feel like such a failure?! Why do I end every day more stressed than the day before because all the things I “want” and “need” to get done are taunting me. Secretly judging me and whispering “you aren’t cut out for this” and I do stop and pray and vent and sometimes even cry and MOST of the time that helps, but there are the times where nothing seems to make me feel like I’m doing this mom thing right!
So today I’m choosing differently! Today I will choose to play in shaving cream with my 2 year old (maybe that will satisfy his need to spray out all those harmful chemicals all over my FLOOR). I will do a fun Christmas craft with my 4 year old (knocking out two birds with one stone here folks! Painting for my 4 year old AND finally finishing that Christmas craft BEFORE Christmas 😉) and I will successfully tackle multiplication (😩) with my daughter all while cuddling my newborn! And what about all that laundry and dishes and FILTHY floors you may ask? Well there’s always tomorrow for that stuff because one day (sooner than I would like to even think about) this house of mine will be spotless and organized and SILENT and I will miss all these crazy insane days watching my children grow and learn! So today I chose that…. I chose them and my house and laundry can wait! (I mean we are just going to keep creating dirty clothes so do I really need to fold and hang the clean ones up?!?) because when my kids are grown they won’t remember mommy failing because the house was dirty and the laundry wasn’t done, they will remember a mommy who played with them and laughed with them and LIVED life with them! That’s the mommy I want and am choosing to be!
So I was talking with a friend while our kids ran all around playing and at one point my friend’s son bent down to pick something up he dropped and automatically without even thinking my friend put her hand over his head to protect him from the table he was sure to hit his head on as soon as he stood up. Her son then ran off and continued to play unbeknownst to him of what just happened.
She, as do the rest of us moms, loves her children so much that she could see dangers and automatically protect him without him evening knowing! At that very moment it hit me…. How often is God’s love for us like that?!? He sees things that we never even realized were there and he protects us from them if they are going to cause us pain or harm! He protects us without question because his love for us is unconditional!
Friend I know how hard it is to trust the Lord. To lay everything in his hands and relinquish all control is almost impossible it seems! But when we do, when we let go and let God take over AMAZING things happen! This includes all aspects of our lives. Our children, our marriage, our insecurities, our demons we secretly fight alone everyday. You ARE NOT and don’t have to be alone! Bring it to God, give it all to him and let HIM worry about it, because friend I can promise you he already sees the outcome. He already has his hands out and over your head ready to protect you from the pain you have no idea that may lie ahead.
Sometimes I need a mommy timeout . You know those days where the kids have been absolutely up the wall crazy and EVERYTHING that could possibly go wrong has and you want to sit in the corner somewhere assume the fetal position and just refuse to mommy or adult anymore. The days you are staring at the clock counting down the hours, the minutes, the seconds until dad walks through the door so you can RUN far far away! Those are the days you throw your hands in the air and call it quits. The days where you feel like you have failed miserably at this whole mom thing. The days when you wonder why on earth would God have chosen me to be their mommy?!? I’m horrible at this!
Friend this mom thing is HARD! And I can guarantee you NONE of us have it all figured out! We all need a mommy timeout from time to time and that’s OKAY. That doesn’t make us failures or weak or incapable of parenting our children. It makes us NORMAL! Even Jesus himself took time away from his disciples to be alone and pray. So why wouldn’t we need to do the same thing from time to time? We give everything we are to our children and that’s okay, that’s what we chose because we love them unconditionally but we still need to take a little timeout for our own sanity every now and then.
A quiet moment to pray, because we can’t do this all on our own, 30 mins of vegging out on the couch (or hiding in your closet) watching that last episode of Gray’s Anatomy while devouring a bag of m&ms, or a few minutes to have an adult conversation with that friend you have been missing so very much. It’s all okay to take that mommy time out! You will be better for your kids because of it! We all need to recharge and refuel and just because you are a mommy doesn’t make that any different!
Go take that mommy timeout and remember friend you are doing an AMAZING job at this whole parenting thing! Your kids KNOW how much you love them and that you will always be there for them! You are loved and appreciated (even when it doesn’t always feel like it). Then once your timeout is over get back out there and jump headfirst into the chaos that is your life and soak up every minute of it while you can!
So I had to fill out a paper for MOPS a few months ago. This was a normal questionnaire: my name, age, how many children I had, what I had hoped to get out of MOPS and then BAM “What are your hobbies?” Seems like a pretty simple question but for me I just starred at that blank page trying my hardest to figure out an answer!!!!
First I was just going to leave it blank and then I did what all us women tend to do and started looking around my table and seeing the women around me were easily filling in the blanks to that daunting question. Was I doing something wrong?? I should have a hobby right?!? Does this mean I’m not doing life right?!? So I quickly filled in the things I would like to be able to do more of or the things I do the best for my family (etc. cooking!) because I couldn’t leave it blank! I couldn’t have failure staring me in the face in front of 100+ other moms who seemed to have it all together and figured out.
I went home that day feeling empty, unworthy and plain out embarrassed! Had I lost myself so much that the simple task of writing down my hobbies was like being in a real life nightmare?!? This silly, little, simple thing bothered me for weeks! I put it in the back of my mind but it would always creep it’s ugly little head out teasing me and reminding me that insecurity was still there.
Then a friend posted one of those pretty inspirational quotes on Facebook and it hit me! Being a mom IS my HOBBY right now and that’s okay! There is nothing I love more, nothing that brings me more joy (and sometimes frustration) than raising and molding these little people! Being there for every milestone or boo boo or emotional breakdown from the 2 year old over the stringy things still on the banana!
You see friend right now, in this season you are in, you’re children are your hobby and that’s okay and that’s ENOUGH! You are ENOUGH! God made you specifically for your children, for this task and sometimes, most of the time, that means giving all of yourself to these precious little people! You will have a new season when they are teenagers (oh no!!!) who no longer need you and think they know better than you, to discover new hobbies and passions and things you are really good at. But right now it is being a mommy! It is cleaning up Cheerios off the floor for what seems like the hundredth time! It is playing referee to the two boys who have to have a full on war over who gets to close the DOOR! (I mean it’s just a door people!) it’s comforting them when they are scared or sick! And being the only one who can calm them for that middle of the night feeding even when you feel like a walking zombie! Trust in God that he has you. He has your best interest in mind and his timing is ALWAYS perfect. Take pride and joy in this season where your only hobby is being a mom because friend that IS a hobby and it is one of the most important hobbies you will ever have!
Being a mother IS a wonderful, glorious, unconditional gift from God. Being able to create life and then mold these tiny little humans into respectful, God loving people of society is THE MOST important job EVER! That being said…….. Being a mom….. Scratch that….. Being a parent is HARD!!!!!!!! That’s right, I said it! (Insert completely shocked and disgusted faces here please)
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in NO way being ungrateful of the gifts God has blessed me with, but this job that we do is not for the faint of heart and sometimes you just need to be able to vent, even if only to those in your inner circle! (You know the few people you can say or do or laugh about ANYTHING with without judgment? We all have them so don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about)
Here’s the thing, the minute you bring tiny little humans into the world you instantly agree to forever share every.single.thing you have! That’s right, nothing is ever JUST yours anymore. From the food you sit down to eat (good luck with that) to the computer work you are so tirelessly trying to complete while little fingers push random buttons or try to shut your computer, to the toilet or shower you are attempting to partake in. THEY WILL FIND A WAY IN and they will make sure to push your patience to the limits.
You see there are things people don’t tell you about having kids. People don’t tell you about the fits they will undoubtedly throw in the most embarrassing times and places (like the cracker aisle of the grocery store that happens to be on the same aisle as those darn toys!) Or how they WILL destroy everything they get their tiny, adorable little hands on. I love my children to the ends of the earth and would do anything for them, but somehow they have the ability to turn things I use to find so much fun and joy in into a completely stressful event. Take us decorating our Christmas tree for tonight for example. I have always LOVED Christmas time and the decorations that come with it. In my mind we are together as a family, drinking hot chocolate and putting ornaments on the tree. In reality being a parent while trying to accomplish this means having an overly tired and cranky toddler screaming and having a melt down because he wants to climb the step stool and having the other children fight over who is putting up the next ornament and oh I don’t know about fifty ornaments being dropped and shattered into a million pieces to where at the end of this oh so “fun” event all you want is to put the kids to bed and sit down with a BIG glass of wine. And you can FORGET about getting a cute picture to post and brag about to all your friends……..
Being a parent IS hard and tiring and stressful and sometimes just down right UNFUN and people don’t usually warn you about this. But when those tiny little humans climb up in your lap and give you a hug and big wet sloppy kisses, or when they tell you they missed you so much, it melts all those unpleasant things away and you remember just why you created life and thank God for giving you a little piece of heaven right here on earth. Because without all those horrible, crazy, unbearable days those wonderful, sweet little moments wouldn’t mean nearly as much to us. So I encourage you to go, run and hide in the closet or bathroom, take a DEEP breath and say a little prayer then go back into the chaos that is being a parent and soak up every,single.moment because one day, before you know it, they will be adults with families of their own and you will be sitting in the quiet wishing for just one more crazy and frustrating day!