Sunday, May 12, 2013

I am a mom.

Mothering. It's been seven, almost eight, years now since the LORD blessed me with the ministry of mothering.  Here I am three children later.  I am no expert.  Never have been and never will be.  A lot of days . . . most days . . . pretty much everyday . . . I feel very ill-equipped and not at all worthy or even able to do the task before me.  I like to be "done" at the end of the day, everything all neat and tidy and in its place and the task accomplished with check marks beside every last one of them.  But that is not mothering.  Or, at least, it isn't for me.  Mothering is just plain messy sometimes.

After Mason was born, and I left corporate America to be a stay-at-home mom, I found myself saying, "I'm just a mom," over and over again.  Because, for some reason, new people that you meet always want to ask "what" you do.  And I would say, "Nothing.  I'm just a mom."  JUST a mom?  Not hardly.  Nothing?  Me and all the other moms all over this world know we don't do "nothing."  One of the hardest (I say hardest because sometimes - many times for me - this world wants me to think that mothering is menial or meaningless or unimportant, and I've let that too many times discourage me) lessons the Lord has impressed upon my heart is that I am not JUST a mom.  Because this mothering stuff matters!  This molding and shaping of little lives matters!  This giving and giving until I've nothing left to give matters!  I am a mom!
I was really hoping to sleep in this morning.  That means I was hoping I wouldn't have to wake up before my alarm clock went off at the set time of 6:00AM.  Yesterday was a long day of dance recitals, and I barely made it into bed before midnight.    But at 5:30AM there was the little one who was awake and hungry.  So I got up to nurse her and then put her back down for a bit.  The casserole for lunch needed to be made.  The church clothes needed to be ironed because I was just too tired for that last night.  And breakfast.  And hair that needed to be washed and dried because of all the hairspray that held that bun up tight yesterday.  And nursing one more time before church.  I should've ironed those clothes last night no matter how tired I was.  Because ironing clothes on Sunday morning before church doesn't work out too well.  We were running late.  We weren't late really, but we didn't leave as early as I like to leave to be sure the music is ready and the Sunday School lesson is all laid out.  There was no time for pictures this morning with ironed clothes, clean faces, pretty hair and big smiles.  As a matter of fact, I forgot that I even wanted to take a picture.

So then there was church and lunch and the kids wanted to go swimming and we stayed longer than I'd anticipated and there went my opportunity for a short nap.  We were back home again, and it was time for supper.  Clothes were washed, and the laundry baskets were empty on Friday.  But now they're full again.  The floor needs to be swept and mopped.  The unfinished social studies project is strowed across the counter.  Some of the toys haven't found their home.  When you walk into my house, there is no doubt that three littles live here.

The bigs are in bed, but the littlest is still awake.  Teacher Appreciation Week begins tomorrow.  That neat little gift to be delivered on Monday morning still needs to be put together.  The meal plans for the week need to be made so I can have my grocery list ready.  There are two baseball games this week and Field Day and a project due and a Vacation Bible School planning meeting to prepare for and educational therapy sessions (because I haven't yet mentioned that in the midst of all of this we have a child who was diagnosed - is that even the right word? - with dyslexia this year, and can I just not even tell you how that rocked my mothering world UP. SIDE. DOWN. because learning disability?).  I am tired.  And all I'm doing right now is thinking about it. 
So after supper and ketchup stains on the smocked dress and cheetos cheese smudged on the face that I asked him twice to wipe and the baby with a poopy diaper that I didn't realize right away and hair that lost the big, fat bow a long time ago and air-dried curly after the swim and the shirt that came off and is probably crumpled up on the floor somewhere and hair pulled back and pinned back and the jewelry now back in the jewelry box and tired eyes and wrinkle lines . . . here am I on this Mother's Day with my arms FULL OF THE GREATEST BLESSINGS EVER (because people always want to say when they see you with more than two children, "You have your hands full."  Why, yes I do!  Full of good things!  Thank you very much for noticing.).  It's not a perfect picture, but neither are we.  This is real life.  This is mothering.  Or, at least, it is for me.  There was no breakfast in bed or "world's greatest mom" award.  It was just another ordinary to everyone else but extra-ordinary to me day.  And you know what?  I wouldn't trade it for anything!  NOTHING.  Well, to be honest, I would've liked a little nap.

Because at the end of the day . . . I just don't care anymore that I feel a little dirt here and there on bare feet that walk across the floor.  Because those are my children's footsteps (and if my BFF from high school is reading this, she is probably smiling and thinking, "I told you so!").  And I just don't care anymore that things are not always in the proper place.  Because they'll be back out again tomorrow anyway, and that means children are playing and having fun.  And I just don't care anymore that the to-do list is even longer now than it was when I woke up.  Because my children had a great day, all because I took the time to fix hair and read stories and watch "this" and give baths and nurse that baby and pop popcorn for the movie and all the millions of other little things that I've already forgotten I did to fill the hours of the day but meant the world to Mason, Hannah Kate and Ellie.  I'll sweep and mop tomorrow.  Maybe.  I'll pick up and put away tomorrow.  Maybe.  I'll have "me time" tomorrow.  Okay, so that's not a maybe.  That's probably a definitely not!  I'll stay up late tonight, only to wake up early again tomorrow morning and start all over again.  And you know what?  I can't wait!

I have the exact qualities God knew my kids would need in a mother.  So, each day, I'll hold up my willingness and ask God to make me the best version of that I can possible be.  ~Lysa Terkeurst


The Applings said...

It appears your comments were hacked - delete those :) But, here's my comment: You are point on with this post. Ditto!! Thanks for putting into words what I feel.

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