I was a Mom at the End of Her Rope... Until I Saw This
It had been a long week. One of those where it felt as though the challenges were many and the wins, few. My husband was enjoying a fishing outing with a buddy who'd come to town. While I felt glad he was taking time for fun and relaxation after working long hours this past week, I also noticed a liiiiiiiittle bit of resentment rise to the surface.
"Wouldn't it be nice," I thought to myself as I juggled attention between our fussing two month old and our fussy-for-attention four and a half year old...
"Wouldn't it be nice to just leave the house with just your keys and your phone, and relax outdoors for an undetermined amount of time, with nothing urgently calling upon you to return (or your boobs exploding)?" My momentary daydream had me floating up to the sky like the bridge of Luisa's "Surface Pressure" song in the movie Encanto, which we've obviously seen 37 times by now.
But wait, if I could shake the crushing weight of expectations
Would that free some room up for joy
Or relaxation, or simple pleasure?
Instead, we measure this growing pressure
A big sigh left my body as I began a pressure-filled task that felt far from the freedom of that scene... leaving the house with kids, preferably in a timely manner.
"Hallie, get your shoes on," I hollered, as I finished nursing Leo, hoping that topping off his tank would enable us to get through our errands peacefully. I gave him a burping and began fastening him into his infant car seat only to pull him right back out again as a rumble filled his diaper.
"Hallie! Shoes!" I hollered again, as she was seemingly nowhere to be found. After snapping baby Leo's onesie, I searched for the suspiciously quiet girl who was no longer dressed and almost ready to leave. She is now sporting a stylish leotard with one sock, insisting that it is time for her public debut of the outfit. I manage to convince her to return to her original outfit and set Leo down to take the dog out. My patience was starting to dwindle as our family dog gingerly stepped around the edge of the yard. It had recently rained, and the same yard that she'd tear around full speed if off-leash was now unacceptably damp for her dainty self to poop upon. After three times the normal allotment of potty time, we returned to the house to find Hallie finally dressed and ready to go... except she could not find Kitty (her favorite stuffed animal that particular day) who simply must accompany her on our adventures. Leo was crying again. Hallie joined him out of frustration, partially over her missing kitty but mostly because HE was crying and SHE didn't like that.
Breathe. Find kitty. Fill water bottle. Grab spare outfit in case of blowouts, put phone in diaper bag. Fasten the baby back in, load bag and both children in the car.
I took deep breaths as I slowly walked around to the driver's side, noticing how badly the inside needs to be vacuumed of its snack remnants and cleaned out. As I sit upon the driver's seat I realize that I'm already exhausted...
and we've yet to pull out of the driveway.
At bedtime I became more and more frustrated with our four year old's endless procrastination attempts. By the time I tucked her in I was done with the day. As she finally began drifting off, I snuck to the bathroom and breathed deeply in attempt to bring myself back to an attitude of gratitude that kept evading me. I was exhausted and that slight bit of resentment I'd been feeling earlier had blossomed into a green giant of jealousy.
That is... until I returned to the bedroom to check on them and found this:
There it was. The overwhelming wash of gratitude, cleansing me of my frustration. Daily struggles of motherhood don't hold a candle to these unexpected moments of beauty and love that present themselves when we need it most. Instead of focusing on my feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm, this sweet sight brought me back to my center and the truth of who I am.
It can be easy to get swept up in the emotion of our challenges, and boy does motherhood come with a load of them! But at the core of it all is love. While this role of raising them undoubtedly includes challenges of body, mind, and spirit, it showers me daily with what a Divine honor it is to be their "Mommy"... an honor that lives within my soul forever.