There are so many misconceptions about being a mother. So many things that I'm leaning as the kids are growing. It's tough trying to live up to this idea of the mother that I want to be everyday. It's impossible to be the person that I had pictured in my mind when I first thought of becoming a mom.
Now I look at these kids who often won't listen, won't stop screaming (let alone talking), won't stop hitting, won't stop crying, won't stop disobeying...
and I feel overwhelmed.
They are 3 and 4.
I get that. But I also feel so overtaken. They conspire and I feel defeated. I look at them and I can't understand how I got here, to this place.
How did I wake up one day and feel so exhausted and frustrated? Why, at 7:45, am I already dreading the day ahead?
The amount of guilt that I feel from yelling or disciplining is overwhelming. I cry often.
I desire to play with these children and enjoy their voices. But my desire is blocked by their screaming and fighting. I desire to speak to them joyfully and laugh with them throughout the day. Instead I feel like I am always coming up against them.
And it's not always--I get that. There are great moments. But those moments seem few in the sea of rough encounters that is our daily life.
I suppose it's just like reading a book that is not the Word. I was always told to read with caution. To take the meat of the turkey and spit out the bones.
It's like that with my children.
I am going to have to learn to take the good moments; the teachable moments; the amazing, proud, genuinely wonderful moments with them....
and forget about the rest.
Because I cannot dwell there, in that place of guilt and shame of mothering.
It's killing me there.
I am tired. Everyday I am tired.
I feel like I am failing more often than not.
I feel desperate for help yet I can't stand to hear advice.
I am in a place of raising young children that is testing my patience, grace, and sanity.
I am thankful for a God of mercy. When I was rocking Mabel to sleep a few nights ago I was thinking about that exact thing and I asked the Lord,
"What exactly does 'tender mercies' mean, God?"
I sat quietly and began thinking about a sweet potato. A tender, soft, potato that is delicious and easy to swallow.
And I thanked God that His heart is tender, soft, and that my problems are so very easy to swallow for Him. Because He's God.
And even the biggest of my problems are delicious to a God who is so big.
That is pretty amazing to think about.
My problems still taste good to our Lord. Because He is that big.
So I don't have to be a perfect mom. In fact, I cannot be. I need to be able to show these kids my shortcomings and apologize to them so that they learn that we all fall short of the glory of God. I do want to be better, though. I want to be better everyday.
I want to enjoy these kids once again. I want to wake up and feel overwhelmed in the best of ways by them.
...and I am...
I just need to take the time to remember that every now and again.
Because it is hard some days.
Days like today.