Sunday, March 25, 2012

In The Trenches

It's no secret that being a mother of small children is a big job.

It's a job that doesn't give time off for sickness, exhaustion, or fatigue. It's a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, 365 day a year kind of job.

I love this job, but there are some days, like today, that I feel like I am in the trenches and it's all I can do to keep moving forward (or finding a corner, curling up in the fetal position, and completely losing my mind!!!).

Between maintaining the house, nursing a young baby, working with a friend to try and create some income for our family, cloth diapering, raising 3 children, having a husband who works full time (thank God for his job!!!), and grieving the losses of my son and my dad, somedays I feel like I may just explode with the busyness.

I know that the dishes and the laundry can wait. I know that the house doesn't have to be spotless. I know that it won't kill my kids to eat chicken nuggets for a meal (or two, or three....ahem...) But I don't like living like that.

Recently, I read an article written by a mother of older children. She reflected back to the early years of parenting small children and how life is so different now that her children are older. What I read brought tears to my eyes.

There are so many days that I fall into bed so completely exhausted that it's all I can do to even reach over to my husband and give him a kiss goodnight. There are days that I feel like my entire world is out of control, because no matter how hard I try, the kids have managed to destroy everything that I worked so hard to maintain. It seems that as soon as I clean up one mess, there is always another waiting for me.

These days are simply exhausting. My children are young and they demand A LOT from me. I feel like I have nothing left to give of myself.

But then it happens:

Caleb prays for a friend of his who recently lost his dad.

Hannah sits next to me as I nurse Luke with one of her babies in her arms and says "I'm going to nurse my baby, because she's hungry and I'm her Mama."

Luke looks up at me with a mouth dripping with milk, smiles, and reaches for my face as if showing me how much he loves me.

Or my husband comes home from a long and exhausting day at work and can just relax for a few minutes because the house is in order and dinner is prepared.

In those moments, the stress and exhaustion of being in the trenches day in and day out, seems to melt away and I see my children (and husband) for who they are.

My children are blessings. They are God given gifts to be treasured. Yes, they exhaust me. No, there is no time for myself. But they are worth it. They won't stay little forever. They will grow up and won't need so much from me. They will leave home, marry, and start families of their own.

I want to raise my children with no regrets. I want them to know that they are treasured, loved, and cared for. I want them to know that no matter how exhausted I am, they are worth it.


Liz said...

I can relate to all these feelings and emotions. Motherhood is the toughest and most important job on the planet -- yet barely acknowledged and appreciated by most circles. I have felt so overwhelmed numerous times - and God has picked me up when I needed Him the most. It still makes me cry thinking about it. Life is hard. (such an understatement) But He IS faithful - and I'm so glad He is.

Kay said...

I stayed at home with my children for more than 20 years. Most of that time I had no car. Did I feel trapped? Sometimes. But more than that, I felt blessed. My children are treasures who would not be the people they are today if we had not made a conscious decision that I would be at home with them. I didn't start working until my youngest was in kindergarten. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

Amy said...

I am ridiculously excited to see that you updated your "Rainbow Baby" picture on your sidebar from the ultrasound photo. Not that Luke wasn't incredibly photogenic in the womb because he most certainly was, but I gotta say, that smile is infectious. I love it!! <3

Auntie M said...

First of all~gotta second Amy with the updated picture of Luke on the sidebar! :-) Great picture!

As for being a hat is off to all mommies, but especially stay at home mommies who don't get a break from the kids. The don't get lunch breaks or coffee breaks. They don't get the quiet drive to/from the office&home to change their mindset. They are always on call. That is a tough~yet (I would imagine) immensely rewarding job.

My mom was a stay-at-home mom too. The only jobs she ever took were at our schools. She was always home after school. Friends liked coming to our house because there was a mom there. There was a safety in knowing she'd be there. (Plus she was fun!)

Funny thing about all mommies: you never stop being on call: you're on call forever. I know I still want my mommy when I'm sick or upset or in need of counseling or have something exciting to share.

And I'm blessed to be in my 40s and be living with my mom again. I got really sick and she got separated from my step-dad and it was just perfect timing. So my mom still takes care of me. :-) And we are wonderful friends too.

Funny thing ~ My great-grandmother died when my grandmother was still rather young. When my grandmother was dying in her mid-80s, she said she still wanted her mom when she was sick, even though her mom had been gone 60+ years!

Anyway, I know your kids will look back and love that their mom was their at home for them. I know I and my siblings sure do!

The McCammons said...

Auntie M, I lost my mother when I was 5yrs old and to this day I still cry out for my mom when something is not right. Her mother took over and was my other "mom" and she passed away 4 yrs ago to this day. I still cry out for her too. I don't think that feeling/want ever goes away and I so hope that all our children always always feel like that and want that too. i want to be the ones they turn to, cry out for, and run to with open arms :)

The McCammons said...

I have been a stay at home off and on for over 12 years. This most recent time I didn't have a choice, but I wouldn't change it for the world. It's stressful, very exhausting but very rewarding feeling. it's nice to know that other parents out there know how I feel, make it so that I don't feel guilty for those moments of guilty feelings of "what about me" as we are all human beings. Hugs and you are doing a great job!!!

Designs by Dana
© 2011 Designs by Dana
© No content of this blog may be used or re-printed without written permission