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.