mama-hood in the trenches
self imposed jail....notice I did not protest. only took pictures.
I would bet money the phrase "it must be 5pm somewhere" was first uttered by a tired Mama watching a toddler having a tantrum for the 6th time in one day. Gotta be true. Miss Evy has "arrived" so to speak in the world of hitting, repeating her favorite phrase "no," disobeying because she can, and generally creating havoc around these parts. As Jason often says "at least our kids aren't boring." True dear, so true. I'll say it again; the world of motherhood is not so much filled with warm fuzzy hugs and bedtime stories while cuddling and sharing around the table at family dinners as it is filled with tantrums, sibling beat downs, and complete weariness by all parties involved. At least in the daily grind it feels like much of my time is spent in the trenches figuring out who ate the candy without permission, where the blanket is for the 30th time that day, or cleaning up rice and beans splattered across the room. I guess I should have known that the romantic notions sold to my emotional, vulnerable, and bloated pregnant self on covers of Mother-to-be magazines in line at Babies-R-Us were bogus. Lies I tell you. Sure she looks glowing and beautiful but visit her 24 hours after birth with sagging skin and stretch marks, sore nipples, blood shot eyes, and wicked hemorrhoids. All that while chillin' in her sitz bath: not as great of a photo opp. But that is real Mama-hood.
Now, I have been known to vent a bit with you all (you think?). After all this is often my only venue into the world of Mama support groups. You know they begin, "Hello, my name is Roxanne, I used to have a hairstyle and actually want to do more than sleep on the weekends." And I do cherish these days of little feet running down the hall and all the exciting firsts and tight squeezes and "mama loooove you" whispered in my ear but for reals it is challenging and hard too. And if you tell me you love every precious millisecond with your perfect angel watoto I might just have to puke (or at least flirt with the idea of de-friend-ing you on facebook). This parenting gig changes at every stage and requires; in my experience, a lot of dying to self. Of giving up my plans, my desires to "do more" here to meet needs, my time and energy. And I am so unprepared for the vastness of raising little ones and so not up to the task in and of my own resources. I am in need of daily Grace and Love. And since we are being real I fail a lot. I choose other things over my kids and family sometimes. But I also know He is working in me and He is not giving up and for that I am grateful. I know that the moments I chose to serve and love I am learning to be more like Jesus. Because His spirit is IN me enabling me when my flesh wants to give up. More and more God has been speaking to my heart about taking real time with my girls. Pushing through my tiredness, weariness, and the outside needs here to really listen to them and be with them. Not keeping them busy or amused or from beating each other (which is difficult enough I might add) but really sacrificing to love them just where they are at. After all I have a Savior who does that for me. We have the promise that when we give we will be given and that requires sacrifice. I want my children to know the beauty of God and the precious gift we have in Jesus but that takes time to teach, sacrifice to model, and love and grace to show in the trenches of everyday. I have to sacrifice to teach obedience because my kids will learn responsibility. I need to listen, really listen (not just wait to say something) so my children feel known and valued. I have to forgive and accept forgiveness so my children will see that I live my life in humility knowing I am forgiven and freely offer that to others in the hope they will too. I fail so often but Jesus offered these to me when I was a wretched sinner, not once I had gotten my life cleaned up. I cannot expect my kids to be able to be perfect, to not make the same mistakes over and over again (God knows I do), or to "get it together." I want them to live lives that without God actively changing their minds and hearts they cannot possibly live. But to teach that I need to live it too. And I am glad He is working on this Mama.
seriously, though? this face.