She finds herself picking up the same toys…over and over. The insane amount of laundry piles to the ceiling…and that only took a day after she reached the bottom of the pile. Get this, do that, take them here and then pick them up. The cycle never ends, and in the in between, she’s expected to prepare a meal of meat and vegetable sides? And somewhere between the in between of the in between she stops and says, “I just won’t do any of it! I give up.” Sound like anyone you know? That sounds like me, otherwise known as McKenna’s, Bailey’s, Avery’s and Quinn’s Mama, or the other name I often give myself, “She who gives up”. Even for the planner in me, the thoughts creep in and overwhelm me. You’ve probably had them, too, or at least I hope you’ve had them so I’m not alone, cause ya know…misery loves company! Not really. I really do hope that you’re better than me and you don’t allow the thoughts to creep in and take you over, or the unplanned circumstances of your day dampen your good attitude. I hope that you see you can overcome in the midst of whatever life throws you as a Mom.
Back when we lived in Dillon, SC I had three small kids, each not quite two years a part and while everything pointed to it being OK if I did decide to lose my mind, I, however had my A-game going. My life’s goal at that time was to be a domestic goddess, so I had a full, hot meal prepared every night. We literally never went to the pantry and found it empty. I never let it get that way. I stayed on top of everything, that was until, I got really, really overwhelmed and then I did nothing well because I gave up. The second one of the girls veered off from the plan, I got rattled and lost it, sending me into, “I’m a loser Mom mode.” I just couldn’t get a grip sometimes. All in all, though, I lived those days with young children in my zone. I felt like a very confident mom of young kids. After all, I felt like being a good Mama was my ultimate calling.
Fast forward 10 years and here I find myself in a house with four other females, much the same temperament as me, God help ’em. There’s a lot of drama for this Mama, and very little patience on my end. I spend many more days with an empty pantry and fridge, not a clue what I’ll make for dinner (even though I still have a menu planned!) and a lot more unplanned-for surprises come up during a day. And here’s a little nasty secret of mine…I yell. I do. Don’t tell me you don’t. I yell and I hate yelling. Deep down, it’s not me, but I do it because I allow circumstances to take me over. I feel a whole lot less confident as a mom, and yet I see one important factor emerge…I am just really beginning not to care as much about the exterior stuff that had been putting me in a mood. I wouldn’t say I’m completely over it, but the break-me-out-of-my-routine stuff has got me just rolling with the punches. My husband may read this and say, “Really?” because he sees the very worst of me, and sees that I have a very long way to go, but I think the things that really matter are not a clean house, although I appreciate one, or the kids not going for one of my brilliant plans to have family time, therefore pushing me to change it or not do it at all…or even the REPETITIVENESS of me saying, “Do your jobs. Clean your rooms. Do your homework. Ask for a snack before you get one!” Gosh, I say the same.stuff.all.the.time! It gets old, but guess what? My days as a domestic diva to my current days as a domestic failure don’t define me. These things are seasons of our lives, the sands through the hourglass moments we have to go through – the growing pain process. What I know to be true is my girls want me! I’ve always bucked at them running to their Daddy everyday like he’s the fun one, but simply used me as a doormat, but I wasn’t present in their lives and consumed with our home being neat and tidy instead of a place where people actually live. Like I said, I have a long way to go, but I started somewhere to be more, and I’m headed for even better when it comes to my kids. In essence, I’m telling you, don’t give up! Don’t allow your circumstances that take you off the path of stardom motherhood and convince you that you’ve failed. Start somewhere. Start today to just be present. I have to constantly remind myself that I can’t even be perfect at being present, or not distracted. Sometimes I just am and it’s really OK. Let’s embrace the different seasons of our life. Take a look back and think about all you’ve learned along the way. I laugh, cry, try something different, or even leave some things the same when I take time to remember the seasons. I read this statement this week, and to paraphrase it said, “We can recover from the times we make mistakes, but we can never recover from never being willing to make one.” Moms, we’re just straight up NOT PERFECT, but we try our doggonest to try to be, often wearing ourselves out. Let’s make a pact to enjoy these days with our kids, even making mistakes along the way, but we decide how that’s gonna look for us, rather than trying to be like that Mom that has it all together, cause really, she’s probably got something she wants to change about herself, too. Live these different seasons of life with your children well by simply allowing them to see you be real, love well and never hide your failures from them, but instead show them you won’t give up becoming all God wants you to be. From the start of writing this, taking a break and finishing it up, I’ve had some pretty less than stellar mom moments, but I just kept trucking along, knowing it’s all gonna be OK. These days are flying by, like sands through the hourglass, so are the “days of our lives”. Make your days count!